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“I don’t think I like Prestige Games”

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Travaughn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,232
I regret clicking that bullshit. You like what you like yea, but to say Western games are soulless and only Japanese games have artistic merit and value is a idiotic view to have and position to defend. Enjoy games and move on if you don't. Games can't please everyone, so there's no sense in trying to convince others you're smart or a game is bad because you can predict plot points or don't like the game itself.
 

sph3re

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
4,716
I regret clicking that bullshit. You like what you like yea, but to say Western games are soulless and only Japanese games have artistic merit and value is a idiotic view to have and position to defend. Enjoy games and move on if you don't. Games can't please everyone, so there's no sense in trying to convince others you're smart or a game is bad because you can predict plot points or don't like the game itself.
It's a good thing he didn't make that point, then
 

Acido

Member
Oct 31, 2017
777
I've been saying this for the longest but they expressed it better. I agree 100%. And it's more obvious come awards season when the industry doesn't really ask what games were the best, but what games can non-gamers recognize as something worthy of trying. The most obvious choice being "cinematic experiences"
 

Pixieking

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,456
Where is the name calling? I just asked if you were a libertarian and if you were offended.
*sigh*

Are you some libertarian
I find offensive. Go check my post history in USPoliEra and you'll find me a liberal.

who is butthurt by people seeing Ayn Rands philosophy for the ugly dreck that it is?
Implicitly questions if I'm arguing in bad faith. No, I'm not arguing in bad faith, and it's insulting to me for you to ask this, when you could have just not posted that sentence and I would have happily continued a back-and-forth debating my views.

Whatevs, though. Bye bye.
 

gundamkyoukai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,423
I've been saying this for the longest but they expressed it better. I agree 100%. And it's more obvious come awards season when the industry doesn't really ask what games were the best, but what games can non-gamers recognize as something worthy of trying. The most obvious choice being "cinematic experiences"
Maybe to a lot of people these games were the best .
This not even a industry thing since many of the GOTY awards are fan base and line up with some reviewers .
 
Oct 27, 2017
910
So let me get this straight. According to the author, the true reason I like TLoU is because I want to look intelligent and artsy, not because I actually value what the developers accomplished with the game, because, according the author, the game can’t have value because it was predictable.

This author is the one who is trying to look artsy and intellectual by writing this. People enjoy things you don’t, get over it.
 

ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,777
Went through like 3/4 of the way, but couldn't finish. I thought it was an incredibly poorly argued article, just rhetorically abysmal. Furthermore the author ends up looking hypocritical by acting just as pretentious as the people they are rallying against. Shame because there are aspects of the general premise that I agreed with.
 

Travaughn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,232
It's a good thing he didn't make that point, then
Well a friend of theirs did and although they did not agree with that assertion at the time, the usage of did, indicating past tense, and language used towards the end of that very paragraph to communicate the passage of time and new beliefs, give that impression. Also, a number of titles critiqued in there are acclaimed games upheld as feats of western game design. So, I think the interpretation/impression I arrived at isn't so far fetched. It reads like the author eventually came around to what their friend stated. However, unlike their friend, they understand that not all western games are shit-- just some, while there are some masterpieces too.
 

Melchiah

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,793
Helsinki, Finland
If you've followed the author since NeoGAF days, he's incredibly biased. Take that into consideration.
Certainly seems so...

A long time ago, I heard that Phil Harrison, who now runs Google’s Stadia, but used to run Sony’s department, made the demand that for the PlayStation 3, Sony’s studios needed to make ‘realistic’ looking games, in order to show off the ‘power’ of the cell processor (which was actually not as powerful as people thought; the ps3 wasn’t even as powerful as its competitor, the Xbox 360, even though Sony tried very hard to convince people that it was far more capable).
...and for some reason, he doesn't seem to find such flaws in games that aren't made by Sony's studios.
EDIT: Forgot the part, where he criticized Bioshock.

Seemingly, the article's intention is to put The Last of Us against Gears of War 5, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was triggered by the latter's Metacritic score not reaching the former's.

Here's his take on both.

I found myself uncannily predicting what would happen next. See this guy? He’s probably a cannibal. See this part of the map? I bet we fight people here. That guy? He’s gonna die. He’s definitely gonna die.

....

The reason I could predict everything that happened in The Last of Us was because it had already happened elsewhere, most notably in the movie The Road. Nothing I saw in The Last of Us surprised me, because everything in The Last of Us was carefully derived from somewhere else.
My buddy Cory and I finished Gears 5 this morning.

We sat there in stunned silence. I wanted to cry because of something the story absolutely earned. I was thrilled and gobsmacked and heartbroken and so much more. It is the best game I played this year. Cory, as we recovered, kept describing it as ‘lean.’ There was nothing unnecessary in the game. If it was there, it’s because it had to be there.

Gears 5’s design was so thoughtful, so aware of what it was doing and how to accomplish that. It’s a thoroughbred of a game, a brilliant thing, a truly special game. It felt like playing an AAA game for the first time, seeing what that was truly like.
It's kinda amusing, that what he said about Gears 5 is exactly what people have said about TLOU. He fails to realize, that the story isn't the most crucial part why people love the game, but the characterization, the relationship between the characters and how it changes along the way, the environmental storytelling, and the fitting soundtrack. They're all parts of storytelling, and what makes the game so special.

It would be interesting to know if everything truly came as a surprise to him in Gears 5, including where fights would occur, or if he just didn't look at it through the same lens.

On top of that, like most TLOU critics, he completely "forgets" the multiplayer side of TLOU, which wouldn't have been as popular as it was if the actual gameplay had been as awful as some people like to think.
 
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tutomos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
672
I've been saying this for the longest but they expressed it better. I agree 100%. And it's more obvious come awards season when the industry doesn't really ask what games were the best, but what games can non-gamers recognize as something worthy of trying. The most obvious choice being "cinematic experiences"
This is obviously not true. If I didn't look at the GOTY list from other people in the industry or this forum I'd never know that games like Intro the Breach or Florence exist. Even the largest gaming website in terms of traffic had Return of the Obra Dinn in their best game of the year list, so I'm not so sure why people would feel that the fans and the industry only care about cinematic experiences?
 

Bundy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,569
I've been saying this for the longest but they expressed it better. I agree 100%. And it's more obvious come awards season when the industry doesn't really ask what games were the best, but what games can non-gamers recognize as something worthy of trying. The most obvious choice being "cinematic experiences"
In the end, the best games win. It's just that you have a different taste in games.
 

John Bender

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,367
Didn't Uncharted 2 launch with controls so bad they had to be patched, for instance?
No
the guy who led Uncharted 4's gameplay design was actually a former Infinity Ward guy, haha
Minkoff was the person behind mw2's snow level, I was told
No. The 'guy' is called Jacob Minkoff and he worked for Naughty Dog first and then went to Infinity Ward.

I see you know a lot about the games you shit on in your blog post.
 

Sande

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,321
It's kinda amusing, that what he said about Gears 5 is exactly what people have said about TLOU. He fails to realize, that the story isn't the most crucial part why people love the game, but the characterization, the relationship between the characters and how it changes along the way, the environmental storytelling, and the fitting soundtrack. They're all parts of storytelling, and what makes the game so special.

