HandOfBeadle Comments

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  • PES 2017 review

  • HandOfBeadle 19/09/2016

    @chadstar

    L2 is manual - Pass Assist Off isn't. There is a very subtle but significant difference. L2 doesn't give you manual crossing either - it's a manual long pass, which is floatier and has a different shape.

    I'd totally recommend that assisted players try using L2 passing anyway. I used to just cherry pick when I use L2, which is why when I switched to unassisted it wasn't quite such a big shock. But it's really important to remove assisted passing as an option in order for you to really understand how much it changes the game for the better, and to get good enough and clever enough to unlock a defence with an unassisted pass. Otherwise the game is still locked to those straight lines more often than not, and you don't ever learn what an unassisted pass can do that an assisted pass cannot.
    Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 19/09/2016

    Particularly to those playing offline - I cannot recommend unassisted passing strongly enough. I'm not snobbish about difficulty or assists or anything. I'm a massive football game geek but I only ever really want what's best for the football side of things, rather than just harder = better. I do wish assisted passing in PES had a lot more error though. FIFA's doing a better job of that than PES now, which would have seemed mad even 5 years ago.

    I like FIFA manual but it makes you play a very crude game of football, favouring long passes over short, losing a key part of the modern game. Plus you lose too much player individuality in FIFA manual. I think it's a great idea for Clubs where you just have to focus on your passing/shooting, and the individuality is at user level. But otherwise it makes all players pretty much the same.



    Having made similar arguments about PES unassisted passing (not really having tried it - I was just against the principle as a whole) I gave 'manual' passing a go in the PES demo and it's now the best football game I've ever played. It takes the game completely off of the sort of rails you have in PES and FIFA usually, BUT it's not fully manual, so short 5 yard passes aren't nigh on impossible and you can easily string short play together.

    If you're interested, bump the difficulty down a notch or two and give it an hour or two. Over the first few games you'll put passes all over the shop. But persevere and after that you'll get tidier, and by the end of the first few hours, rather than just giving someone the ball, you'll be loading the pass with all sorts of information.

    With assisted passing, the game feels like a wireframe model of straight passing lanes between each player, and the opposition will just stand on those lines, killing the possibility for that pass. With unassisted passing (and a bit of practice) you can use the spaces, or create holes in the defence by playing a pass a little short/long/wide. You can bring a winger infield, send a fullback haring up the wing, or make a striker come short. As with real football, you realise that, 90% of the time, space is not something you stand in but something you move into, something you leave behind you for others when you move.

    Granted it might affect your WDL ratio online (though in MyClub I'm finding games against other manual players harder because they're been playing like this for years, and know how to shut manual passing lanes down). But, if you're not just looking for pick up and play, then it's bloody great, and it adds yet more depth as you appreciate the space that the tactics can buy you.
    Reply +4
  • Watch us play (and actually, genuinely enjoy) FIFA 17's Story Mode

  • HandOfBeadle 15/09/2016

    @Decaf Ah, so you haven't played the PES demo then. Reply +5
  • This is what really happens when swords hit armour

  • HandOfBeadle 06/09/2016

    @jameselmslie What's the truth then? Reply 0
  • Combat fatigues: How Uncharted is a walking simulator in action game's clothing

  • HandOfBeadle 13/05/2016

    @FallingStickman Why? Do people not have the ability to draw analogies? The only reason it has such connotations is because it's a term used by people with very hard & fast rules about what a game should be. The need to change lies with them. Reply +3
  • HandOfBeadle 13/05/2016

    The correct genre for something like Uncharted is 'Adventure'. It's not a platformer, or a shooter, or a driving game.

    Everybody's stuck on what genre these various games should be - we already have genres for these things in film. PT is a horror. Heavy Rain is a thriller. I've not played Gone Home but it seems like a mystery/drama? LA Noire is a... well, yeah.

    Traditional game genres belong with those games where the mechanics behind the game are more important than the story. I wouldn't call Mario an adventure title. I wouldn't call COD an action title. You're buying them for the game mechanics, not the overarching experience.

    If there are games which don't sit within any of these genres, then we can come up with new ones, or hybrids. But in the majority of cases, if you're more interested in how to play the game than what the experience is as a whole, then you give it a game genre and it sits with the platformers / shoot em ups / RPGs.

