Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Review RPG Codex Review: Tyranny - You'd Think An Overlord Could Keep It Up

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Lady Error Arcane

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    Obsidian cannot get out of the blandness trap it seems. Do these people even like RPG's?
     
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  2. Kev Inkline Arcane

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    "Endure. In enduring grow strong."
     
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  3. Mikeal Literate

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    The biggest problem of "Tyranny" is "You're an Archont Harry Fatebinder plot. Archonts are centuries old creatures of immerse power, and we Archont of the Week are able to kick theier asses and even challenge the motherhumping Overlord. Whaaat? Why can't I stay Tunon dog, gain trust of GA and VoN and evidence of their stupidies, treason etc. and at the beginning of third act before the great trial use all the proofs to bribe and blackmail them for power and money and later screw them and give Tunnon all evidence to become his right hand and kill suckers with Bleden Mark. After this Tunon or BM could say "Boyo you have potential to become Archont, we will see who you become in few centuries".
     
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  4. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Prime Junta What are your thoughts on this review's criticism of Tyranny's post-Act 1 narrative, which doesn't seem to have negatively impressed you as much?
     
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  5. Prime Junta Arcane

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    It's fair criticism. I don't think we even disagree all that dramatically about it; it's just that I treated narrative branching and gameplay separately, whereas Tigranes discusses the way they integrate (or, as it the case here, don't):

    This is IMO the crux of the matter. The narrative itself is fine; it just doesn't mesh with the gameplay which is a tedious, repetitive, grindy, numbers-inflating slog.

    As to the plot, I'm not quite sure what Tigranes' problem with it is. Act 2's plot is defined by your interactions with the various factions. It's not particularly fascinating in its own right -- it is your standard power fantasy --, but the factions themselves were pretty interesting IMO, and the way you experience them does change dramatically depending on whether you're in, out, or opposed.
     
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  6. I'm With Her Tommy Wiseau for prison Arcane

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    At least it wasn't a Darth Suxxor review.
     
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  7. Politician Literate

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    Agree.
     
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  8. Lurker King Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    fixed.
     
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  9. Lurker King Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Of course they were dishonest! Or do you think it was just a magic coincidence that all the reactivity was present at the beginning of the game? This was specifically designed to assure good press from the journalists, which never finish the games they review, and the players, thus preventing them to ask for refunds.
     
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  10. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    The real question is how much they are aware the rest sucks in comparison.

    PoE's intro had multiple CYOA segments, the only ambush in the game, an enemy you could talk to, a puzzle inside the dungeon, etc... alongside Radric's Hold, it was the best area of the game and gave me high hopes, but the failure of the rest of the game to keep up made the later content even more disappointing.
     
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  11. Rev Learned

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    He's preparing for the official Codex review of Torment: Tides of Numenera. :obviously:
     
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  12. Make America Great Again ERYFKRAD Arcane Patron

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    Is this the edgelord review?
    'cause it's not edgy enough.
    Tigranes :bro:
     
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  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I wanted to make sure I leave some edges for a roxor review, out of respect for the edge Master.

    I don't think we wildly disagree, but I wouldn't say the narrative is "fine". What I was attempting to get at re. Witcher 2 is that Tyranny has a shit narrative which is then given strong levels of reactivity, giving rise to a weird situation where the game panders to Codex love of C&C better than many other, but it ends up being a pretty bad experience after Act 1. Even though the factions were reasonably interesting, and they interact with you in interestingly divergent ways depending on your choices, it sort of pales in the face of how everything you're doing in the wider scheme of things, and the fate of these factions across the plot, stop making sense.

    I had hoped for a story where you continue to exploit and be exploited by tensions across Tunon, Chorus and Disfavoured, and Kyros - and you get the perfect foil to do that in the game itself (!), when Tunon orders you to investigate the two quarreling factions and declare justice. If only the game then actually made good on that, and you go around trying to dig up dirt on both sides and get the story straight while both sides try to win your trust and get rid of you both. But no, you become Kyros II in about 2 weeks of walking around sticking your dick in ancient buildings and killing some doods.
     