It would be interesting to know if everything truly came as a surprise to him in Gears 5, including where fights would occur, or if he just didn't look at it through the same lens.
Yup. There's such a thing as "playing in bad faith". If you go into it looking to tear it apart and criticize every detail, you're not going to have a good time. Well, a good time feeling superior and sophisticated maybe.

Not saying Doc necessarily did this, but it would go a looong way to explain the discrepancies and his nuclear takes.
 

nib95

Member
Oct 28, 2017
10,991
I mean it's DocSeuss, a person who has a reputation for particular bias and the promotion of certain related falsehoods, but I'd rather not get into all that.

What I'd say about his writing and this article is that it is too often riddled with vague descriptions and contradictory analysis or assessment, presumably in order for him to justify a confirmation bias inclined narrative, or make himself feel better (or more superior) about having such outlier taste. And I don't mean bias specifically against Sony games, but often times critically acclaimed (key words critically acclaimed) titles in general, more so ones that aren't exclusive to Microsoft.

Ordinarily I wouldn't ponder on someone who was consistent in their dislike for big AAA or cinematic games, the issue is Doc isn't consistent on that front. At all. In fact he's often contradictory.

He does also clearly have some sort of a particular hang up against Sony, evident in his laughable aside rant in the article against the PS3 and its level of power, the snipe to Sony's artistic integrity relating to the unrelated Emoji movie, what seems like recurring resentment towards Sony exclusives critical acclaim and/or successful marketing, and his past articles and ramblings even going so far as to calling the PS4 a "basic bitch console" lol.

- Gears and Halo are Prestige titles.

The most obvious contradiction in the article however is the fact that Gears and Halo, which naturally he loves, are both clearly "prestige games". They are expensive blockbuster heavily marketed cinematic narrative heavy games.

Hell, Gears is arguably more Michael Bay esque (eg dumb, military glorifying, action focused testesterone fests) than Uncharted, a comparison he loves to levy towards Uncharted no doubt to demean the latter and presumably its fans and audience, missing the irony altogether, which is that the 4-5 games he has listed in his ultimate S class tier of games (all Halo's and Gears), all fit the Michael Bay comparison just as, if not more apltly.

- Incoherent summaries and irony.

He also states, and I quote; "It’s hard to define a prestige game, but I guess what I’d say is that a prestige game, like Red Dead Redemption or The Last of Us or Uncharted 2 or Max Payne 3, is a soulless game, one that just seems to go through the motions, imitating other, better games and pretending it can hang with the best of them."

Let's ignore the fact that this entire paragraph is laughably vague, and that "soulless" is one of the laziest, most useless and poor ways to summarise or critique a game, since it is literally unquantifiable, and let's look instead at the point he's stated regarding these games imitating other better games.

An irony here is that the Gears 5 developers (a game that he loves) are literally on record as having taken major influence from God of War, and there's clearly influence from Uncharted 4 too. The open ended Skiff segments are also very remniscant of the Madagascar and Island vehicle segments from UC4, an otherwise linear game like Gears used to strictly be, and now they've added in RPG light and stealth light too, and I'd argue even more exposition and narrative/character emphasis as well, including sad dad elements that he loves to decry.

In other words, the game he loves has taken cues from the very critically acclaimed games he dislikes or often criticises (games the devs themselves heap praise towards), something he's ironically lambasting these other games for doing lol.

- What makes a good narrative, and double standards.

But I think this speaks to the double standard and approach differences I find Doc often has when it comes to critiquing certain critically acclaimed games, almost as if he'll play some titles knowing how positively they've been recieved, and then try to purposely find ways to discredit their achievements, something he won't necessarily do to the same critical extent for other titles.

For example, we know TLOU was widely lauded for its narrative, and it just so happens that he's being especially nitpicky and critical of TLOU's narrative elements.

Forget that the quality of a narrative isn't actually just about the story or whether it's innovative (if it were, The Godfather and countless other amazing cinematic and literary works would be considered derivative and unworthy of acclaim), rather that the execution, characters, relationships, quality of dialogue, writing, emotional impact, way scenes play out etc are equally if not far more important.

His reductive summary of why UC2's story is bad, sort of highlights how skewed his understanding of narrative actually can be. Forgot all the interesting dialogue, characters, events etc that unfold in UC2, for him it can simply be reduced down to "the bad guy just wanted power!". As if that couldn't be assigned to the overwhelming majority of similar media, including the very games he loves.

And look to his complaints about TLOU, which are that its story is too predictable or unoriginal, that he can tell when a certain part of the map is going to feature a gunfight, and which characters are likely to die, and then notice how none of these issues or complaints are levied at the Microsoft titles, or specifically Gears 5, which he and I both love, but that literally has all these same exact issues.

Eg, it has a largely unoriginal and predictable story that heavily borrows from other ideas, it has levels that are littered with ammo etc signalling combat will take place there in a much more obvious way than even TLOU, and it has characters that are arguably even more predictable and/or bland, or less well written, but for reasons unknown, with Gears and Halo, these aren't similarly noteworthy complaints. There's a double standard, and it isn't even like Gears 5 isn't trying to be as serious or focused with its story or characters.

Likewise, God of War was lauded for many things (predominantly its gameplay and narrative), one of them being its one take camera and how effectively it was implemented, and he's seemingly committed to looking for ways to discredit that too. I remember him stating HL2 did it years ago, but when I highlighted how HL2 clearly had loading pauses throughout the game, something God of War doesn't have, he didn't appear to care. That didn't fit into his favoured narrative that this feature was holy unoriginal and/or unworthy of its praise, and that people only cared for it because they were brainwashed to.

And how about God of Wars innovative and satisfying axe and all its related fundamental gameplay elements that have been widely acclaimed? His feigned praise concluded by referring to it as just a "gimmick" lol.

- Vague and inconsistent notions of what constites as good gameplay or design.

Which brings me on to the confusing and often contradictory stance on what to him even qualifies as great, diverse, shallow or mediocre gameplay (especially amusing when games like Crackdown 3 are the ones getting praised).

He's commended Gears for having diverse gameplay and combat engagement design compared to say Uncharted, because you can on occasion shoot things down for pseudo cover, or because you have a chainsaw (rather weak examples to justify such praise, but that's besides the point). But here's the thing, whilst Gears features satisfying shooting, it still plays as a predominantly typical stop, pop and shoot cover shooter. A gallery shooter so to speak.

Newer Uncharted titles conversely feature much more expansive and layered arena designs, with far more verticality, approach options, obscure cover and pathways, not to mention much more emphasis on dynamic mobility (climbing, shimmying, jumping, swinging etc) along with stealth and contextual melee etc too.

The arenas in the Uncharted games (bar UC1, which he ironically enjoyed more) are essentially more of a sandbox in which greater player freedom is afforded, predominantly due to the increased traversal and mobility options. Why does none of that constitute as diversity or competency in engagement or combat design?

If you want an idea of how these titles diversify or expand their combat arenas or design, simply compare the train level from UC2 to the train level in Gears, or just about any other shooter.


In any case, I could go on and on, but the article ultimately speaks for itself, and based on many of the responses, I think many agree that this is a rather poorly written and articulated piece, and on a more personal takeaway, also Doc's questionable and ultimately outlier or bad taste, and often perplexing, one sided or contradictory understanding and/or critique of game design.



Going through and really disagree.