    If we really feel that we need to have both story AND game genres, then call these game genres something like 'story-based', or call it interactive theatre as you would if you were going to a Punchdrunk or Secret Cinema event. But calling them walking simulators as a derisive term just means that the story or the experience is doing nothing for you. It'd be like calling Geometry Wars a 'thumb exerciser', or Track & Field a 'dick-shaking simulator', just because it's not for you.
    Reply +2
  • HandOfBeadle 13/05/2016

    Shame so many people are obsessing over the walking simulator as a literal tag for Uncharted, rather than considering it a looser analogy and talking about whether or not aspects of Uncharted have contributed to a broadening of the horizons of gaming, by showing developers that the tempo can afford to slow right down as long as the depth and quality of story holds up to scrutiny when we aren't distracted by bangbangs and loud noises. Too many games would have to throw as much spice into the pot as possible, hoping the intense heat would mask how rotten the story was. Reply -2
  • David Hayter reprises Metal Gear Solid role in Ford commercials

  • HandOfBeadle 08/04/2016

    I genuinely can't believe I've just seen that. Reply +19
  • Shuhei Yoshida talks PlayStation VR

  • HandOfBeadle 18/03/2016

    @mega-gazz 500 give or take 100 is a pretty substantial difference! 600 is 150% of 400. Reply +2
  • Town of Light review

  • HandOfBeadle 29/02/2016

    @Dimonte Ignorance makes people ignorant. Using the term walking simulator is a demonstration, not a cause, of ignorance. Reply +8
  • Far Cry Primal review

  • HandOfBeadle 22/02/2016

    Ubi clearly take the same approach to game design as to game design. Skin 3 boar = bigger ammo pouch for us. Reskin 2 Far Crys = bigger wallet for them.

    Increasingly worried that The Division is just Ubi climbing the latest radio tower.
    Reply 0
  • HandOfBeadle 22/02/2016

    @Carter0108 It is whatever you reckon it seems like after reading the review and factoring in how much you like previous Far Cry titles.

    It's not hard.
    Reply +9
  • Aviary Attorney review

  • HandOfBeadle 21/01/2016

    Intrigued by the conspiracy plot too. I love a bit of cloaca and dagger. Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 21/01/2016

    Hopefully there's the odd case of grebeous bodily harm in the mix. Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 21/01/2016

    Are all the cases murder? Spoiler alert - the crows did it. Hopefully it's not that predictable and there's the odd case of grebeous bodily harm in the mix too.

    Do you get to cross examine the Chaffinchspector?
    Reply 0
  • FIFA 16 review

  • HandOfBeadle 29/09/2015

    @Phantom68 This is not a democratic process either, and I don't know why you think it is. This is a discussion about the state of football games today, and whether they are taking the right direction. The games themselves are made by designers at EA Sports Vancouver without sending any ballot papers out. They'll ask for fan feedback but they won't just go for whatever gets the most votes. They'll pick the ideas which resonate most with them. Ergo, not everyone's opinion is equal - they're interested in the best opinions, the most clearly explained and the one which seems to best address and offer solutions to their own concerns. Your mistake is in thinking I want to make your opinion wrong - I'm trying to show you that you're right to spot that there's a problem, but you're just misreading the data in front of you.


    Ultimately, the argument that realism and fun are mutually exclusive is demonstrably wrong. The issues are with the game's balance (which has led to too much working the ball through midfield), variety (not enough other options, and each midfield battle feels too similar) and fluidity (which makes the midfield battle feel stodgy, without much of a sense of elegance, style or actual progress being made). There are solutions to all of these issues which do not involve dumbing down, which do not require the game to become more trivial or to deny that passing accuracy is a thing. By introducing more intelligent and responsive teammate AI you end up with more options to pass to. By introducing more positional error in defence, the game opens up far more than the current hive-mind banks of four. By making team styles of play far more diverse, far more heavily accented, you don't end up feeling like each game is indistinguishable from the last.

    You don't have to make a fun game by making it a shallow game - and realism is what provides depth, what provides a reason to keep coming back rather than just get tired of the same old goals.
    Reply +2
  • HandOfBeadle 28/09/2015

    @Phantom68 That's kind of where you're wrong. Opinions count equally in some respects, but you have to be able to make a case for why you believe what you do, for why you are correct. Otherwise I could say that I think FIFA 17 should have alien teams, purple pitches and cube-shaped footballs, and, just like that, my view is just as valid an opinion/view as yours.

