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Golem (Gaming)

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, November 22, 2019, 12:35 (14 days ago)

Ok I got Golem and am trying it out.

I had to stop after about an hour to take a break. I'm getting sick. I don't know what happened between the 2017 demo I played and now. I never once had a problem when I first played it. But as soon as I start moving around in the final game, I don't feel too good. I've tried all the options settings for comfort, but it looks like this one I'll have to play in spurts.

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Golem

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, November 22, 2019, 18:01 (14 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I think Iv'e figured out how to play without sickness. You've got to turn slowly. The game is not smooth when it turns: it stutters which is what makes me sick. The faster you turn the more noticeable this is. So, if you turn slowly I seem to be fine.

Moving straight, standing still, or turning slowly seems ok.
Strafing or turning quick is not fine.

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Golem

by cheapLEY @, Friday, November 22, 2019, 18:47 (14 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I get that making games isn’t easy, and at some point you’ve just got to ship something, but that sounds like a huge problem. No stuttering is pretty fundamental to good VR.

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Golem

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Friday, November 22, 2019, 20:58 (14 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I get that making games isn’t easy, and at some point you’ve just got to ship something, but that sounds like a huge problem. No stuttering is pretty fundamental to good VR.

Upon killing another golem, as they fall into pieces the frame rate plummets. And this is on the Pro.

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Turn OFF PS4 'Supersampling Mode'; In case you had it ON

by Pyromancy @, Friday, November 22, 2019, 22:34 (14 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Pyromancy, Friday, November 22, 2019, 22:55

- No text -

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It was not on

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 08:14 (13 days ago) @ Pyromancy
edited by Cody Miller, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 08:18

- No text -

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Golem

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| \[T]/, Friday, November 22, 2019, 19:43 (14 days ago) @ Cody Miller

I think I've figured out how to play without sickness. You've got to turn slowly. The game is not smooth when it turns: it stutters which is what makes me sick. The faster you turn the more noticeable this is. So, if you turn slowly I seem to be fine.

Moving straight, standing still, or turning slowly seems ok.
Strafing or turning quick is not fine.

Stutters from quick turns eh? Sounds like some variant of the culling system can't keep up with the speed of head movement, causing the framerate to dip below 90 FPS (which, as I recollect is the minimum frame rate needed for VR games to not make people feel sick while playing).

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Golem

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 22:17 (12 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Stutters from quick turns eh? Sounds like some variant of the culling system can't keep up with the speed of head movement, causing the framerate to dip below 90 FPS (which, as I recollect is the minimum frame rate needed for VR games to not make people feel sick while playing).

I am not sure if stuttering is the right word. The framerate isn't dropping. It's that the speed of the turn changes. It isn't constant, but alternating between a normal and slightly faster speed. Like, it lurches faster for a fraction of a second, then slows down, then lurches again, then slows down, repeating this until you're done turning. It's not gigantic, but it was definitely what was making me feel bad. I hope this makes sense it's kind of hard to explain.

But when you limit yourself to a slow turn, the effect is lessened and I was able to acclimate.

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Golem

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in AZ, Monday, November 25, 2019, 08:51 (11 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Perhaps it's because turning your head is causing the Golem to turn? So the speed-up/slow-down is a result of the golem turning it's body by moving it's feet? (Not that it's any better if so of course.)

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Golem

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Monday, November 25, 2019, 09:23 (11 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

Perhaps it's because turning your head is causing the Golem to turn? So the speed-up/slow-down is a result of the golem turning it's body by moving it's feet? (Not that it's any better if so of course.)

That's how you turn. You move your head while holding the trigger.

Golem solves the problem of using your head to turn in a clever way. In the other VR games that use your head to turn, there's an immediate problem in that if you turn left and start moving left, you can't turn left again because your head is already as far as it can go.