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  14. Lurker King Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    The same thing happened with W2. I think it is safe to say that we found a pattern here: the so called 'honeymoon phase' on shitty cRPGs are consciously designed to fool people’s expectations. :eek: The beginning of T:ToN is perceived as shit by some people here. The rest must be horrible then. :)
     
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  15. Tyrion8338 Literate

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    I`ve spend alot of hours in this game and I must agree that act 1 was very promising but later it isnt as good. Still Archons lore is quite intresting, companion stories found thru conversation are good too and keept me intresed. Combat is rather boring tbh but you can control speed of it so it isnt really that anoying.
     
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  16. Kev Inkline Arcane

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    There isn't a thing out there that isn't perceived as shit by at least some people here.
     
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  17. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Kind of infair blaming a game for having most of its reactivity at the beginning when the whole point of the "Conquest" boardgame setup at the start is largely set on that. If you play nice with the Chorus in Conquest but later on you decided to turn on everybody that is reacting to your start of the game decisions but allowing you to say "fuck all" and make up your mind by the end of chapter 1. That pretty much sets up how the rest of the game will play out and it fits the style and yeah budget of the game.
    Yeah it would have been nice to have "more" reactions to your actions in the grand scheme of things after that, but you do get that freedom on low level stuff, you can kill companions befor they even join you, you get to fight back enemies you might have spared prior (like the vanguard commander I spared and then she came back for another round) stuff like that
    As a matter of fact, that is a pretty good example, I acted with respect towards the natives during Conquest and some acted respectfully towards my char because of this... I ended up acting like an asshole and aggravating everybody only to learn latter that I could have sided with those guys against Kyros' army in Chapter 1.
    Dont know many games that would allow you to choose that sort of thing and even if it was purely a cosmetic change of fighting purple guys instead of red guys it at least gave me the option to feel that it was my choice with whom to side with
    To be honest the game is not great, maybe not even above good but calling it shit is unfair and I daresay that it is better than Pillars
     
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  18. Bester Arcane Vatnik

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    I didn't even like the first part that receives such praise here. It was horrible.

    Not a single character follows any kind of logic. Everyone acts like edgy, angsty, emo 16 year old chicks. Everyone tries to be "not like those other girls". My guess is that it was written by such chicks from obshitian.
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I thought you were going to tell me how Tyranny was coded badly and they should have listened to you about POE, Bester

    It's not necessarily that Act 1 is great and the rest is utter, unmitigated shit, which is why it makes it a very odd game. Act 1 is promising while itself being decent (though I accept you'd call that flattering, as well). Puffed up hyperboles as the Chorus and the Disfavoured are, the basic situation of two increasingly distrustful allies + you as lawgiving arbitrator is a great setup for an RPG. And the rest offers pretty good reactivity, some of which Invictus describes above - but it just isn't fun to go through the C&C when the overarching story goes to shit and the gameplay (= almost entirely combat) gets even shitter as well. Another way to put it is that Tyranny never actually hits the heights - but it makes you think that it could lead to somewhere pretty cool, before going somewhere very, very dumb.

    In contrast, Gothic 1/2 are brilliant for most of the game, and the reactivity they offer translate directly into fun and exciting things to do during the game which also fits in well with the superior combat mechanics and so on - such that we can forgive them more easily, or at least compartmentalise, when their late-game turns into linear boring hackfests.
     
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  20. Mortmal Arcane

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    I bought the game cause piracy leads to MMORPG , console games, enforced credit card registrations and ultimately phone games.However that game wasnt really worth supporting, tigranes is spot on . I could be a lot more negative than him, the "evil" setting could very well fit in a teenager fan fiction.Even a mediocre novelist do 10 x better than this. Its so tame predictable and most good ideas are blatantly stolen from the black company novels. Yet its nowhere near as good , dark and gritty than glen cook books
    And the ending! the ending!!! its like if they were half done with the game, but no more time , we cut the story there add some panels then print the DVD asap .
    No real hate for the game but meh quite a let down ...
     
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  21. Make America Great Again Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    You get ambushed by spirits in the lighthouse in Defiance Bay.
     
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  22. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Genuine question: do AAA (or Obsidian style 'AA') studios have dedicated sub-editors?