    One person putting their case forward eloquently, with clearly proven examples, taking in all viewpoints and explaining why those other viewpoints contrast, is not as equal as someone else saying 'well I disagree' and leaving it there. Otherwise how would the legal system even work?
    Reply 0
  • HandOfBeadle 28/09/2015

    @Phantom68 "If I wanted super realistic I would go and play real football"

    No. No you wouldn't. If you wanted super realistic at a really low level, where people of various levels of give-a-shit just run around aimlessly for a bit after work in front of absolutely no-one, you would play real football.

    I hate that people think that realistic is opposed to fun. It's so infuriatingly reductionist.

    The reason FIFA isn't fun enough is because defences don't make enough mistakes, be it positionally, in losing sight of a player off the ball, or in terms of simple fumbles. The attacks do not flow well enough because AI movement off the ball is too rigid. Further, teams still don't have much in the way of an identity.

    PES is exceptionally good fun from the off. That is, until you realise there is absolutely no passing error, literally any player can shoot from 25-35 yards with the same level of menace time and again, and that, while the superstars like Messi are phenomenal dribblers, so are players like Busquets. It does get aspects of team fluidity so right, but the defending is utterly shocking and desperately needs tightening up. If you're scoring the same goals all the time and not really feeling anything due to how cheap they feel, how is that fun?


    This is the first FIFA I can recall that actually does a good job with passing & trapping error, and it's the first since FIFA 10 to have dribbling which has human levels of momentum. It's hard work because EA still haven't upped the AI to be inventive enough - NOT because there's passing error or you have to use your midfield for once.

    The longer people think that realism isn't fun, the longer people trot out these truisms as an argument for making the game throwaway fun, the less progress is actually being made for those of us who want both realism AND fun. People have got to stop trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Reply +17
  • UK charts accused of "snobbery" over Everybody's Gone to the Rapture soundtrack snub

  • HandOfBeadle 26/08/2015

    @PSfourskin He's a tutor at a classical music college in Cardiff. Reply +4
  • FIFA 16 introduces Draft mode for Ultimate Team, and builds upon career mode

  • HandOfBeadle 05/08/2015

    I had no idea Simon Humber passed away. Around 5 years ago I (along with several others) was invited to visit EA Sports in Canada to playtest FIFA 11 for a week and offer feedback for how to improve the game. While I was there I talked to Simon, who had taken the creative lead for World Cup 2010 (and was later lead designer for career mode, around the time it needed a complete rewrite in order to make significant strides forward).

    He was a very kind, funny, insightful man who was extremely passionate about all the small details, about creating something that had real personality beyond the obvious or generic. Anyone who has played WC2010 can attest to that - the atmosphere of that game was a cut above the FIFA series, and that owed much to him. In subsequent years a small group of us also made lots of suggestions around how to improve future FIFAs in a hidden forum, and more than any other developer he was regularly checking in to discuss certain career mode ideas, or to try and stimulate conversation around particular trains of thought he was having.

    For all that people can become cynical about EA titles or yearly sports titles in general, he genuinely struck me as someone who had the sensibilities of a late 90's game designer, someone who knew how to bring life to something that might otherwise end up feeling flat.I'm deeply sorry to hear of his passing, but grateful to have met him and shared in his passion for football games.
    Reply +8
  • PES has exclusive Champions League rights for another three years

  • HandOfBeadle 11/06/2015

    @SameerAFC "Does PES make any money for Konami?"

    Yes. Yes they do.
    Reply +2
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

  • HandOfBeadle 20/05/2015

    @VEGA Ok, well you go enjoy looking at DAI. I'll enjoy everything about The Witcher 3. Reply 0
  • How FIFA Ultimate Team got its hooks into the spirit of football

  • HandOfBeadle 29/01/2015

    @RGeefe just wear a salmon pink polo-neck, get your tackle out every time you get drunk and go on about how much you hate poor people. You should fly under the radar. Reply 0
  • HoloLens is a surreal experience - and full of possibilities

  • HandOfBeadle 22/01/2015

    @maximusfarticus There's a huge difference between the two. The bulky original Walkman headphones are comparatively discreet; technology was not nearly as intrusive then as now; there was no real alternative to the function of a Walkman when out and about...

