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A few disappointments

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:07 pm
by Daedalus
I was really psyched for this game since the release trailer - I preordered it as soon as I could. I've played it a bit and have beaten it twice now. It's not a bad game, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

The story was probably the most disappointing part. I was under the impression that TWOM was going to address the horrors of war... but it felt as whitewashed as Call of Duty. Rape is pretty common in war - I only saw one implied rape in the game, and it's easily preventable (all you have to do is open the door.) I would have made it more prevalent, made it possible to happen to the playable characters, and made situations where you can't fix everything (or at least made it more difficult/risky than opening the door.) And despite having a child front and center in the reveal trailer, there was a near absence of children in game - and the ones I saw weren't subject to any violence. War gets a lot uglier than that, and I think you missed a great opportunity to inform your players. Instead of feeling aghast at the atrocities, I kinda feel like quitting my day job to start a moonshine still in Crimea.

I found the gameplay too easy. I know this wasn't everyone's experience, but the first free scavanging places had no hostility and were enough to get my farming and moonshine operations up (even in the playthrough that started in winter.) Combined with the wandering trader who stops by every other day, I hardly had to leave the house. I never had to steal, kill, or make any morally questionable decision to survive.

Preset scenarios limits the replay value. For example, take the supermarket - I think there's two scenarios, and once you've had both you know how to act. There could be some variation (ie make the 3-man scavenging group sometime hostile, sometime friendly.) Throw in random NPCs (Maybe the wandering trader shows up at different places? Maybe you're assaulted by a knife-wielding scavenger on a property you thought was safe?) When you say "the military patrols the construction yard", they should actually patrol it. Instead, I dealt with the military the first time and then checked Facebook while Boris scavenged on subsequent visits.

The shelter really needs more stuff to build. My last playthrough the house was a manufacturing complex - I was churning out bullets and meds side by side. It would make it more interesting if you were forced to specialize rather than being able to build everything in a single playthrough.


Well, that's about it. Criticisms aside, I did like the game - I just feel like you could do so much more with it. If you put out any DLC, I'll probably pick it up - I hope you keep the above in mind.

Re: A few disappointments

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:27 pm
by zero
Daedalus wrote:I was really psyched for this game since the release trailer - I preordered it as soon as I could. I've played it a bit and have beaten it twice now. It's not a bad game, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

The story was probably the most disappointing part. I was under the impression that TWOM was going to address the horrors of war... but it felt as whitewashed as Call of Duty. Rape is pretty common in war - I only saw one implied rape in the game, and it's easily preventable (all you have to do is open the door.) I would have made it more prevalent, made it possible to happen to the playable characters, and made situations where you can't fix everything (or at least made it more difficult/risky than opening the door.) And despite having a child front and center in the reveal trailer, there was a near absence of children in game - and the ones I saw weren't subject to any violence. War gets a lot uglier than that, and I think you missed a great opportunity to inform your players. Instead of feeling aghast at the atrocities, I kinda feel like quitting my day job to start a moonshine still in Crimea.


I honestly don't understand the 'disappointment' for 'not enough rape'! What's up with that? Even on steam there were a couple of threads with this 'issue'. A game that aspires to be more 'gritty' / 'realistic' about the horrors of war doesn't have the responsibility of being irresponsible and making it your everyday bread. I wouldn't play this game if ppl were getting raped left and right turn. It's implied in the supermarket, maybe there could be a couple more 'implied' scenarios BUT in no way make it more prevalent. I think the game is about survival in the face of adversity, war, and rape IS an aspect of war BUT this is still (only) a game. And to some degree, some sensitivity must be had with the material.

About the kids, I think it's actually illegal in some countries to portray violence towards kids. AND AGAIN, the added realism would actually IMO not increase the enjoyment of the game.

Re: A few disappointments

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:32 am
by Daedalus
zero wrote:A game that aspires to be more 'gritty' / 'realistic' about the horrors of war doesn't have the responsibility of being irresponsible and making it your everyday bread.


This is exactly why - You don't seem to realize how common rape is in war. Nearly anything is viewed by most people as "excessive." Lemme pull a few quotes from Unicef

In some raids in Rwanda, virtually every adolescent girl who survived an attack by the militia was subsequently raped. Many of those who became pregnant were ostracized by their families and communities. Some abandoned their babies; others committed suicide.

During Mozambique's conflict, young boys, who themselves had been traumatized by violence, were reported to threaten to kill or starve girls if they resisted the boys' sexual advances.

The incidence of rape was reported to be alarmingly high at camps for Somali refugees in Kenya in 1993. The camps were located in isolated areas, and hundreds of women were raped in night raids or while foraging for firewood.


Yeah, it's pretty rough. When 11bit announced the game, they talked about how they drew on the stories of war survivors, Miechowski said he made it "Just like real life." They had an opportunity to educate people, and instead they just created another (perhaps slightly darker) CoD power fantasy. A post-apocalyptic survival game with little direct experience of the atrocities so ubiquitous in war.

zero wrote:About the kids, I think it's actually illegal in some countries to portray violence towards kids. AND AGAIN, the added realism would actually IMO not increase the enjoyment of the game.


You're right about the legal thing, but lots of countries have stupid restrictions. Bioware just had to pull Dragon Age from India because it violated their obscenity laws. Comes with the territory when you're trying to develop a "mature" game.

And perhaps it wouldn't increase your enjoyment. But It's still possible to have good gameplay and tell a compelling story in the midst of atrocities. I guess we'll never know how it could have turned out.