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Old 07-06-2020, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Manchester NH
15,507 posts, read 6,427,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RageX View Post
Witcher 3 is narratively the best game I have ever played and it's in my top 10 for actually playing the game (Death March).
I'm sorry but how could you say this? Its a popular opinion that has entrenched itself in the gaming community but it is ever so bizarre.

The game itself has a plethora of flaws that also hurt the narrative, but they are ignored for some reason. The bloody baron subplot is interesting but it goes nowhere.

The main narrative about finding Ciri to defeat the wild hunt is drawl and made worse by the fact that the game is at its core fanfiction. The world was made by Sapkowski, and even then he said it was an excuse to focus on the main characters. Even if you find the world impressive (one amonst hundreds of well written fantasy worlds) then you should be unimpressed by how this story treats its world.

It takes the artifice of Heinlein's premise and waters it down to : people are cruel and the same as monsters : and hammers it into your head to the point the story matters little anymore, only the moral conundrum.

Admittedly the 3rd game handles it better than Witcher 2, but still most of the side quests break down to an excuse to give you two options, each with a negative connotation. It weakens the plot and the gameplay loop of talk to someone, follow trail, fight, follow trail, investigate, talk, and resolve doesn't make the matter any better.

Ciri is made into a ridiculous character by having her run in a swamp with high heels and a low cut blouse, and the love triangle is made untenable by the gameplay.

The game gives you a choice but pushes you to do Novigrad second and Skellige last. But then if you try to romantically engage with Triss at the end of the Novigrad story line you are forced to go back to Yennefer under the guise of a married couple. Only after you do the (optional) quest to find the gin are you allowed to break it off with her, and after that there is no mention of Geralt's duplicitous nature, as if it never happened.

The dialogue choices are needlessly sarcastic, especially when speaking to peasants and villagers. Rather than delving into their perspective or understanding how they see magic, kings, and grand conflicts they are treated like children who are scorned yet pitied when their village burns. They are incapable of rational thought meaning Geralt must intervene. Even the political conflict with Nilfgaard and Redania is self aggrandizing more so than even Game of Thrones which actual had decent politics.

The vampire murder mystery was a fun distraction, the trolls offer comic relief (that is sometimes too heavy handed), and the two main DLCs were better written, but overall the story is not that impressive.

I get if you like it for whatever reason (character model, slavic lore, etc.), that is fine.

My problem is that so many people herald it as the second coming of video game story which overshadows all the phenomenal work in the video game industry when it comes to forwarding narrative story telling. Kotor 2, Planetscape Torment, Fallout, Bioshock, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Red Dead Redemption, or more abstract stuff like Psychonauts or Eternal Darkness which use gameplay as a psychological tool to affect how a story is told.

All that is lost when the witcher 3, a bland game with a generic story (minus some stand out moments) is given such divine praise. And it makes me worried for Cyberpunk since work that goes uncriticized gives the developer ample room to go down the same path they were taking.

It may be good but I hope to god it is not used as a cudgel to bash the rest of the industry that works so hard to make great games. And if we do go down the path of totally glorifying a game with a story spread too thin, quest markers, and poor level design I think you will see the homogenization of triple A games, more than what we see today. Its already happened to Assassin's Creed, lets see where this goes.

Last edited by Winterfall8324; 07-06-2020 at 11:55 AM..
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:04 PM
 
5,428 posts, read 3,492,366 times
Reputation: 5031
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterfall8324 View Post
I'm sorry but how could you say this? Its a popular opinion that has entrenched itself in the gaming community but it is ever so bizarre.

The game itself has a plethora of flaws that also hurt the narrative, but they are ignored for some reason. The bloody baron subplot is interesting but it goes nowhere.

The main narrative about finding Ciri to defeat the wild hunt is drawl and made worse by the fact that the game is at its core fanfiction. The world was made by Sapkowski, and even then he said it was an excuse to focus on the main characters. Even if you find the world impressive (one amonst hundreds of well written fantasy worlds) then you should be unimpressed by how this story treats its world.

It takes the artifice of Heinlein's premise and waters it down to : people are cruel and the same as monsters : and hammers it into your head to the point the story matters little anymore, only the moral conundrum.

Admittedly the 3rd game handles it better than Witcher 2, but still most of the side quests break down to an excuse to give you two options, each with a negative connotation. It weakens the plot and the gameplay loop of talk to someone, follow trail, fight, follow trail, investigate, talk, and resolve doesn't make the matter any better.