    Plus, crucially, the headphones themselves were actually fairly cool as a visual statement, befitting of the era and music itself is eternally cool, attracting young people of the time. By no stretch of the imagination does this headset look cool, and you cannot incorporate it into your general wardrobe in the way you could wear a beanie or a baseball cap over your headphones when the Walkman took off.

    This technology is incredible and will no doubt have a huge impact on how we live our lives over the next 5-10 years. But nobody's going to want to walk around looking like they're wearing Lynne's mum's cataract glasses. It will take something that can be discreetly fit to normal glasses, or contact lenses, or a headset that is genuinely stylish and chic, to be worn outdoors with any regularity. Which means it'll end up being something for the home, or for certain workplaces.
    Reply +1
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster review

  • HandOfBeadle 20/01/2015

    Have they revoiced the characters, or is that all gloriously intact?


    'Blood... I hope that it isn't. Chris's blood...'

    'No! Jill! Don't open. That door!'
    Reply +3
  • HandOfBeadle 20/01/2015

    @spamdangled In case I didn't already say it enough - 'big words'. Reply 0
  • HandOfBeadle 20/01/2015

    @thomascai I've just flicked back through the review and I have absolutely no idea which 'big words' would have been an issue. There was no disconnect between the words and the context in which they were being used (an example off which being your use of sequipedalian in a post that puts quotes around the term 'big words', though I'm sure that's what you were going for.

    Enough of the world is already dumbed down - if somebody is capable of writing a perfectly cogent and insightful review using what are entirely appropriate 'big words', as Simon has just done, why on god's green earth should he dumb down to suit the lowest common denominator?
    Reply +5
  • Moving targets: the scattergun politics of Far Cry 4

  • HandOfBeadle 03/12/2014

    @Carpetfluff You're not meant to read a map and drive at the same time. That's how accidents happen.


    That's kind of the point anyway - it wanted you to look at the map intermittently, focussing instead on the world around you. (Incidentally it's one of about 3 games that actually used the PS3's motion controls well, the tilt-to-steer not feeling in any way unresponsive.)

    Whether or not they succeeded, a lot of new things FC2 did (compared to other FPS titles at the time) were intended to try and make you think about that scenario in a new, more engaged way, rather than within the confines of comfortable game tropes. The way soldiers would fan out and form a search party when you'd been spotted running into the woods, for example. Now, in FC4, they chase you for a bit and then give up way too soon.

    Checkpoints were annoying, sure. They should have at least taken a couple of days to respawn. However - and I know the malaria thing wasn't for everyone either - the general intention with these choices was to add extra hostility to the environment, extra urgency to make sure you go through dangerous territory. Granted some of the choices were controversial / misguided, and could have done with some balance. But it had a genuine purpose. Personally I'd far sooner have that sense of danger permeating through a game than a constant slew of armoured honey badgers trying to rip my face off every 30 yards.
    Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 02/12/2014

    @Pasco_ Agreed. They might as well have relabelled respawns as 'Rebirth', where you can come back as an eagle or a tapir, or had a power meter that when maxed out (by killing people, obviously) gives you 'Enlightenment' bullet time. Reply +2
  • HandOfBeadle 02/12/2014

    I do miss the pacing of Far Cry 2. Not for everyone, I accept, and there were a lot of other flaws to contend with - checkpoints, the extreme difficulty in sneaking about, weapons jamming, the malaria flare-ups forcing you to find meds - but the game was never so unrelentingly fast-paced that you couldn't take in the set pieces you were creating for yourself.

    It was so hard to be stealthy, which was how I chose to play the game, that every trainyard, every village and even every checkpoint required a lot of planning and observation. It was comparatively easy to find yourself low on ammo and out of first aid kits - and being in this situation was a much bigger deal, with vehicles harder to come by, enemies much more aggressive and accurate, every checkpoint manned (for better or worse) and every road being patrolled by cars. It was also so much harder to avoid being seen, particularly in daylight - vegetation meant next to nothing, and enemy line of sight covered far larger distances. This would mean that, until you found more ammo to defend yourself in a skirmish, you genuinely had to work hard to avoid conflict.

    The greatest moment in any of the recent Far Cry titles came from me being on death's door with no malaria tablets and nothing but a silenced pistol with 2 bullets, left with little option but to infiltrate a small riverside harbour in the dead of night to try and find a vehicle so I could get life saving meds. Using one bullet to smash an oil lamp to draw attention away, my heart leapt out of my chest and through a nearby window as a guard bolted into my path - a head shot with my final bullet being all that separated success from failure. The opening created by the flames, I then sprinted out of cover to steal an airboat, fleeing under fire as the percussive music kicked in, my damaged boat heading round the riverbend, into the sunrise, out of immediate danger.