    Because I suspect that most game writers, even the better ones, have my problem, where I can write publishable material in terms of 'Idea A + Idea B + Idea C --> subconclusion A...etc' , but I'm utterly shite at, well, writing. In my case, I rely heavily on sub-editors to take apart the walls of text (ok, the stuff I submit isn't quite as awful as my walls of text on the codex, but it's still far from fucking readable) and translate the ideas and chapter/argument structure into something that won't end with the readers doing this:
    .
    (probably deserves spoiler tags for horrific images, but fuck it, the poorly paid folk sub-editing my crap don't get that privilege, so why should you:))
    Show Spoiler
    It's just not the way my head works - at school I was always the physics/maths kid, topped the state in literature too, but even that's analytical not creative. So when I write anything, I always do it in terms of logic equations first. That's one piece of writing advice I can give - you can get other people to fix your writing, but always start by getting the logic right, or you could be wasting a year of your life. You don't need to learn the formal logic symbols, so long as you're familiar with the rules themselves (e.g. if A --> B is true, then 'not B' --> 'not A' is also true, but it doesn't mean that B --> A). Eg, you're doing a book with 5 independent essay/arguments and another 5 chapters looking at the implications of those arguments, leading to the ultimate conclusion 'C', map it out like:

    P1 (conclusion from chapter 1)
    P2 (conclusion from ch 2)
    .
    .
    .
    P5 (conclusion from ch 5)
    P6 (from P1 & P2)
    P7 (from P3 & P4)
    P8 (from P6 &P5)
    P9 (from P7 & P5)
    P10 (from P8 & P9)
    C (from P9 & P10).

    Each of the individual chapters should also have a similar logic equation to show how you're getting to P1, P2 etc.

    Aside from making the sub-editor hate you marginally less, it also forces you to (a) check whether any of the premises (hence chapters, or sections if it's an essay) can be ditched entirely without losing anything, in which case they should be removed as they're just obscuring your argument, and (b) to be honest with yourself about whether your argument is really proving anything, or whether you've given a series of correlating examples/anecdotes.

    Anyway, my point is that most non-fiction writing jobs involve a skill-set other than being a good writer, and they're going to need help translating logic chains into something readable, or their argument will end up buried under a 500 page wall of text.


    I know there was a trend towards game developers hiring specialist 'creative writing'/humanities grads, but that doesn't seem to have worked out. They're people with no love or experience of interactive gaming, even in a 'interactivity as art' sense, and no idea how to write outside the linear 'cinematic gaming' crap. The best game writers have always been designers/developers who happen to have a side-talent for writing and creativity, because they understand it's an interactive medium, and that good film/book writing is terrible rail-roading when applied to games.

    But that's exactly the kind of situation where they need a bunch of sub-editors to look over every inch of dialogue and in-game text. The designers should still have the ultimate authority over what goes in, but no sane designer is going to complain about having someone pick through their writing with the express aim of making them look good. They wouldn't be losing control over their ideas, but simply getting techincal assistance with implementation of those ideas.

    Plus, it's not like sub-editors are expensive. I'm pretty sure if Fargo knocked on the door of his nearest newspaper/publishing house, and strolled slowly over to the Obsidian office while throwing a 2 cent coin over his shoulder every couple of metres, and maybe a pack of cigarettes and a plastic whine flask at the major intersections, by the time he reaches the office he'll look over his shoulder and see an army of poorly fed sub-editors celebrating their biggest payday in years.
     
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  23. Morality Games Arcane Patron

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  24. MrBuzzKill Savant

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    Can't agree more. Fucking HATE people who get into the game industry but don't play or even care for games.
     
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  25. MurkyShadow Glittering gem of hatred Patron

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    On the note of not even having the motivation to 'borrow' Tyranny, just recently got a call from a friend,
    if I ever heard of the game Fallout, and what a great rpg it is. This ended in scraping the essential mods
    together, explaining how to install them, to someone who doesn't how the find folders on his hd.
    I'd never put up with this, if it were for anything else. Following was an introduction to Planescape
    Torment, which he didn't know also. Now I'm getting constant messages of excitement.
    Imagining experiencing Fallout and Planescape for the first time again... And then, after all
    will be done, there will come messages of excitement, about Pillars and Tyranny, from which
    he already heard, from 'the original folks behind the classics'. I will be there, when the tears come.
     
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