Nearly every story at this point is derived or inspired by elsewhere by now. This isn't just strictly games but nearly every medium out there. There's complete over saturation that at some point, the plot will hit the same story beats found elsewhere but at a slight different concept. What makes the stories now is purely execution. Predicting the outcome does not make it a poor story, It's whether the game is able to sell the moments in which it was earned and it's a huge reason why I think spoiler culture is terrible in that people put way too much emphasis on not being spoiled on the large plot points rather than focus on the smaller moments in general and how well everything is put together.

So now the article goes on to this particular part with whether moments are earned or not with
But it doesn't even explain how it fails to do this in anyway just being a surface level comment which happens frequently throughout. What parts did the story copy from another medium and why did it work in the previously in which the developers failed this time around and how it could have been done instead. Article does none of this with just cheap shots at the particular games without explaining further.

The whole Jock/Nerd talk that follows straight after seriously reads like a persecution complex and hypocrisy. In making one huge assumption that people haven't explored every other game, film or TV show enough for that matter.


Playstation itself was a system that lent itself huge amount of audiences of both varieties that labeling a few stylized games does not mean it was centered around kids. It's one of the reasons why it was such a popular system at the time. The best selling games on PS1 included Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider, Tekken, MGS. PS1 also had other games like Syphon Filter, Twisted Metal, Silent Hill, Resident Evil etc. PS2 went even more heavy in this regard. It's the point that Playstation themselves didn't suddenly out of nowhere wanted to attract an audience that was interested in realistic games when they already had a system that already did that and was expanding in this part for a long while. I mean, really, Best PS2 selling games include GTA, MGS, Tekken God of War etc. That's what defined the system so PS3 was a natural progression of PS2 focusing on more realistic games when that is what was drawing people to their system.


I'm just quoting this particular segment but it's a discussion of Uncharted series in which UC2 is described as a mistake. Very telling that UC1 is clearly the weakest of the series as a whole in which that the encounter designs are generally way to repetitive, there's not enough good pacing and unique local and settings to keep player interest going. In that regard, UC2 wasn't a mistake when it heavily radically improved on the original in huge way. Encounters drastically improved, set pieces were much more interesting to react. Camera Control or even slight restriction does not mean total control is taken away from a game. It's a massive fallacy people have when it comes to video games. Plenty of games out there ranging from different genres have different fixed perspectives and fixed perspectives have their own uses whether it's for gameplay or story. UC get's criticized for this a lot but there are plenty of these moments which at least gives players control particular during setpieces which a lot of games do as a quick time event or cutscene. There's a noticeable progression with each game where Naughty Dog themselves have strive towards in giving players more control during any form of action sequences. I watched a GDC talk from ND about 1-2 months ago which was talking specifically about Lost Legacy in regards to the Elephant ride which happens. They go to great lengths to designing such a level and explore various different levels of controls to give to the player and it's a balancing act between believability, design and story. You may wish to the game to feel "gamey and retain control over everything at all time which is something developers clearly explore but not everyone feels the same way and appreciates carefully thought out moments and would take slight restriction over a particular moment if it meant overall better experience. Like, even if you weren't particularly restricted, how would those moments be enhanced with the control except take the players views away from the particular moment of what is happening? It just doesn't make sense in the same reason why even the best games described still have cut-scenes which take complete control away because it requires players to be fixated on a particular moment and point in time.

I'm not even going to discuss further about the story except it's clearly a pulpy action adventure type game that clearly doesn't take itself seriously in the same way that Indiana Jones has the most ridiculous premises which was clearly the inspiration and that's even more grounded and takes itself even more seriously in a lot of ways and that goes for a massive amounts of action films which have insane scenarios and people have to use the suspension of disbelief otherwise you would never get through any of them. Not sure that's a dock against it being a good action game.


Most of the developers who initially made these games likely never knew they would eventually went on to make critically acclaimed games because there's no set definition of what a prestige game is and the article itself can't even explain this either. Author forcing their own subjective views of the quality of the games and then trying to assume that that's the kind of view the company has at large is the worst kind of premise or take one can have.

And then there's this kind of garbage comment.

I mean really?



Studio accusations of sexual harassment and assault and crunch are terrible, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the premise of the article itself more than it is about making cheap negative points to add on to and it's disgusting the way actual working condition problems are framed in this particular way.

Just reading through the rest of the article itself is just so damn stupid. In fact, the praise in Gears 5 in the article is fucking weird in relation to the story given how predictable the plot beats are that it beats the players over the head for 8 hours that it criticizes other games for.

Just other quotes I'm picking out on


Gears has one of the most satisfying TPS mechanics but it's not the only game with subtle mechanics and details and neither is it perfect either (I'd say melee could use more work). There's a huge amount of details that goes into the the gameplay mechanics that players likely aren't even aware of until it's mentioned that makes up the experience people take for granted example, Particular games where you use melee hit after certain health fluidly transitions using animation if hitting the right button after which sets up execution head shot kills which makes for satisfying game-play which does two things, gives players close shot of the enemy face and the feedback while also knowing 100% kill happens. There's plenty of others which make up for the experience.

I'm not even sure how this could even be claimed.

However, this quote is probably my most despised word I've come across plenty of times.


About the most worthless kind of critique one can make of a game. I'm not even sure how anyone can even agree with much of the points of what was said in it.

Yeah. Goes to great lengths to accuse others of doing this and then goes around and doing the exact same thing spending so much time trying to convince why one set of games is awful while the other is great.
Great post. Agree with a lot of what is said here.
 
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Melchiah

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,793
Helsinki, Finland
Yup. There's such a thing as "playing in bad faith". If you go into it looking to tear it apart and criticize every detail, you're not going to have a good time. Well, a good time feeling superior and sophisticated maybe.

Not saying Doc necessarily did this, but it would go a looong way to explain the discrepancies and his nuclear takes.
The referrals to friends and stream watchers, which he uses to support his stance, also paint a picture of an echo chamber. Naturally, there'll be confirmation bias, if his content attracts people who hold similar beliefs. It's they vs. everyone else, connoiseurs vs. philistines. And it's pretty clear, that the writer doesn't give much worth for views that oppose his own.


I mean it's DocSeuss, a person who has a reputation for particular bias and the promotion of certain related falsehoods, but I'd rather not get into all that.

What I'd say about his writing and this article is that it is too often riddled with vague descriptions and contradictory analysis or assessment, presumably in order for him to justify a confirmation bias inclined narrative, or make himself feel better (or more superior) about having such outlier taste. And I don't mean bias specifically against Sony games, but often times critically acclaimed (key words critically acclaimed) titles in general, more so ones that aren't exclusive to Microsoft.

Ordinarily I wouldn't ponder on someone who was consistent in their dislike for big AAA or cinematic games, the issue is Doc isn't consistent on that front. At all. In fact he's often contradictory.

He does also clearly have some sort of a particular hang up against Sony, evident in his laughable aside rant in the article against the PS3 and its level of power, the snipe to Sony's artistic integrity relating to the unrelated Emoji movie, what seems like recurring resentment towards Sony exclusives critical acclaim and/or successful marketing, and his past articles and ramblings even going so far as to calling the PS4 a "basic bitch console" lol.

- Gears and Halo are Prestige titles.

The most obvious contradiction in the article however is the fact that Gears and Halo, which naturally he loves, are both clearly "prestige games". They are expensive blockbuster heavily marketed cinematic narrative heavy games.

