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Suffered through 2 hours of the game and I have to say that this review is spot on. If anything, the game is even worse than it sounds here.
Shame. Waste. Bah.
Well I had a friend who was really excited about the game, personally not a huge stealth guy but I am slowly getting into the style of gameplay. Rhianna Pratchett commented on twitter she had very little to do with the script, and what little she did was restricted, but that's all she would say.
A thing that gets me is how only certain objects can be climbed. In the game it often feels like I'm a rat in a maze, stopping at every corner to see if I can jump on that ledge, but 99% of the time I try this it's not possible.
I went through the first couple of hours without being seen by guards and though, "Well, maybe guards only attack you if you're sneaking around and being shady?" So I stood up and casually walked into the light on the street and all the guards pointed at me and drew their weapons and attacked. Isn't that a bit weird? When in history has someone just casually walking down the road grounds for immediately being hacked to death with bladed weapons? Later on there's a saloon you go into where those same (kinds of) guards are there chatting it up right next to you like you don't exist. I guess hacking random people to death with large blades is just their day job?
Some things are disconnected, too - like how at one point Garret climbs a pipe and suddenly you're in third-person mode playing a Tomb Raider climbing mini-game that completely ruins the immersion.
Probably the thing that bothers me the most is something that the article didn't touch upon: that lack of positioned audio. It would have been awesome if you got closer to guards and could hear them talking louder the closer you got to them - you know, like in real life. Instead, when you reach a certain point on the map the audio is triggered and you can hear the guard that's 50 feet away talking like he's right in your ear, clear as a bell - which direction you're facing just doesn't matter, as if you were listening to him over a radio.
Strangely, despite how this is a game that highlights exactly how not to make a game, I'm actually kind of enjoying it. At times I truly feel lost in the world (in some sense literally - I didn't know the game even had a map until I read this article, and I've been playing for 6 hours) and fully immersed. Usually those times have nothing to do with any kind of strategy or gameplay, though - it's purely a side-effect of the wonderfully-realized graphics. Although the level design is a mess, the way it looks is pretty amazing. It kind of reminds me of RAGE in this regard. Heaps of rubble look great in the thousands of dead-ends you'll run into.
Something went horribly wrong with this game - it was pushed and pulled in too many directions. Was there no director? No unified vision for the game? How can such an expensive game go so wrong?
Is it the same actual team that made the new Deus Ex? it certainly doesn't feel like it is.
It definitely feels like a game made by committee. I played it on my brothers PC as I was going to get it on PS4 . There's no way I'm getting it on either now , they clearly have made even less effort on the PS4 than the PC. Which is strange as it feels like an average last gen console game.
I'm enjoying the game but ALSO, I went in and set a custom difficulty with every helping item disabled. makes it much more enjoyable and HARDER as there hasn't been a difficult enough game for me in some time in this regard.
However I do agree the limited in climbable objects and crappy rope placement options do limit the game's potential. Still I do not agree with the forced path, only time you can't go back somewhere is a closed mission part but you always get back into town which is quite large with much to explore.
As for the glitches, don't abuse them or don't cry about it. Simple as that. To keep it challenging, I don't do the window-click crap during a fight, etc. If you want to cheapen your experience, that's your choice alone.
It's not the best thief ever, far from it, but it's still very playable. 23 hours on the hardest possible settings, so far still alive and interesting enough to keep me playing. Story helps though. The mini-missions are very enjoyable where you get to do a full mission within a story, etc. Like the bank heist job. That was entertaining.
Also doing the no-detection ever mode keeps you even more on your toes, especially in hardest custom mode.
Excellent review, nicely written. Shame about the game, I enjoyed the earlier ones.
Ive been playing it and I honestly don't see it as any game of the year title but its worth a play through at least in my book. I kinda find it funny what all can be stolen and the story is decent at least enough to keep my interest.
They obviously had issues with the multi-dev and delay problem that happens to games like these.