Monday, March 24, 2008

Chapter 11: Network Error

(Note: This play through was recorded pre-1.2 patch)

Yawn. Fun time, fun time. I love fun time. Too bad it doesn't happen when I play Hellgate. So let's start off with more crap then, shall we? I mean, it's not like I try to pick at small, meaningless things. These things just pop out and say, "Hey, look at me! I'm unfinished/illogical content!" Take the bruisers, for instance. I mean, what a great concept for an enemy. They can be ranged attackers and they can be melee attackers as well. Why exactly they couldn't do this with other enemies is unbeknownst to me. After all, they seem to be very keen on putting half of their game into niches is pretty cliche. Of course, my favorite part is how the bruiser's long-ranged attack has an AOE explosion. Which is completely fine--I make every attempt to get the hell out of the way. However, what I don't find "completely fine" is the gigantic hit box that accompanies the projectiles.

I'm glad to know a projectile 15 feet away from me can magically damage me.

I dunno, maybe it's a compromise because it's so easy to dodge the 20MPH projectiles? But, ah, you've always got to love compromise in this game. Why make the game work when you can break it in the process? Why take your time to make something logical when you can just rush the content and hope people will just say, "Oh, it's not big thing." After all, that mentality is how we let them get away with all those "little things," which, combined together, become a huge, big thing.

Anyways, moving along and having fun in Act 4. You know, only one act left before I get to complete the game. I quick look at /played tells me I've only played 18 hours. I suppose half of that time I have to credit to doing all those worthless side quests as well. Either way, it's a little disheartening to know that I'm only one act away from having this game to leave a lasting impression on me or to finally get better. Either way, I wouldn't let the game get off that easily either by saying, "Oh, it gets good by Act 5." I wanted a finished game, not a half-assed one. You got that one, Roper? While you're out there screaming bloody murder to every news media outlet you can and telling people that the game "failed" because people expected "too much," I'm telling you that you're wrong for labeling my playing expectancy out of your game. After all, maybe if you guys actually bothered to discuss this on your official forums instead of hiding then you might know that.

Things did look to start brightly. Finally, a new tileset. Friggin' finally. Seriously. I was getting VERY tired of the recycled street/sewers combo, not to mention I didn't bother to slip through an Oblivion gate--I mean, a Hellgate, because there is only one tileset for the dreary platform universe. Of course, having to wait until Act 4 for feel like I had actually progressed somewhere from the beginning wasn't exactly my idea of believing there was some effort going on here.

Finally, a different area. Too bad it looks too much like the Catacombs of Diablo II Act I. Oh well. Maybe the people who haven't played Diablo II will be none the wiser.

Of course, it's great that the place is lit up like a Christmas tree. Everything seems to be so well-lit for an area that only seems to have tiny candles as light sources but seem to radiate a light radius of halogen light bulbs. Anyways, Act 4 also happens to be the first Act in which you get to experience random Templar romping around some areas. These guys not only look like they might've been undecaplets, but they also seem to have Forrest Gump's IQ level as well, which might be the reason why we're even losing the war in the first place.

Aim, then shoot. Aim, THEN shoot.

I mean, Flagship needs to get an award for quite possibly the WORST friendly AI that has graced the gaming industry in quite some time. Half the time these guys stand around shooting in the wrong direction; the other half they are hitting the enemy for 1 to 2 damage. It's the greatest looking fluff I've seen in a game, I must say.

Why are these sandbags even here? They're not protecting anyone, they're poorly placed, and any attempt to make a fortification is destroyed because it isn't closed. Couple that with four bumbling idiots, then you're more likely to have a single rocket bot do more protection then this "fortification."

Let's make a quick direction change here. Let's talk about the storyline. You know, the one with a cliche arrogant high-and-mighty leader who doesn't actually know what they're doing? Yeah, anyways. So I'm off saving some Templar butt. Now let me paint you a picture. When I'm given a quest to save an important Templar lieutenant, I expect it to be an epic battle. I don't, however, expect it to be a little gauge marching across the screen to "heal" them.

How original.

Speaking of "new" things, I happened to chance upon a new enemy as well. It was an interesting creature alright. It looked like a flying scarecrow dressed like a Harajuku kid. He also seemed to have a Boo Complex because he kept running away from me. I stood there for a while wondering if he was going to do anything except float there, but he didn't. So either he's giving peace a chance or this was just one of those "unfinished content" times (I seem to come across a lot of those moments).

"Doom Husk." I'm shaking in my boots.

On to the streets of more useless and nonsensical "new" things. It's great to see that turret from shooting down the Exospector make its way to the middle of the street. I mean, sure, why it's even there or why it's even intact when the place is demon ravaged is a bag a logic we don't want to open because it involves thought, but I decided to play along and man the turret. Of course, I continued to do this every time I saw one after my first experience with a turret, because about 95% of the time it seems the line of sight for the turret is blocked. So unless the enemy has flying enemies, the turret becomes a nice little thing to look at and admire and nothing more.

It's great to know I can use this turret to kill nothing at all.

Of course, my current favorite feature is my invisible rifle. Oh, I just love my invisible rifle. I shoot it and the sound bite for the firing of a round doesn't play, but the impact of the bullet upon the surface does. I see my weapon muzzle flash and I see my weapon mods on the weapon, but my rifle? Invisible! How spooky! But, more importantly, how extremely half-assed and insulting to see something that should have ONLY been found in alpha find its way to the "finished" content.

Look ma', no rifle!

I always love the equally half-assed responses as well. "Oh, don't switch your weapons when you summon your bots/drone." Yeah, that makes it all better. I, the consumer, should go the extra mile for the developer, the provider, that borked the function in the first place. Silly me to voice my opinion--an opinion I have more than a right to voice. Of course, while the invisible rifle is a fun feature that has been currently irking me quite profusely, I must say I did let out a laugh when a familiar screen everyone from alpha/beta remembers popped up on my screen when I tried to zone to another area. I guess some things never change.



Antonin said...

Entertaining read so far. I must say you put my first few hours of play with Hellgate London in perspective.

If no new content appears past Act 2, except for a few set pieces and enemies, then the effort isn't worth it.

I will promptly uninstall this unfinished product from my computer.

Michael said...

An excellent read, as always. Hilarious, yet at the same time, completely accurate. One can only hope that there will be a point in the future when readers can look back at this blog and say "Wow, just look how far this game has come!"

Keep up the good work! :)