Hell, Gears is arguably more Michael Bay esque (eg dumb, military glorifying, action focused testesterone fests) than Uncharted, a comparison he loves to levy towards Uncharted no doubt to demean the latter and presumably its fans and audience, missing the irony altogether, which is that the 4-5 games he has listed in his ultimate S class tier of games (all Halo's and Gears), all fit the Michael Bay comparison just as, if not more apltly.

- Incoherent summaries and irony.

He also states, and I quote; "It’s hard to define a prestige game, but I guess what I’d say is that a prestige game, like Red Dead Redemption or The Last of Us or Uncharted 2 or Max Payne 3, is a soulless game, one that just seems to go through the motions, imitating other, better games and pretending it can hang with the best of them."

Let's ignore the fact that this entire paragraph is laughably vague, and that "soulless" is one of the laziest, most useless and poor ways to summarise or critique a game, since it is literally unquantifiable, and let's look instead at the point he's stated regarding these games imitating other better games.

An irony here is that the Gears 5 developers (a game that he loves) are literally on record as having taken major influence from God of War, and there's clearly influence from Uncharted 4 too. The open ended Skiff segments are also very remniscant of the Madagascar and Island vehicle segments from UC4, an otherwise linear game like Gears used to strictly be, and now they've added in RPG light and stealth light too, and I'd argue even more exposition and narrative/character emphasis as well, including sad dad elements that he loves to decry.

In other words, the game he loves has taken cues from the very critically acclaimed games he dislikes or often criticises (games the devs themselves heap praise towards), something he's ironically lambasting these other games for doing lol.

- What makes a good narrative, and double standards.

But I think this speaks to the double standard and approach differences I find Doc often has when it comes to critiquing certain critically acclaimed games, almost as if he'll play some titles knowing how positively they've been recieved, and then try to purposely find ways to discredit their achievements, something he won't necessarily do to the same critical extent for other titles.

For example, we know TLOU was widely lauded for its narrative, and it just so happens that he's being especially nitpicky and critical of TLOU's narrative elements.

Forget that the quality of a narrative isn't actually just about the story or whether it's innovative (if it were, The Godfather and countless other amazing cinematic and literary works would be considered derivative and unworthy of acclaim), rather that the execution, characters, relationships, quality of dialogue, writing, emotional impact, way scenes play out etc are equally if not far more important.

His reductive summary of why UC2's story is bad, sort of highlights how skewed his understanding of narrative actually can be. Forgot all the interesting dialogue, characters, events etc that unfold in UC2, for him it can simply be reduced down to "the bad guy just wanted power!". As if that couldn't be assigned to the overwhelming majority of similar media, including the very games he loves.

And look to his complaints about TLOU, which are that its story is too predictable or unoriginal, that he can tell when a certain part of the map is going to feature a gunfight, and which characters are likely to die, and then notice how none of these issues or complaints are levied at the Microsoft titles, or specifically Gears 5, which he and I both love, but that literally has all these same exact issues.

Eg, it has a largely unoriginal and predictable story that heavily borrows from other ideas, it has levels that are littered with ammo etc signalling combat will take place there in a much more obvious way than even TLOU, and it has characters that are arguably even more predictable and/or bland, or less well written, but for reasons unknown, with Gears and Halo, these aren't similarly noteworthy complaints. There's a double standard, and it isn't even like Gears 5 isn't trying to be as serious or focused with its story or characters.

Likewise, God of War was lauded for many things (predominantly its gameplay and narrative), one of them being its one take camera and how effectively it was implemented, and he's seemingly committed to looking for ways to discredit that too. I remember him stating HL2 did it years ago, but when I highlighted how HL2 clearly had loading pauses throughout the game, something God of War doesn't have, he didn't appear to care. That didn't fit into his favoured narrative that this feature was holy unoriginal and/or unworthy of its praise, and that people only cared for it because they were brainwashed to.

And how about God of Wars innovative and satisfying axe and all its related fundamental gameplay elements that have been widely acclaimed? His feigned praise concluded by referring to it as just a "gimmick" lol.

- Vague and inconsistent notions of what constites as good gameplay or design.

Which brings me on to the confusing and often contradictory stance on what to him even qualifies as great, diverse, shallow or mediocre gameplay (especially amusing when games like Crackdown 3 are the ones getting praised).

He's commended Gears for having diverse gameplay and combat engagement design compared to say Uncharted, because you can on occasion shoot things down for pseudo cover, or because you have a chainsaw (rather weak examples to justify such praise, but that's besides the point). But here's the thing, whilst Gears features satisfying shooting, it still plays as a predominantly typical stop, pop and shoot cover shooter. A gallery shooter so to speak.

Newer Uncharted titles conversely feature much more expansive and layered arena designs, with far more verticality, approach options, obscure cover and pathways, not to mention much more emphasis on dynamic mobility (climbing, shimmying, jumping, swinging etc) along with stealth and contextual melee etc too.

The arenas in the Uncharted games (bar UC1, which he ironically enjoyed more) are essentially more of a sandbox in which greater player freedom is afforded, predominantly due to the increased traversal and mobility options. Why does none of that constitute as diversity or competency in engagement or combat design?

If you want an idea of how these titles diversify or expand their combat arenas or design, simply compare the train level from UC2 to the train level in Gears, or just about any other shooter.


In any case, I could go on and on, but the article ultimately speaks for itself, and based on many of the responses, I think many agree that this is a rather poorly written and articulated piece, and on a more personal takeaway, also Doc's questionable and ultimately outlier or bad taste, and often perplexing, one sided or contradictory understanding and/or critique of game design.
Very good post.

The irony is, that someone who holds such an obvious notion of intellectual superiority, is actually so oblivious to his own intellectual dishonesty.
 

hanmik

Editor/Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
936
DocSeuss how did you play Gears 5? did you stream it with friends watching (you mentioned a guy named Cory)..? or predominantly just by yourself?
 

adinsx

Member
Oct 30, 2017
149
A big big big big rant of text saying that games copy each other and there's no originality.
Putting some very good games on the table to try to prove a point.

Isn't zelda, mario, final fantasy (hey japanese!) lacking originality nowadays and they are still considered good games?
I don't think there is such a difference between western and japanese games, it's based on their culture, if you are japanese maybe you would think japanese games are just like their movies and copy each other.
 

DocSeuss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,690
He joined IW in 2014, 5 years after MW2 released, 2 years before Uncharted 4 (probably left before U4 development was rebooted I'd guess).
Yeah, it looks like I'm thinking about someone else.

DocSeuss how did you play Gears 5? did you stream it with friends watching (you mentioned a guy named Cory)..? or predominantly just by yourself?
2 and 3 player co-op, no streaming, sorry

No


No. The 'guy' is called Jacob Minkoff and he worked for Naughty Dog first and then went to Infinity Ward.

I see you know a lot about the games you shit on in your blog post.
sorry for misremembering that it was uncharted 3 and not uncharted 2 that needed the control patch, and for knowing some design director at IW went from IW to ND and back to IW and not remembering his name? lol

...and for some reason, he doesn't seem to find such flaws in games that aren't made by Sony's studios.
EDIT: Forgot the part, where he criticized Bioshock.
and max payne 3 and red dead redemption and shadow of the tomb raider and bioshock infinite and grand theft auto iv and...