Golem lets you 'reset' your head during the turn so you can look forward again after it completes. This was actually so natural I didn't even know it was happening at first, but really thinking about what it's doing I have no idea how it was programmed or how it works. It just feels totally natural. You can turn, then slowly return your head looking straight forward, and have the turn complete. It's one of those invisible systems that nobody will notice but will just feel right.

In VR anything that moves my view without my head moving makes me sick. But technically, that's what this is doing. No idea how it was accomplished, but it works.

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Finished

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 13:51 (13 days ago) @ Cody Miller

So I finished it. I'll be sure to post my review here after I think about it for a little while.

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Thoughts

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 18:44 (13 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by Cody Miller, Saturday, November 23, 2019, 18:49

It's ironic that a game coming from Jaime Griesemer - who is known for impeccable design, contains design decisions that are ultimately damning to the game.

I got over the motion sickness. I was able to play and control without getting sick, which is a feat very few games that let you move in 3D space manage. I know some people are criticizing the control scheme, but for me it was literally the only thing that has worked for me so far. So from the perspective of making a VR title that actually works and lets you freely move around, Highwire has accomplished something special. Keep in mind though, that VR makes me sick vey easily, so it's possible other control schemes are okay for other folks but not for me. Is this the case? Anyone here who DOESN'T get sick chime in.

There are no waypoints or indicators. You have to explore, and orient yourself with landmarks. It's a welcome change of pace for a game to just trust you to navigate.

The combat is extremely limited and binary. It's like a series of quicktime events where you do what you are told. Block, block, block, attack. Instead of pushing a button you move your hand. You can only attack when you complete the series of blocks, and only in the area that is highlighted for you. You can't sneak in a hit, evade a whiff and punish the enemy, or otherwise direct the flow of the fight at all. It's all reactionary.

So what ultimately did the game in? There is one checkpoint, and you lose everything when you die.

You get masks that act as keycards allowing you to open doors and continue to new areas. You get a mask by defeating a golem wearing it. You defeat the golem, and pick up the mask. But you can't put it on. You have to go back to the workshop, which is outside the city, freshly equip all new items, then you spawn at the single checkpoint. Now go find the door and open it.

But oops! You died on the way. Guess what? Everything you were wearing is now gone. So now you have to respawn, find and kill the golem with the mask you need, pick it up. Go back to the workshop, equip it, spawn back in the checkpoint, and make your way to the door again. It's maddening. If you die again? Do it all over.

This is a problem because all the deaths feel unfair. You never feel like you just straight up messed up. It's always some bullshit with the game tracking your sword right or not registering a block. I don't know if it was that or if it WAS me, but it never FELT like me. So going over areas over and over never feels good, and instead seems like unfair punishment. By the end, I was just running past golems and not fighting them for this very reason.

The game manages to impress a sense of size upon you that would not be possible outside of VR. Big things are big, and you feel like a child, looking up at adults who are bigger than you when you aren't controlling your golem. The animation is good and smooth.

But this kind of backfires because movement doesn't feel real. You float along. As a big hulking golem you have no weight. Go up stairs and you glide effortlessly along an incline. Brush the enemy with your sword and they stagger back as if hit with a mighty swing.

So the world looks real, but doesn't feel real.

Lastly, the combat is outrageously underdeveloped. There are only two enemies in the game. Once you've fought them both, you've done everything you will do. Future enemies just get faster. You never have to learn anything else or apply your skills in unexpected ways. Just do it faster.

It's such a bummer, because I feel like if the inventory or checkpoint issues were fixed the game would be pretty neat for everyone.

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Thoughts

by Morpheus @, High Charity, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 12:11 (12 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Geez, that does sound frustrating.

I've only done VR once in my life, so I can't visualize the problems stuff like that would have--but if it messed with the feel that badly, I wouldn't enjoy its lack of immersion. No other DBO'ers have posted a review obviously, but there are few things that upset me more (from experience) than a game being delayed over and over and ends up being worse.

I did promise to buy this game for Marty, but I can't help but feel disappointed if these are the reviews it will be getting.