Ciri is made into a ridiculous character by having her run in a swamp with high heels and a low cut blouse, and the love triangle is made untenable by the gameplay.

The game gives you a choice but pushes you to do Novigrad second and Skellige last. But then if you try to romantically engage with Triss at the end of the Novigrad story line you are forced to go back to Yennefer under the guise of a married couple. Only after you do the (optional) quest to find the gin are you allowed to break it off with her, and after that there is no mention of Geralt's duplicitous nature, as if it never happened.

The dialogue choices are needlessly sarcastic, especially when speaking to peasants and villagers. Rather than delving into their perspective or understanding how they see magic, kings, and grand conflicts they are treated like children who are scorned yet pitied when their village burns. They are incapable of rational thought meaning Geralt must intervene. Even the political conflict with Nilfgaard and Redania is self aggrandizing more so than even Game of Thrones which actual had decent politics.

The vampire murder mystery was a fun distraction, the trolls offer comic relief (that is sometimes too heavy handed), and the two main DLCs were better written, but overall the story is not that impressive.

I get if you like it for whatever reason (character model, slavic lore, etc.), that is fine.

My problem is that so many people herald it as the second coming of video game story which overshadows all the phenomenal work in the video game industry when it comes to forwarding narrative story telling. Kotor 2, Planetscape Torment, Fallout, Bioshock, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Red Dead Redemption, or more abstract stuff like Psychonauts or Eternal Darkness which use gameplay as a psychological tool to affect how a story is told.

All that is lost when the witcher 3, a bland game with a generic story (minus some stand out moments) is given such divine praise. And it makes me worried for Cyberpunk since work that goes uncriticized gives the developer ample room to go down the same path they were taking.

It may be good but I hope to god it is not used as a cudgel to bash the rest of the industry that works so hard to make great games. And if we do go down the path of totally glorifying a game with a story spread too thin, quest markers, and poor level design I think you will see the homogenization of triple A games, more than what we see today. Its already happened to Assassin's Creed, lets see where this goes.
I see where you're coming from with this viewpoint and I do believe that t holds a lot of merit. CDPR are currently in a position where they have one of the most critically acclaimed games of this generation and are riding high on it. There's a lot of pressure on them to deliver the ultimate product with Cyberpunk, since the know that it s the most anticipated game of 2020.

When it comes to the story, that is open to interpretation. What I will say though is that the Witcher 3 has one of the best stories in an open world RPG game will maintaining a high level of quality for it's sidequests (arguably even better than the main quest).
What other game can tick all those boxes? The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are great open worlds, but have lackluster main stories. KOTOR and Mass Effect are story driven games (which was Bioware's strong suit in the past), but neither of them are set in an open world, though they do feature exploration. Even Ubisoft decided to turn Assassin's Creed into a full blown RPG following the success of the Witcher 3.

As a side note, I've not read any of the Witcher books, but from what I've heard the games doesn't contradict the established lore. I know that the author was offered royalties on the game prior to release which he turned down thinking it would be a failure.
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
21,830 posts, read 25,109,733 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Way Resident View Post
As a side note, I've not read any of the Witcher books, but from what I've heard the games doesn't contradict the established lore. I know that the author was offered royalties on the game prior to release which he turned down thinking it would be a failure.
He was just paid a lump sum up front and turned down the percentage. Later he got a case of the sour grapes and decided the rights were only for The Witcher (the first game) which is an odd position to take when The Witcher II came out in 2011 and he's off giving interviews saying how stupid he was to sell the rights upfront in the way he did in 2017.
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Old 07-08-2020, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Manchester NH
15,507 posts, read 6,427,175 times
Reputation: 4831
Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Way Resident View Post
I see where you're coming from with this viewpoint and I do believe that t holds a lot of merit. CDPR are currently in a position where they have one of the most critically acclaimed games of this generation and are riding high on it. There's a lot of pressure on them to deliver the ultimate product with Cyberpunk, since the know that it s the most anticipated game of 2020.

When it comes to the story, that is open to interpretation. What I will say though is that the Witcher 3 has one of the best stories in an open world RPG game will maintaining a high level of quality for it's sidequests (arguably even better than the main quest).
What other game can tick all those boxes? The Elder Scrolls and Fallout are great open worlds, but have lackluster main stories. KOTOR and Mass Effect are story driven games (which was Bioware's strong suit in the past), but neither of them are set in an open world, though they do feature exploration. Even Ubisoft decided to turn Assassin's Creed into a full blown RPG following the success of the Witcher 3.