(i checked: i wrote literally 6,000 words on why days gone was great this year! days gone! a sony exclusive!)

all the bullshit about "doc just hates sony exclusives" is invalid, it's why nib's post is just a waste; his only interactions with me on resetera are him coming into any thread to tell people "doc just hates sony games." Nib constantly misrepresents and even flat out lies about me because he really, really doesn't want me around for some reason?

I criticize one specific kind of Sony game, and a bunch of ya'll act like I'm trying to discredit your entire fandom. Listen, I'm not coming to your house with a baseball bat to destroy your PS4. If you want, I'll even play Destiny with you on it. Maybe Alienation (but nobody but me bought that one). I just think several studios approach games in a way that hurts games and ~ONE~ of those studios is at Sony (I think Rockstar has done worse, especially because they're literally sitting on Midnight Club and Bully!). There are a lot of studios I love that are also at Sony (Insomniac, Sucker Punch), while others (Supermassive, Yakuz Studio) have moved on (which is good for all of us because it means we'll be able to keep playing those games in the future, unlike Resistance 3)
 
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Toriko

Member
Dec 29, 2017
3,178
User Warned: antagonizing other users (unnecessary fanboy accusations)
These are his so called "S-rated games"
DocSeuss have always been a thinly veiled fanboy. I remember his rants on the old forum how Bloodborne was actually a bad game with bad game design too and that he one day would explain why, so I'm not surprised to see him (still) ranting about how bad Uncharted 2, The Last of us, God of War etc are while simultaneously propping up Gears 5. He tries to hide this by being incredibly pretentious and verbose in his posts and articles.
DocSeuss is just a Microsoft fanboy parading as a games connoisseur. Nothing new. The fact that ppl keep falling for his bait here is hilarious.
 

DocSeuss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,690
DocSeuss is just a Microsoft fanboy parading as a games connoisseur. Nothing new. The fact that ppl keep falling for his bait here is hilarious.
isn't accusing someone of a paid shill because you don't like what they say a bannable offense

did it ever occur to you that i happen to have a specific type of game i like, and when games do things like that, I like those games? I'm a big fan of Resistance 3, for instance, but I think the painful slog of the final level, the crashes, and the storytelling keep it from being Halo-tier greatness. But the reason I'm a big fan is that Resistance 3 is very much in that style of churn-based FPSes with distinct guns and really varied combat design that makes for an excellent shooter.
 

gundamkyoukai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,423
sorry for misremembering that it was uncharted 3 and not uncharted 2 that needed the control patch, and for knowing some design director at IW went from IW to ND and back to IW and not remembering his name? lol
Doc you would still be wrong he never went IW ,ND and back to IW if that is person you talking about .
Talking about something that is subjective is one thing , saying something when the fact wrong is another .
 

Simon21

Member
Apr 25, 2018
498
The point at which you start assuming why people like something you don't (and make it clear that you think it's that they're just stupid) you invalidate any argument you're trying to make and pretty much just reveal yourself to be a massive dick. Trying to defend that stance by doubling down and trying to reiterate to everyone just how smart and important you are doesn't help matters.
 

Nightengale

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,409
Malaysia
Yeah, it looks like I'm thinking about someone else.
Do you know who that is - or were you thinking of another game/altogether? I'm quite curious on this.

sorry for misremembering that it was uncharted 3 and not uncharted 2 that needed the control patch, and for knowing some design director at IW went from IW to ND and back to IW and not remembering his name? lol
The studio that Minkoff was at (one of the founders) - before joining ND... was Blue Omega Entertainment, developers of Damnation.
 

DocSeuss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,690
Do you know who that is - or were you thinking of another game/altogether? I'm quite curious on this.
It's absolutely someone at Infinity Ward, I met them when I was interviewing there lol

Doc you would still be wrong he never went IW ,ND and back to IW if that is person you talking about .
Talking about something that is subjective is one thing , saying something when the fact wrong is another .
by saying 'not remembering his name,' I mean I was like "I did a quick go ogle and jacob minkoff fit the role so I thought it was him but it wasn't." I can't remember the name of the person I'm thinking of. A friend at Infinity Ward told me that the guy who did the snow level in MW2 went to ND, did Uncharted 4 and LL, then went back to IW, and that he was a genius. I can't recall the name.

The point at which you start assuming why people like something you don't (and make it clear that you think it's that they're just stupid) you invalidate any argument you're trying to make and pretty much just reveal yourself to be a massive dick. Trying to defend that stance by doubling down and trying to reiterate to everyone just how smart and important you are doesn't help matters.
I don't think I"m doing that. I'm defending that stance when people are like "this is a super amateurish piece, you don't know anything about this." Like... look, if you don't like the piece? that's absolutely fine. Saying I haven't written video games? That's a factual inaccuracy. I've worked on several and one won some awards. Comparing my personal blog post to an article on Esquire and saying "this is garbage it's not like that other thing," no shit, the Esquire piece was actually paid; as someone who has done paid work, I know about it.

I'm not saying I'm better than you, but when people call my credentials into question, surely I have to respond to that.
 

gundamkyoukai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,423
by saying 'not remembering his name,' I mean I was like "I did a quick go ogle and jacob minkoff fit the role so I thought it was him but it wasn't." I can't remember the name of the person I'm thinking of. A friend at Infinity Ward told me that the guy who did the snow level in MW2 went to ND, did Uncharted 4 and LL, then went back to IW, and that he was a genius. I can't recall the name.
I mean you need facts to back up what you are saying .
Since you were talking about UC4 the lead game play designers were Kurt Margenau ,Emilia Schatz, Anthony Newman, and Richard Cambier .
Unless you talking about something else .
Cause saying some guy name i can't remember work on UC4 don't really tell us anything .
 
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DocSeuss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,690
I mean you need facts to back up what you are saying .
Since you were talking about UC4 the lead game play designers were Kurt Margenau ,Emilia Schatz, Anthony Newman, and Richard Cambier .
Unless you talking about something else .
Cause saying some guy name i can't remember work on UC4 don't really tell us anything .
*shrug*

i wrote a follow-up, have fun


Doc remembered wrongly about that person being a lead - it's all. It's a minor detail, not worth harping on it imo.
this is a thread where people are bringing up comments I made months and years ago so they can lie about me and pretend I didn't go off at length about how much I disliked rockstar games and bioshock's storytelling, all so they can push an agenda in defense of sony. It's all about ad hominem rather than engaging with the discussion.
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
2,806
20 pages for what amounts to a dumb ass blog post.

That's impressive.
 

Nightengale

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,409
Malaysia
this is a thread where people are bringing up comments I made months and years ago so they can lie about me and pretend I didn't go off at length about how much I disliked rockstar games and bioshock's storytelling, all so they can push an agenda in defense of sony. It's all about ad hominem rather than engaging with the discussion.
Oh well, I'm only here because of that one quote you made on the ND/IW employee which piqued my curiosity. Your view on this prestige game discussion isn't something new to me, I believe we've discussed this sporadically in the past on GAF and Twitter anyway, so it's not a topic of interest to me.
 

Melchiah

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,793
Helsinki, Finland
all the bullshit about "doc just hates sony exclusives" is invalid, it's why nib's post is just a waste; his only interactions with me on resetera are him coming into any thread to tell people "doc just hates sony games." Nib constantly misrepresents and even flat out lies about me because he really, really doesn't want me around for some reason?