    The whole thing probably took 10 minutes to play out, so much was riding on it. There were no elephants strapped with C4, no gyrocopters, no trips to Shangri-La, sure. It was actually pretty basic, and I had more outlandish and dramatic moments within Far Cry 2, let alone 3 or 4. But it felt believable. I felt vulnerable, like one man outnumbered trying to use my smarts to survive. It let me soak in every detail of the short survival story with which I was faced, all ultimately of my own making but the result of a natural progression of encounters and decisions culminating in a particular set-piece. The game let me play it, without constantly bleating about how many things there were to see and do. The difficulty meant I was constantly under threat, without the threat always being in my face. I've only been playing Far Cry 4 for something like 5 hours and it feels like I can do what I want with impunity, except be left alone to enjoy my own adventures. There's no 'puzzle' to be solved, as such - you can tackle every outpost using the exact same tactic, without being forced to think.

    The only thing that has felt remotely similar in 4 has been facing the hunters - but them being able to convince wolves / eagles to attack me spoils it for me. Why can't it be stealth vs stealth, the sense of an even match between me and a group of wily enemies? Why does a tiger have to get involved?

    Edit: The game is good, sure. But I felt like Far Cry 2 was the most grown-up title, the hostility of the environment being at its fullest, the attempt to make as much of the game feel as diegetic as possible (maps held by the in-game character, fixing dislocated thumbs, pulling bullets out with pliers etc). I remember little of the story, but I don't really connect with the wacky villains of 3 and 4. There's something far more insidious and disconcerting about a game where the villain is not so clear - every side being in the wrong, without clearly being too psychotic or zany to pass for a regular person warped by the corruption of power and exploitation. To my shame, I've not actually completed Far Cry 2, so I don't know what actually became of the 'Jackal'. But I preferred the moral ambiguity of a world not defined by a clear right vs wrong for me to align myself.
    Reply +17
  • "It's not historically accurate!"

  • HandOfBeadle 07/07/2014

    @chubster2010
    Introducing more female characters - ones who serve more purpose than titillation or a powerless damsel in distress, who have substance and complexity in equal measure to the handful of good examples that do currently exist in gaming - is arguably the best way to do what you ask.

    Broaden the spectrum of gaming to include stories about believable women who don't have to be perposterously proportioned, and you no longer exclude those writers who want us to play through stories about believable people of any combination of genders and sexualities.

    Progress in gaming's coming of age will seem slow because it takes countless small revolutions to get there, and it takes several months/years of learning from those minor breakthroughs for certain paradigms to be seen as outmoded and obsolete.

    But what a breakthrough it would be if publishers could accept the idea of a game starring a realistic, believable woman, wasn't instantly at a huge sales disadvantage. How do you get to that point? By releasing more games starring (or even co-starring) women, where the writers attempt to make her realistic and believable without her having to be beaten and/or raped to make people care about her. Given time and talent and learning from each other's mistakes, eventually it'll happen - and then more will follow. And several years later, people will take for granted that it was so hard to get gaming to that point.
    Reply +5
  • Saturday Soapbox: Whatever Happened to the Working Class Hero?

  • HandOfBeadle 21/07/2012

    Games of yesteryear were ploughing their own furrow. The medium was so abstracted from literature and film, and the risk of financial meltdown if your 1.99 game didn't fly off the shelves was so comparatively minor that there was no real need (or obvious draw) to avoid risks. Nowadays games cost so much more to produce, and the graphics are becoming more and more believable, so there is far more motivation to jump on the same bandwagon as the film industry. Plus, with often 2-300 jobs at stake, someone is far less likely to make a lawnmowing sim on the PS4 at 50 RRP. What once just had to be the solitary coder's idea would never get past the focus group mentality of a team of mediocre writers desperate not to fail. Reply +1
  • PES hits back: Konami accuses FIFA of copying, reveals truth behind licenses and explains Seabass' new role

  • HandOfBeadle 14/06/2012

    @UkHardcore23 Tenuous. Technically yes, but Actua Soccer was pretty much move forwards or turn slowly and move forwards in that new direction. Safe to say EA were not inspired by Gremlin.