As a side note, I've not read any of the Witcher books, but from what I've heard the games doesn't contradict the established lore. I know that the author was offered royalties on the game prior to release which he turned down thinking it would be a failure.
The Witcher 3 had great presentation for its side stories, but I don't think that amounted to enough for the game to be heralded as something remarkable or genre defining.

The world was set up to attract exploration through quest markers, which riddled the lands with monster nests and formulas to collect. Neither of which have story material.

The monster hunting quest themselves exist to make you feel like a professional monster hunter, but the dialogue is riddled with foe anatomy on the behaviors of one creature or another, it dilutes any message or plot the quest could potential communicate.

There are exceptions but this is what I found generally.

Now the normal side quests are another thing entirely. They are used to justify a moral dilemma, but they are not unique in of themselves. In Kotor 2 you would have a mission dedicated to making a choice by having you deal with an enslaved twi'lek dancer. Witcher disguises these choices by making a whole plot lead up to the final decision, but in many cases that inadvertently undermines everything else you did up to that point. When you are burning the corpses for the fire priest, the twist at the end while surprising is used to streamline the story to an option a and option b situation. If that was the case they should have presented the quest as such from the get go.

Much is made of the decisions in the game, but most of the time you only have two dialogue choices minus the investigation lines. Mass Effect 3 was rightly criticized for limiting options to only two, and the dialogue wheel from the first Mass Effect was considered a devolution of the original RPG system by limiting player responses to three, but the witcher some how avoids all such criticism.

Dragon Age 2 is a highly despised game, but the game actually had choices and consequences. It wasn't a good game but a faction you sides with in the first part will determine the enemies you face in the second. If you choose to invest in the mines in the first part will affect that storyline by the third act. There is a lot more but it was hidden throughout the game.

In Fallout decisions you make could destroy the monorail system and take away your fast travel system. That is a serious gameplay repercussion for your story choice.

In the Witcher the only decisions that usually matter affect how the story ends, not the world at large. If Keira Metz dies or runs away with Lambert she exits the game. Yes there are some notable changes like sending off the godling from the haunted house will mean she meets up with Johnny later on, but none of this is new or impressive and has been done better in other games.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a very old game on old hardware that had side content in each of its areas that interact with one another based off of what time of day it was and what dungeons/quests you had finished previously. And Elliptically speaking the stories told were far more impressive than anything in the Witcher 3.

Dark Souls, another Japanese game, had far better environmental story telling than all the copy and paste keeps and ruins littered throughout the witcher world.

But to finally answer your question about a game that gives as much quality to its side quest in such a scale I'll give you an obvious example: Skyrim.

I know the game has a poor reputation as a mess and a playground for modders. But just taking the base game, the world is filled with environmentally story telling that doesn't exist in the witcher. The side stories in the in-game books are leagues beyond what CD Projekt Red wrote.

It melds exploration with story telling; for example I spent a good deal of time scouring the world for all the volumes of the Palla book. Read that full story, it is on par with actual classic short stories, and it feels like part of the world. In the Witcher 3 books expand lore by telling you the history and giving you a long list of names and places, Skyrim shows you the history of the world with its stories.

Side quests have more entry points in the game as well. In the Witcher you talk to a person to hear about what is going on. Once the quest is finished all is left unsaid as if it never happened.

In Skyrim you can go to inns and here people whispering about a haunted tomb. Talk to optional people (without being prompted), read missing notes, and piece together a story about a tomb raider using potions to appear as a ghost to hunt down the missing claws.

Stories like that of the wolf queen are transported into real quests later on.

One time I was traveling to an inn and heard people say Tiber Septum once had a room here. Unprompted a slept there only to have his ghost visit me in the morning.

And these stories are more than an excuse to give you an option:A option:B binary choice, they connect themselves to other things you did to build a full comprehensive story. The forsworn conspiracy was a better story arc than anything in the witcher 3.

And the civil war was better than the crude Radovid and Emhyr war.

The thing is the latter had better presentation, voice acting, and visuals so it seemed more impressive.

I don't hate CD Projekt Red, but they are a relatively new developer who hasn't yet built their own world or characters.