I criticize one specific kind of Sony game, and a bunch of ya'll act like I'm trying to discredit your entire fandom. Listen, I'm not coming to your house with a baseball bat to destroy your PS4. If you want, I'll even play Destiny with you on it. Maybe Alienation (but nobody but me bought that one). I just think several studios approach games in a way that hurts games and ~ONE~ of those studios is at Sony (I think Rockstar has done worse, especially because they're literally sitting on Midnight Club and Bully!). There are a lot of studios I love that are also at Sony (Insomniac, Sucker Punch), while others (Supermassive, Yakuz Studio) have moved on (which is good for all of us because it means we'll be able to keep playing those games in the future, unlike Resistance 3)
I don't think I"m doing that. I'm defending that stance when people are like "this is a super amateurish piece, you don't know anything about this." Like... look, if you don't like the piece? that's absolutely fine. Saying I haven't written video games? That's a factual inaccuracy. I've worked on several and one won some awards. Comparing my personal blog post to an article on Esquire and saying "this is garbage it's not like that other thing," no shit, the Esquire piece was actually paid; as someone who has done paid work, I know about it.

I'm not saying I'm better than you, but when people call my credentials into question, surely I have to respond to that.
The thing is, you're looking at TLOU and Gears 5 through different lenses, critizing the former for reasons you're given the latter a pass. That's intellectul dishonesty, and looks amateurish. Others here see it, but you seem to be completely oblivious to it. Based on your history, it's not far-fetched to assume the different treatments for the games stem from what platform they're exclusive to.

Plus, this.

The point at which you start assuming why people like something you don't (and make it clear that you think it's that they're just stupid) you invalidate any argument you're trying to make and pretty much just reveal yourself to be a massive dick. Trying to defend that stance by doubling down and trying to reiterate to everyone just how smart and important you are doesn't help matters.
 

DocSeuss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,690
The thing is, you're looking at TLOU and Gears 5 through different lenses, critizing the former for reasons you're given the latter a pass. That's intellectul dishonesty, and looks amateurish. Others here see it, but you seem to be completely oblivious to it. Based on your history, it's not far-fetched to assume the different treatments for the games stem from what platform they're exclusive to.

Plus, this.
that's because gears 5 is a shooter. it shoots. its primary function throughout gameplay is shooty bits. the last of us is more of an action adventure game, it's trying different things. gears 5 never puts the gameplay in the way of the story or vice versa, the last of us does it all the time with the dumb ladder mechanics and such.

You might as well ask me why I'm not judging Resident Evil 4 like TLOU because they're both third person horror games. It's like... well, Resident Evil 4 is an action horror game and it's real fuckin good at being an action horror game. Not my favorite game due to the controls, but every single mechanic in that game is meant to convey one very, very specific sensation.

The Last of Us' primary goal is to Be Like A Movie. it's a different target. I think that when games try to do this, they fail

in the new piece, I did my best to clarify that, hope it helps. I also talked about how I think one specific game succeeds.

I'm not assuming why people like it, I'm telling you what they've told me about why they like it. I am also not saying everyone who likes it likes it for that reason. My buddy shinobi really likes it because he has fun playing and he's not in love with it because he's insecure, he's in love because he's genuine. There are people who are not genuine--people who were tweeting at me earlier this year about how it was impossible for me to say Not Cinematic games were good because of "true art" like God of War. That's something someone actually said to me.

It sounds like you think I'm saying the only people who like these games like it because they're insecure. I'm saying that there are a lot of insecure people who like these games for the wrong reason, which leads to a kind of anger and destructiveness that makes it impossible to talk level-headedly about this kind of game.
 

Zissou

Member
Oct 26, 2017
495
I have a problem with story focused, cut-scene heavy games (any game that constantly take control away from the player), and those games tend to be those with the huge budgets... BUT I wouldn't be able to put all "prestige" games into that category. I feel like that's a dumb generalization.
I mean there's an argument for shallow game design being masked by production values and the thinnest of thematic messaging...

But this writer goes about it in some baffling ways that had me shaking my head.
I agree with these sentiments. I think bigger budget games often hide safe, bland, or sometimes bad game design with presentation, but I don't think there's a whole lot more to say than that.
 

TheRulingRing

Member
Apr 6, 2018
3,230
all the bullshit about "doc just hates sony exclusives" is invalid, it's why nib's post is just a waste; his only interactions with me on resetera are him coming into any thread to tell people "doc just hates sony games." Nib constantly misrepresents and even flat out lies about me because he really, really doesn't want me around for some reason?

I criticize one specific kind of Sony game, and a bunch of ya'll act like I'm trying to discredit your entire fandom. Listen, I'm not coming to your house with a baseball bat to destroy your PS4. If you want, I'll even play Destiny with you on it. Maybe Alienation (but nobody but me bought that one). I just think several studios approach games in a way that hurts games and ~ONE~ of those studios is at Sony (I think Rockstar has done worse, especially because they're literally sitting on Midnight Club and Bully!). There are a lot of studios I love that are also at Sony (Insomniac, Sucker Punch), while others (Supermassive, Yakuz Studio) have moved on (which is good for all of us because it means we'll be able to keep playing those games in the future, unlike Resistance 3)
Or you could address the coherent points made in his post rather than ad hominem dismissing him as a waste.
 

hanmik

Editor/Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
936
Hmm.. I have no idea how to write this in a tone that isn't a bit harsh.. but let me try anyway.. this is just some observations and some advice.

The piece is written with a lot of passion, no doubt about that, where that passion comes from or what that passion is, is a different story. I have read it several times now, and I follow you on twitter Doc (have been for years, because I normally like the way you write), but this piece here is all over the place.

Just some quick observations. You keep mentioning one thing over and over again, "a friend of mine / a dev I know" .. it´s like you probably have a lot of friends, no doubt about that, but somehow you magically have a friend (or know someone) at the place that is talked about, or somewhere that makes you story a bit more "trustworthy" .. BUT somehow it makes the stories sound like they are made up, especially if you have a friend/know someone everywhere.

It does not hurt to say.. "Hey, I was wrong..." it NEVER hurts, it actually makes you more of a person. Making excuses for everything is a bad look..

You also keep on mentioning "that you do this, you write that, you make games, you are and expert in video games, you work with this and that, have won awards and etc." Stop praising yourself all the time.. be humble for once.. one person asked who you were and what you had done, and your response was a photo of you in front of a sign with the game you made last year, followed by you writing "But uhh". It makes you look a bit self-absorbed (for a lack of a better word).
And then you say people keep questioning your line of work and tell you that you never worked on a game.. where do you see this? I really don´t see it.. You are the one claiming people say you haven't written a video game, and have never worked on them. We GET IT, you have written for a lot of places, you have worked on games, and you have made a game.. so has many other people in the world, and they see no reason to put down those facts all the time like you do.