    FIFA has clearly copied a lot of things from PES, and PES has copied aspects of FIFA. That's not a bad thing either - both games are copying football, so they're always going to converge as they get closer, and as one team of devs spots something the other doesn't.

    Jon's point is more that, for all its failings, people tend not to give PES credit where it's due. It's amazing how differently the two are treated for the same thing. At least one site said PES copied FIFA's defending system when nobody mentioned that PES 2011 was the first football title to really push the idea of containing vs going in for the tackle. Another site said that defending this year is the same as ever, with double-tap X initiating a lunging tackle - completely missing that this was a new addition.

    Meanwhile nobody mentions that PES has had FIFA improvements like first touch error, personality+, pro passing, close control dribbling, intelligent AI, team styles etc etc, for years - even stretching back to last gen. And when these changes are made, the games press tends to talk about how, somehow, EA have managed to find areas of the game that need improvement - ignoring that a lot of these missing ingredients are part and parcel of real football, have been asked for by fans for several years, AND happen to have already been in PES.
    Reply +1
  • First look at Heavy Rain dev's new tech

  • HandOfBeadle 08/03/2012

    @IkariW She could instantly speak and/or sing in german, french, japanese and english. Presumably then Kara has pre-installed knowledge. Reply 0
  • HandOfBeadle 08/03/2012

    @dadrester I agree, mostly. It's great what David Cage is doing for games, but we all know he wouldn't get far in more established media. Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 08/03/2012

    @dfish For people to watch this clip and think that the male character was a robot too speaks volumes for the performance. I don't know how much more obvious they could have made it that the male VO is that of a human being (short of showing him on-screen and bleeding), and yet it still doesn't come across.

    So where is there going to be room for the finesse and nuance associated with great cinema / TV performances?
    Reply +4
  • HandOfBeadle 08/03/2012

    @talideon only if your intention is to make a very badly acted game/film. In the film industry you would never get a performance like that outside of a Steven Seagal straight to DVD movie.

    We have to start holding games that boast about being story-driven or emotive to higher standards.
    Reply +1
  • HandOfBeadle 08/03/2012

    @YenRug She spends the entire video addressing someone off-screen, not the robot arms. Edit: that arm at the end of the clip seems to have a mounted camera, for when she's away from the assembly platform. Also, the premise of the entire video is that she is a robot that can think, and feel. For the factory machinery to already be capable of the same - expressing surprise at her behaviour and then letting her 'live' after she pleads for her life - would defeat the object.

    Again, the male voice acting is weak. But that's to be expected - it's far easier to get a high standard of acting from a minor role in Holby City, let alone The Wire / Mad Men, than it is in any video game (LA Noire excepted, since most of the Mad Men cast offered their services because they thought it was a fun distraction). Sadly that won't change until more games like this, Heavy Rain or LA Noire are made and can lift preconceptions. Hopefully that won't take too long - even TV work had a fairly bad stigma among established movie actors, only seen as a stepping stone onto the silver screen. It's taken up until the past 10-15 years for that to change.
    Reply +3
  • HandOfBeadle 07/03/2012

    Worried about the male voice acting. Ironic really given the sheer amount of effort gone into giving Kara such an emotive performance, that the weak link is a wooden, artificial effort from someone who isn't even on-screen. Heavy Rain was seriously held back by some of the script and dialogue, particularly for bit parts - I'd hate this to suffer the same fate.

    Hopefully I'm just reading too much into things, because Kara herself was great.
    Reply +5
  • Telling Tales: Skyrim and Dark Souls

  • HandOfBeadle 07/12/2011

    I completely agree with the article. I also expect such a topic to be divisive, because different people are enticed by different forms of storytelling.

    I think the Skyrim format is born of a time when games couldn't muster the sophistication to tell a story without a lot of very literal (and hackneyed) exposition. When you still see such old concepts applied now, they stand out quite starkly in contrast to the more artful and nuanced narrative methods that inhabit other games (if not the same game itself - the dragon shouts themselves are far more evocative than every single book and 99% of verbal conversation in Skyrim combined).