Cyberpunk is their second game series which is taken from a licensed brand. They can improve and get better, but they haven't gone near the story telling talent of Obsidian entertainment, the level of polish of a game developer like Naughty Dog, or the experience of veterans like Bethesda or Bioware.

Poland is still growing its gaming industry and it doesn't yet have the skill or talent pool to compete with places like the US, Canada, Japan, etc.

But to argue that the witcher 3 made by a (relatively) new company some how revolutionized the industry and put every other game in history to shame is an insult to the years others have spent in this craft. Assassin's creed did copy them, but that is because both Assassin's Creed and the Witcher 3 had poor level design and world structure, using markers to drive exploration and plot progression.

I may be a little too harsh as there are still great story moments and the DLCs were a wide improvement, but they as a developer still have a ways to go.

They are not the new Rockstar. Rockstar spent years making open world sandbox games to get where they are. CD Projekt Red is ambitious, but they still have much to prove.

Last edited by Winterfall8324; 07-08-2020 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:18 PM
 
29,509 posts, read 22,627,074 times
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Good news, Cyberpunk 2077 is still scheduled to be released in November and no delays.

New Update on Cyberpunk 2077 Brings Lots of Great News

Quote:
During its latest earnings call, CD Projekt Red confirmed the game will not be getting delayed again. Normally, it wouldn't be worth putting a great deal of stock in this sentiment, but this was made in front of investors. In other words, CD Projekt Red is very confident this date will be hit. And you don't even need to take CD Projekt Red's word on this. After all, actions speak louder than words. Thankfully, there's some of this as well. It's also been revealed the game is preparing to enter certification.

That's not all though. CD Projekt Red has also confirmed it won't be following in the footsteps of some publishers and developers by charging $70 for the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Rather, just like on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, the game will cost $60.
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Old 09-10-2020, 12:16 AM
 
5,428 posts, read 3,492,366 times
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If it does get delayed again, it will most likely be by a week or two, which does happen from time to time.

In other news, I heard that Night Wire Episode 3 will be shown at the Tokyo Game Show.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:52 PM
 
29,509 posts, read 22,627,074 times
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They are really committed to meeting the November release date.

Cyberpunk 2077 dev breaks promise, will force employees to work six days a week

Quote:
Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has told employees that six-day workweeks will be mandatory ahead of the game’s November 19th release date, even though the studio has repeatedly and explicitly promised it would never do that, Bloomberg reports.

On two separate occasions in 2019, studio co-founder Marcin Iwiński told game journalist Jason Schreier how it would address crunch, once even saying that “we want to be more humane and treat people with respect.” It seemed pretty clear from excerpts like this that mandatory crunch was not going to be part of it!
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:13 AM
 
Location: Itinerant
8,278 posts, read 6,271,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
They are really committed to meeting the November release date.

Cyberpunk 2077 dev breaks promise, will force employees to work six days a week
Seems like a waste of time to me, the games launching into a congested time, UBI is dropping around 3 games in that period, Star Wars Squadrons literally just released, WoW Shadowlands, Destiny 2 Beyond Light, Godfall, Miles Morales, Demon Souls FIFA 21, Yakuza Like a Dragon, CoD Blops Cold War, release soon too there's the XSX and PS5 as well.

During this time period, they're choosing to go back on their word? For what, 5 days of additional productivity. Its pretty dumb, given a week slip isn't going to change a damn thing.
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Old 10-02-2020, 05:23 AM
 
29,509 posts, read 22,627,074 times
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Originally Posted by Gungnir View Post
Seems like a waste of time to me, the games launching into a congested time, UBI is dropping around 3 games in that period, Star Wars Squadrons literally just released, WoW Shadowlands, Destiny 2 Beyond Light, Godfall, Miles Morales, Demon Souls FIFA 21, Yakuza Like a Dragon, CoD Blops Cold War, release soon too there's the XSX and PS5 as well.

During this time period, they're choosing to go back on their word? For what, 5 days of additional productivity. Its pretty dumb, given a week slip isn't going to change a damn thing.
Yeah, it's a little under seven weeks until release date and I don't really see what difference it makes at this point unless the game is still having issues/bugs or something.

This game was announced way back in 2012 and started pre-production in 2016, so they've had plenty enough time to work on it.

I think it's human nature to stretch things to the very last second to get things done. At least that's how it is at my place of work where every project seems to be completed on the due date even though it could have been finished long before.
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