One more thing I noticed.. When people say anything about you not liking Sony, you keep bringing up that you wrote a piece about a Sony game not long ago. And the way you say it (please don´t ban me for this, because this is the only way I can express this in words) kind of sounds like "one of my best friends is black" when a racist is called out.
Yes you do not "only" mention Sony published games in this blog when you talk about "prestige" games, but you use a LOT more time and words on the Sony games in this blog.. you even had to mention the "Emoji"-movie.. wtf?.. and something about PS3 being weaker than the X360.. like again wtf? it´s like all the time you (maybe unintentionally) go out of your way to make a Sony product sound like a lesser product than other products you happen to like.
You can't even play a Sony published game without having a "gang of friends" commenting and looking over your shoulder while you play it, you need to have some persons around that can "confirm" the stuff you point out all the time. You even mention that you haven't played SOTC yet, because you can´t stream it on Mixer (which according to you is the only worthwhile streaming service) while some people watch and comments all the time.. Why? it doesn't make sense, especially when you just told me that you did not stream Gears 5 the same way, not even Crackdown 3 or Control. So why can't you play a game on a Sony console without streaming it and having people comment all the time? I seem to remember you said you are waiting to play Uncharted 4, until you could stream it with a better setup. Again.. wtf? it´s the easiest thing ever to stream a game and have friends comment on the PS4.

I could write a lot more.. but I am at work.. Just remember, this is not meant harsh or anything.. more like some advice, to what to avoid when writing like this..
 

IIFloodyII

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,497
that's because gears 5 is a shooter. it shoots. its primary function throughout gameplay is shooty bits. the last of us is more of an action adventure game, it's trying different things. gears 5 never puts the gameplay in the way of the story or vice versa, the last of us does it all the time with the dumb ladder mechanics and such.

You might as well ask me why I'm not judging Resident Evil 4 like TLOU because they're both third person horror games. It's like... well, Resident Evil 4 is an action horror game and it's real fuckin good at being an action horror game. Not my favorite game due to the controls, but every single mechanic in that game is meant to convey one very, very specific sensation.

The Last of Us' primary goal is to Be Like A Movie. it's a different target. I think that when games try to do this, they fail

in the new piece, I did my best to clarify that, hope it helps. I also talked about how I think one specific game succeeds.

I'm not assuming why people like it, I'm telling you what they've told me about why they like it. I am also not saying everyone who likes it likes it for that reason. My buddy shinobi really likes it because he has fun playing and he's not in love with it because he's insecure, he's in love because he's genuine. There are people who are not genuine--people who were tweeting at me earlier this year about how it was impossible for me to say Not Cinematic games were good because of "true art" like God of War. That's something someone actually said to me.

It sounds like you think I'm saying the only people who like these games like it because they're insecure. I'm saying that there are a lot of insecure people who like these games for the wrong reason, which leads to a kind of anger and destructiveness that makes it impossible to talk level-headedly about this kind of game.
The ladder "puzzles" are almost all to hide loading, it was made for the PS3 remember.
 

Kalentan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,709
I mean it's DocSeuss, a person who has a reputation for particular bias and the promotion of certain related falsehoods, but I'd rather not get into all that.

What I'd say about his writing and this article is that it is too often riddled with vague descriptions and contradictory analysis or assessment, presumably in order for him to justify a confirmation bias inclined narrative, or make himself feel better (or more superior) about having such outlier taste. And I don't mean bias specifically against Sony games, but often times critically acclaimed (key words critically acclaimed) titles in general, more so ones that aren't exclusive to Microsoft.

Ordinarily I wouldn't ponder on someone who was consistent in their dislike for big AAA or cinematic games, the issue is Doc isn't consistent on that front. At all. In fact he's often contradictory.

He does also clearly have some sort of a particular hang up against Sony, evident in his laughable aside rant in the article against the PS3 and its level of power, the snipe to Sony's artistic integrity relating to the unrelated Emoji movie, what seems like recurring resentment towards Sony exclusives critical acclaim and/or successful marketing, and his past articles and ramblings even going so far as to calling the PS4 a "basic bitch console" lol.

- Gears and Halo are Prestige titles.

The most obvious contradiction in the article however is the fact that Gears and Halo, which naturally he loves, are both clearly "prestige games". They are expensive blockbuster heavily marketed cinematic narrative heavy games.

Hell, Gears is arguably more Michael Bay esque (eg dumb, military glorifying, action focused testesterone fests) than Uncharted, a comparison he loves to levy towards Uncharted no doubt to demean the latter and presumably its fans and audience, missing the irony altogether, which is that the 4-5 games he has listed in his ultimate S class tier of games (all Halo's and Gears), all fit the Michael Bay comparison just as, if not more apltly.

- Incoherent summaries and irony.

He also states, and I quote; "It’s hard to define a prestige game, but I guess what I’d say is that a prestige game, like Red Dead Redemption or The Last of Us or Uncharted 2 or Max Payne 3, is a soulless game, one that just seems to go through the motions, imitating other, better games and pretending it can hang with the best of them."

Let's ignore the fact that this entire paragraph is laughably vague, and that "soulless" is one of the laziest, most useless and poor ways to summarise or critique a game, since it is literally unquantifiable, and let's look instead at the point he's stated regarding these games imitating other better games.

An irony here is that the Gears 5 developers (a game that he loves) are literally on record as having taken major influence from God of War, and there's clearly influence from Uncharted 4 too. The open ended Skiff segments are also very remniscant of the Madagascar and Island vehicle segments from UC4, an otherwise linear game like Gears used to strictly be, and now they've added in RPG light and stealth light too, and I'd argue even more exposition and narrative/character emphasis as well, including sad dad elements that he loves to decry.

In other words, the game he loves has taken cues from the very critically acclaimed games he dislikes or often criticises (games the devs themselves heap praise towards), something he's ironically lambasting these other games for doing lol.

- What makes a good narrative, and double standards.

But I think this speaks to the double standard and approach differences I find Doc often has when it comes to critiquing certain critically acclaimed games, almost as if he'll play some titles knowing how positively they've been recieved, and then try to purposely find ways to discredit their achievements, something he won't necessarily do to the same critical extent for other titles.

For example, we know TLOU was widely lauded for its narrative, and it just so happens that he's being especially nitpicky and critical of TLOU's narrative elements.

Forget that the quality of a narrative isn't actually just about the story or whether it's innovative (if it were, The Godfather and countless other amazing cinematic and literary works would be considered derivative and unworthy of acclaim), rather that the execution, characters, relationships, quality of dialogue, writing, emotional impact, way scenes play out etc are equally if not far more important.

His reductive summary of why UC2's story is bad, sort of highlights how skewed his understanding of narrative actually can be. Forgot all the interesting dialogue, characters, events etc that unfold in UC2, for him it can simply be reduced down to "the bad guy just wanted power!". As if that couldn't be assigned to the overwhelming majority of similar media, including the very games he loves.

And look to his complaints about TLOU, which are that its story is too predictable or unoriginal, that he can tell when a certain part of the map is going to feature a gunfight, and which characters are likely to die, and then notice how none of these issues or complaints are levied at the Microsoft titles, or specifically Gears 5, which he and I both love, but that literally has all these same exact issues.

Eg, it has a largely unoriginal and predictable story that heavily borrows from other ideas, it has levels that are littered with ammo etc signalling combat will take place there in a much more obvious way than even TLOU, and it has characters that are arguably even more predictable and/or bland, or less well written, but for reasons unknown, with Gears and Halo, these aren't similarly noteworthy complaints. There's a double standard, and it isn't even like Gears 5 isn't trying to be as serious or focused with its story or characters.