    I can't disagree that Dark Souls is pretty far short of perfect in terms of the acting performances. But I do think it's far closer to attempting, let alone achieving, the sort of standard of narrative that could actually make the tired games-as-art debate much more relevant. That's because it doesn't take the Skyrim / MGS4 route of slapping on as many layers of text and story arcs as possible, knowing that certain people will lap any old tripe up. It takes an Ico / SotC route, allowing the environment and the general atmosphere of lore to speak for the game with each and every frame per second, ensuring that everything has a purpose and invites an internal response from the player.

    I actually think the giant ray boss in world 4 of Demon's Souls was closer to what Skyrim's environment and feel should have been than Skyrim itself. Ditch most of Skyrim's pleasant but extremely generic soundtrack and throw in a lot more bleak old Icelandic folk songs, take all American accents out of the game and replace them with far more characterful scandinavian voices than the ones we already have, and you'd have had something absolutely teeming with atmosphere and context. Not just occasionally smacking of it.
    Reply +6
  • Dark Souls dev punishing early birds

  • HandOfBeadle 21/09/2011

    Scatigno - if you don't like being punished then you should can your pre-order immediately. Reply +12
  • PES will never be a "rip-off product"

  • HandOfBeadle 25/08/2011

    geeza

    Please hand your keyboard in at the nearest police station.
    Reply 0
  • Xbox 360 PES demo delayed

  • HandOfBeadle 24/08/2011

    It's actually been out on PC for a couple of days owing to a leak by some beautiful idiot who neglected to remove the link from the press release.

    Darren - if you played PES 2011 and PES 2012 and you're struggling to notice the difference, get a friend to drive you to the hospital ASAP. It sounds like you've had a very serious stroke.

    Absolutely fantastic game. Once they fix the keepers and tighten up a couple of other loose ends they'll have released the finest football game ever. The defending alone is a revelation - more intuitive and more about working as a unit than FIFA 12's. So much more individuality, intelligence and variety on display than any other footy game around. A shame that the level of football insight in 2012 will still go over the heads of a lot of people, but at least PES's gameplay is now so far ahead that Konami can afford to spend a year just working on the things such people measure realism by - animations and presentation.
    Reply 0
  • New Dark Souls footage slices in

  • HandOfBeadle 17/08/2011

    higgins - why would you want a game that is centred around its difficulty to become easier? The learning curve is meant to be more of a straight line directly up.

    Thankfully they've said they're making the game harder.
    Reply +2
  • Arrested Development duo join COD Elite

  • HandOfBeadle 04/08/2011

    The online military FPS that WON'T kidnap and kill you. Reply +6
  • PES global sales shoot past 70 million

  • HandOfBeadle 04/08/2011

    There is a huge difference between CoD and PES. CoD is becoming more and more lowbrow, aiming more and more for the lowest common denominator, overtly and proudly milking the cash cow rather than at least trying to give the impression that it is trying to improve. PES by contrast is very much a hardcore title, working hard even during its darkest hours to add depth and improve the football genre, whether it's by having player traits that make a significant difference, adding manager team talks and post-match analysis for BaL, making sure that dribbling sticks to the laws of physics rather than just being a stick wiggling free-for-all, or the extremely deep formation and tactics setup they currently have. Reply +3
  • PES 2012 release date announced

  • HandOfBeadle 29/07/2011

    Fuck it. Don't know why I bother. If a conversation isn't as simple as someone making stuff up rather than knowing what they're talking about then it's no good to some people. Reply -1
  • HandOfBeadle 28/07/2011

    LetsGoFlames - was just about to post a reply to Ant but realised it was the same as your 2nd paragraph. FIFA gets a kicking from the hardcore because it caters to those who would list cosmetic qualities like animations or graphics when trying to prove something is a stunning representation of football.

    FIFA just doesn't do anything for people who want the depth that player individuality and tactical flexibility provide.
    Reply +4
  • PES 2012: control two players at once

  • HandOfBeadle 21/07/2011

    Having AI that makes that run in the first place is infinitely more important IMO. Apparently that is generally the case, and this feature is unlikely to be used much because (a) the assisted option is too lifeless and unintelligent to beat defences alone, and (b) the manual option is so hard to use that you won't be able to use it to trigger each and every run your team makes, so it is purely a supplemental option that won't really intrude on the experience - the new player AI and the player individuality will still be very much at the core of how the game moves. Reply 0
  • HandOfBeadle 21/07/2011

    Acrid - FIFA added passing error last year (though not really). So that's surely only 14 years behind PES? Reply +2