Bigger is better, but only in the right places (Gaming)

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 16:07 (28 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The Witcher 3 did some of this better.

Side quests were not marked on the map until you actually encountered them. Sometimes this is actually just stumbling upon them through exploration. Sometimes it means reading the notes posted on the local notice board in any given village or town. Either way it felt more natural, and far less annoying than constantly being interrupted by phone calls (which often either player no dialogue at all, paused for really long stretches for no reason, or played over the top of mission relevant dialogue in whatever I was actually doing at the time).

I do like the micro choices about how to accomplish whatever objective, even if it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. As far as I can tell, methodology for completing a goal never matters. No one ever comes for revenge because I killed their entire crew posted up in the warehouse, so it doesn’t matter if I actually managed to sneak in and compete the mission without anyone ever noticing I was there. I do think flavor, which is what your play style ultimately is in this game, can be extremely important to the overall mood of a story, and I think it mostly works here for that purpose, even if they can’t make that explicit. Is your V a reluctant participant, sneaking through as much as possible? Or is she murdering anyone in her path because her own survival is all that matters? The game doesn’t explore that at all as far as I can tell, but your play style can at least poke around the edges there, as long as you (the player) are willing to buy in to that sort of role play.

I haven’t looked up or heard about any real decision points in the game, so I can’t comment on that. I do wish there were some more explicit choices, though. Panam and Judy both called me urgently and wanted me to meet right now for something important. I didn’t have to make a choice though. I just went and did Panam’s quests for like ten hours, and even though it’s been several in game days, Judy doesn’t care—we still interact like she literally just called me. I understand making that matter would be a ton of work, but it’s the sort of work I honestly expected them to do based on how they were marketing this game.

I agree with a lot of what you said. The game you sort of propose might very well be a better game (you basically propose Dishonored, so it would be!). I’m not sure that’s fair though, because it is absolutely a different game than the one they made in almost every way. I like open world games, even as limiting as they can be. I do think driving from one end of Night City, through the City, and out into the Badlands is additive to the experience in a way that just having those be separate levels isn’t. Sure, it can make the world feel small, but I can suspend my disbelief there.

The problem is that there isn’t much reason to explore all of that space. You’re completely correct there. Having the map completely filled out and having a waypoint for every step of every quest completely ruins and sort of illusion they were trying to present. It’s a trend that I hate in video games, and I really wish developers would stop relying so much on interactive maps. It’s fine when you’re moving around the overworld—I mean, I assume GPS still works in 2077. But the game plasters a bright yellow waypoint on screen at all
times for the next objective in whatever quest you’re doing, and it’s just shitty design. It’s a real bummer.

Despite its flaws, though, I am enjoying the game. I don’t know if the story is good, but it is compelling, and that’s good enough right now.

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