Likewise, God of War was lauded for many things (predominantly its gameplay and narrative), one of them being its one take camera and how effectively it was implemented, and he's seemingly committed to looking for ways to discredit that too. I remember him stating HL2 did it years ago, but when I highlighted how HL2 clearly had loading pauses throughout the game, something God of War doesn't have, he didn't appear to care. That didn't fit into his favoured narrative that this feature was holy unoriginal and/or unworthy of its praise, and that people only cared for it because they were brainwashed to.

And how about God of Wars innovative and satisfying axe and all its related fundamental gameplay elements that have been widely acclaimed? His feigned praise concluded by referring to it as just a "gimmick" lol.

- Vague and inconsistent notions of what constites as good gameplay or design.

Which brings me on to the confusing and often contradictory stance on what to him even qualifies as great, diverse, shallow or mediocre gameplay (especially amusing when games like Crackdown 3 are the ones getting praised).

He's commended Gears for having diverse gameplay and combat engagement design compared to say Uncharted, because you can on occasion shoot things down for pseudo cover, or because you have a chainsaw (rather weak examples to justify such praise, but that's besides the point). But here's the thing, whilst Gears features satisfying shooting, it still plays as a predominantly typical stop, pop and shoot cover shooter. A gallery shooter so to speak.

Newer Uncharted titles conversely feature much more expansive and layered arena designs, with far more verticality, approach options, obscure cover and pathways, not to mention much more emphasis on dynamic mobility (climbing, shimmying, jumping, swinging etc) along with stealth and contextual melee etc too.

The arenas in the Uncharted games (bar UC1, which he ironically enjoyed more) are essentially more of a sandbox in which greater player freedom is afforded, predominantly due to the increased traversal and mobility options. Why does none of that constitute as diversity or competency in engagement or combat design?

If you want an idea of how these titles diversify or expand their combat arenas or design, simply compare the train level from UC2 to the train level in Gears, or just about any other shooter.


In any case, I could go on and on, but the article ultimately speaks for itself, and based on many of the responses, I think many agree that this is a rather poorly written and articulated piece, and on a more personal takeaway, also Doc's questionable and ultimately outlier or bad taste, and often perplexing, one sided or contradictory understanding and/or critique of game design.


Great post. Agree with a lot of what is said here.
Now this is a great post. Sadly will likely be ignored by the author.
 

Jakisthe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,197
As someone who very strongly dislikes stories in games, I loved TLOU and didn’t mind the ladder puzzles. The presence of puzzles, no matter how poorly done, don’t all of a sudden make a game any less of a game and more about trying to ape movies. Propping that up as a means by which TLOU is trying to be like a movie smacks of confirmation bias to me; you see the game as a whole as primarily trying to be like a movie, so because of that, these parts are trying to be like a movie. How is it trying to primarily be like a movie? Well, it has those parts where it tries to be. It circular. I continue to fail to see how Gears is different.
 

thevid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
392
Hmm.. I have no idea how to write this in a tone that isn't a bit harsh.. but let me try anyway.. this is just some observations and some advice.

The piece is written with a lot of passion, no doubt about that, where that passion comes from or what that passion is, is a different story. I have read it several times now, and I follow you on twitter Doc (have been for years, because I normally like the way you write), but this piece here is all over the place.

Just some quick observations. You keep mentioning one thing over and over again, "a friend of mine / a dev I know" .. it´s like you probably have a lot of friends, no doubt about that, but somehow you magically have a friend (or know someone) at the place that is talked about, or somewhere that makes you story a bit more "trustworthy" .. BUT somehow it makes the stories sound like they are made up, especially if you have a friend/know someone everywhere.

It does not hurt to say.. "Hey, I was wrong..." it NEVER hurts, it actually makes you more of a person. Making excuses for everything is a bad look..

You also keep on mentioning "that you do this, you write that, you make games, you are and expert in video games, you work with this and that, have won awards and etc." Stop praising yourself all the time.. be humble for once.. one person asked who you were and what you had done, and your response was a photo of you in front of a sign with the game you made last year, followed by you writing "But uhh". It makes you look a bit self-absorbed (for a lack of a better word).
And then you say people keep questioning your line of work and tell you that you never worked on a game.. where do you see this? I really don´t see it.. You are the one claiming people say you haven't written a video game, and have never worked on them. We GET IT, you have written for a lot of places, you have worked on games, and you have made a game.. so has many other people in the world, and they see no reason to put down those facts all the time like you do.

One more thing I noticed.. When people say anything about you not liking Sony, you keep bringing up that you wrote a piece about a Sony game not long ago. And the way you say it (please don´t ban me for this, because this is the only way I can express this in words) kind of sounds like "one of my best friends is black" when a racist is called out.
Yes you do not "only" mention Sony published games in this blog when you talk about "prestige" games, but you use a LOT more time and words on the Sony games in this blog.. you even had to mention the "Emoji"-movie.. wtf?.. and something about PS3 being weaker than the X360.. like again wtf? it´s like all the time you (maybe unintentionally) go out of your way to make a Sony product sound like a lesser product than other products you happen to like.
You can't even play a Sony published game without having a "gang of friends" commenting and looking over your shoulder while you play it, you need to have some persons around that can "confirm" the stuff you point out all the time. You even mention that you haven't played SOTC yet, because you can´t stream it on Mixer (which according to you is the only worthwhile streaming service) while some people watch and comments all the time.. Why? it doesn't make sense, especially when you just told me that you did not stream Gears 5 the same way, not even Crackdown 3 or Control. So why can't you play a game on a Sony console without streaming it and having people comment all the time? I seem to remember you said you are waiting to play Uncharted 4, until you could stream it with a better setup. Again.. wtf? it´s the easiest thing ever to stream a game and have friends comment on the PS4.

I could write a lot more.. but I am at work.. Just remember, this is not meant harsh or anything.. more like some advice, to what to avoid when writing like this..
DocSeuss is definitely biased, and I'm amazed people can't see it. Okay, you like some Sony games, big whoop? That doesn't mean you aren't biased. If someone constantly felt the need to bring up Microsoft's own issues with workplace sexism and sexual harassment, controversial issues like PRISM, and their failed products (Windows Phone anyone?) in topics that weren't related, I would think they were biased too. Even if they think Gears 5 is a cool game.

I also find his writing style abrasive and superfluous, and Doc himself comes off as narcissistic. I think he has interesting points to make that are being overshadowed by his inability to focus his writing. His follow-up post is better because it is less antagonizing, which was needless in the first one and a big reason I think it got the response it did.
 
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AudioEppa

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,850
20 pages for what amounts to a dumb ass blog post.

That's impressive.
Impressive? Nah. This is a typical slow week for ResetEra.

And how convenient this diarrhea blog post comes out just as Naughty Dog is in the news for their upcoming last of us part 2 media event, that millions of people will be hyped about. A video game that is guaranteed to bring multiple years of discussion, where as some recent released games are probably already forgotten.
 

Daytak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,481
Detroit, MI
Impressive? Nah. This is a typical slow week for ResetEra.

And how convenient this diarrhea blog post comes out just as Naughty Dog is in the news for their upcoming last of us part 2 media event, that millions of people will be hyped about. A video game that is guaranteed to bring multiple years of discussion, where as some recent released games are probably already forgotten.
You're right a private blog post maybe 5 people were supposed to read is definitely part of a grand conspiracy to shit on Naughty Dog.
 
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