Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
Compiled this from posts in the FH forums so I need no derail a thread there even further:
Let me start with saying that the storyline was great. Too bad it never showed what happend during the plane crash (like a spoiler at the end of the game where you remember what happend or somebody tells you what happend..). I quickly noticed that the levels usually featured an entrance and the exit nearby but it requiring you to take a turn and fix/obtain/do something in order to proceed along the main route. Take the medical rapture wing for example where the exit is only a short walk away from the entry point but you need to sidestep and backtrack a whole lot to gain access. Or the level thereafter where you can walk almost straight to the cooling area to advance but you won't be let in untill you sidestep once more to retreive a camera. On a larger scale this also applied to the levels (To gain access to the next level you are really after you must first go to an other level to get the earlier mentioned level unlocked: Take Arcadia were you need to go to an other level to fix Arcadia and open the door that leads on or when you need to go to that artist level before you venture to Ryan's HQ). Yes this did fix the old shooter setup of door-killbaddy-nextdoor-killbaddy-nextlevel-repeat setup there you never really think about this linear setup, you simply take it as part of the design. But with Bioware you know they tried to step away from this and you become more aware of their level design. It would have been great if there would be alternatives such as: - Two or more levels to chose from to advance in at the end of a level (or even go to both locations if you feel like it) - Multiple ways to finish a level: Somebody asks you to do this and that before he lets you through, instead of obeying also let you just shoot the guy, trick him, lure him in a trap that gets him killed by a third party etc. Or when asked to assist in restoring part of rapture (Arcadia level) tell the person to go screw themselves and proceed onwards with force (airlock? not if you let me near that door...). This so that the run-n-gunner could just shoot and kill everything without care but also to let the "tracker" (adventurist) track and backtrackon his path out of free will and not becausde a mission requires you to. Or in short: Add plot and side quests to advance through the game and multiple parties to side with on main and side quests. Ofcourse a plot will always be restrictive to some extend or there wouldn't be much of a plot left. :lol: "Fuck you atlast I'm going to wait outside rapture and kill your family if they happen to surface and I would not kindly proceed on". ;) Oh, and too bad that the various offers or threats not to do something couldn't be followed either. WOuld have been great for (second) playthroughs if you could. Or even the false suggestion that you could (and then "unfortunatly" being stopped in your tracks such as when Ryan tells you not to advance and head for his HQ or you going to regret it and all).
It was fun but not the best game I ever played. Nice story though some things bothered me. If I had to develop the game I would give the player more freedom or the false idea that the player had this:
- The starting level having an endless ocean alla GTA, allowing the player to swim away from the iseland for an endless amount of time instead of the invisible wall infront of the flames, airplane tail wreck and around the iseland. I tried to kill myself by swimming into the plane but couldn't... I couldn't touch the wreck because an invisble wall blocked me and I couldt swim more then a meter aay from the iseland.. - Same with the levels, pretty much all corrirdor like with some large spaces in between. Granted in some levels you could explore some corridors first but many a time there was only one corridor or other parts of a level were blocked off with a gate or rubble which as by a miracle would disappear after you did event X. - The total lack of any true interaction with other people: You never talk back, you never can go into a dialog with people and you never seem to meet any people in the flesh except from a distance .
I liked the enviroment though and it looked great. But I would have loved if it would have sported some more adventure elements and freedom. For a shooter it was great fun (shooter games that just are like "you good guy, other creatures bad, you shoot and finish game 'cause..." bore me I don't really touch them) but it could have been even better.
Oh and why the hell did jack never picked up a flashlight? All the dark areas and unstable (flickering) lights and he can't pickup flashlights which you sometimes come across. I know I would have picked one up along the way. That and I would have told Ryan and Atlasto go suck an egg (but then there would be no game with me waiting for a resque party...). :lol:
In short: Nice story and good atmospheric setting, had fun but the game lacked dynamic options to influence the plot or alternative methods to deal with the plot or a level.