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Thoughts

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 12:29 (12 days ago) @ Morpheus

Geez, that does sound frustrating.

I've only done VR once in my life, so I can't visualize the problems stuff like that would have--but if it messed with the feel that badly, I wouldn't enjoy its lack of immersion. No other DBO'ers have posted a review obviously, but there are few things that upset me more (from experience) than a game being delayed over and over and ends up being worse.

I did promise to buy this game for Marty, but I can't help but feel disappointed if these are the reviews it will be getting.

I think if you are a fan of the VR experience you would find it worth trying. It feels like a genuine AAA type game, and it actually works in VR. I do not like VR at all, so when I say that if not for the design decisions it would be a good experience that should say something.

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Thoughts

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 22:02 (12 days ago) @ Morpheus
edited by Cody Miller, Sunday, November 24, 2019, 22:05

No other DBO'ers have posted a review obviously, but there are few things that upset me more (from experience) than a game being delayed over and over and ends up being worse.

But it didn't get worse…

I played the game's demo at a trade show in 2017. I thought it was dull. Golem as released is not dull.

Honestly I think that may have been me not being able to hear anything over the noise of the trade show floor. Sound is super important.

As an FYI if you have any hearing impairments you're in trouble. No CC or subtitles. If you have any range of motion issues with your arm, you are in trouble. No settings to make combat easier. The game has zero accessibility options other than adjusting turn speed and the dream tunnel effect for comfort.

Watch me play

by MartyTheElder, Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 09:17 (9 days ago) @ Cody Miller

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This is a game one should play

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, November 27, 2019, 12:40 (9 days ago) @ MartyTheElder

Watching doesn't really give you the sense of what is great about the experience.

Keep in mind I am not a fan of VR, but when your father is talking to you and you look at him in 3D, the motion capture and facial animation are so good you think just for a moment you are being spoken to by a real person. For that time I was all in on the experience.

When you get small and crawl around, the sense of scale totally doesn't come across on youtube. And the bugs… this shit was so icky I had to rip off my headset the first time they swarmed me. Not something you feel watching on a screen.

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Never Forget. Be Nice To The Goose *SP?* *GIF*

by Pyromancy @, Thursday, November 28, 2019, 11:14 (8 days ago) @ MartyTheElder

Never Forget. Be Nice To The Goose

[image]

https://imgur.com/xhZcNUZ

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Just finished it.

by CyberKN ⌂ @, Still has a line in the sand, Saturday, November 30, 2019, 19:18 (6 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Here’s some rambling thoughts on Golem:

After hitting credits and reading what Cody wrote, I agree with a lot of his points. The combat is very simple, which made deaths all the more infuriating. When I failed to block an attack, I never understand what I had done wrong. I grew to hate walking through the big wooden door and down the stairs for the ump-teenth time that play-session.

I really did not like the story, especially the ending. It reminded me a lot of Halo 2’s ending, and not in a good way. I would struggle to describe anything about the plot’s antagonist. I think the actors did a serviceable job with the material they were given, but the material itself and the way it's presented to you wasn’t up to scratch.

The game itself seems a bit buggy, even after the 1.02 patch: Two separate times I had enemy golems lock-up mid-animation, unable to take damage or attack, letting me wander on past. Sometimes the battle music wouldn’t end after a fight. Sometimes shadows would render for one eye, but not the other.

This is the first VR game that’s made me feel nauseous. I managed to fix it after the first play session by utilizing 45° quick-turns.

I think the thing I like the most about Golem is the aesthetic; The golems themselves look awesome, and the environments are beautiful, even as blurry and low-res as they are on a non-pro PS4.

Golem isn’t terrible, but I was really hoping for more from this studio’s first outing.

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Finally bought it.

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Friday, December 06, 2019, 09:19 (4 hours, 36 minutes ago) @ Cody Miller

It was much harder to find that I expected. :(

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