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Gaming 30 – Randomly Random

Posted on 31st Jul 2011 at 11:23 by Podcast with 18 comments

Podcast
Joe is joined by Paul and Clive to muse about whether Battlefield 3 will really be better than Modern Warfare 3. The hype indicates that the former will be the better game, but Joe thinks they will be much of a muchness.

He’s also changed his mind on Rage, after being allowed to play the first three hours of the game and loving every minute. Previously, Rage has not received much praise, but it apparently plays brilliantly. Listen in to find out why.

We then quickly segue to the news that we could soon be playing one of the most highly anticipated games of the year: Deus Ex: Human Revolution is ready to ship. Yay!

We also grapple with the subject matter that was raised in the game's latest trailer (see the link above), and also discuss the confusing matter of the book of the game. The book is a prequel to Human Revolution, which is itself a follow-up prequel to the sequel of the original. Or something like that.

Gaming 30 – Randomly Random *Gaming 30 – Randomly random
Listen in for your chance to win a copy of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm Collector’s Edition (with a month's subscription)

We also discuss whether DLC is necessarily a bad feature, and whether there’s any harm in long-term plans for a game that incorporates DLC, expansion packs or episodic updates. Is DLC evil and lazy, or is it just a bit of extra fun for a small fee?

We also answer a piece of reader-mail – Mathew Whinney was so impressed with the visuals of Final Fantasy 13 on the PS3 that he asked why we don’t see the same level of graphical awesomeness on the PC. We try our best to answer this without subverting this gaming podcast into a hardware one. To be honest, we're not sure we succeeded.

As ever, the bit-tech hardware podcast features music by Brad Sucks, and was recorded on Shure microphones. You can download the podcast direct, listen in-browser or subscribe through iTunes using the links below. Also, be sure to let us know your thoughts about the discussion in the forums.

18 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
runadumb 31st July 2011, 12:44 Quote
Can I use this to have a wee rant about the latest edition of the mag? Yes? Thanks.

James Gorbold does a piece slagging multi-GPU setups and then has the cheek to call multi monitor gaming brilliant.

A)How the holy ****ing **** do you game at anything other than low settings at 6000x1080 (or something similar) without a multi GPU setup?
and
B) What are these games that cause problems? I went multi GPU and multi monitor in December (2x570) and haven't come across a single problem, except possibly geometry wars which won't load. No idea if it's SLI or windows 7 or whatever, it's never worked.

Since getting this setup I have even replayed a bunch of old games including Deux Ex, bloodmoney, Mirror's edge, psychonauts and Chaos Theory without problem. Sli has caused me zero issues where as my 3 screen setup works with one in every 6.897 million games. It's awesome when it's supported but good luck finding games that use it well. Gladly Deux Ex worked after an unofficial patch but the witcher (which I'm currently playing) doesn't. In fact the last time I used it was portal 2!

Rant complete. Thank you
jimmyjj 31st July 2011, 13:04 Quote
Runadumb

I have not used SLI, but when I buy a new game and hit the forums you often see dozens off posts about SLI / Crossfire problems.

2 examples just off the top of my head - Crysis 2 and Shogun 2.

Think the latest Nvidia Beta Drivers have sorted out Crysis 2 now, but that is a long time since launch that people have had to wait.

Good point about multi monitor setups requiring multiple graphics cards though.
WildThing 31st July 2011, 18:09 Quote
Joe, why are you not doing the review of DE:HR? Explain this outrageous atrocity!
CardJoe 31st July 2011, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildThing
Joe, why are you not doing the review of DE:HR? Explain this outrageous atrocity!

Honestly, it just wasn't something I felt comfortable doing and I wanted to hear the opinion of someone else, who I trusted. It was the same with the Monkey Island 1: Special Edition review.

Don't worry. It's in good hands.

http://www.richardcobbett.com/
WildThing 31st July 2011, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Honestly, it just wasn't something I felt comfortable doing and I wanted to hear the opinion of someone else, who I trusted. It was the same with the Monkey Island 1: Special Edition review.

Don't worry. It's in good hands.

http://www.richardcobbett.com/

Fair enough mate, just make sure you drop by the forums/podcast and let us know your thoughts as well... :D
urobulos 1st August 2011, 00:02 Quote
The "Friday" moment was priceless and so unexpected as well. I often smile, grin and chuckle when listening to podcasts, but an actual lol moment is pretty rare. Also, even though I don't play World of Tanks I really want to listen to a podcast recorded by the guys who are obsessing over it at your office.

One niggle is the FF 13 bit at the end. First of all let me preface this by saying that probably I spend as much time playing on my PS3 as I do on my PC. Second, FF13 started out as a PS3 exclusive, but it was ported to the Xbox 360 which is a slightly inferior version (according to reviews, I haven't seen the Xbox 360 version myself).

To the point though... Saying that FF 13 is somehow a really good looking game is a very weird statement. Maybe if you are running something like a 4770/5750 or a 9800/250 card with a low end C2D and 2 gigs of Ram. The texture quality on many in game objects is terrible. Square Enix created decent looking character models and then designed the entire game around this. There is a reason why 90% of the game is walking down a corridor, either literally or because of invisible walls separating you from the low res backgrounds in the distance. Or it lets you out into a big flat grassland towards the second half of the game, which is an open area, but has no terrain features worth mentioning. FF 13 creates a good impression, as do many other console titles; the director knows how to operate the camera, design limitations to the player's freedom in order to hide hardware limitations. But at the end of the day, in order to have good looking character models, you need to sacrifice something else.
They also make several different versions of character models which are displayed depending on the camera distance. During a cut scene they use the highest detail ones, because they know what will be rendered in the frame and 100% of the resources can go to rendering one character. Then switch to a slightly less detailed model if you have a few characters shown from a slightly greater distance and so on. You could say that's great and it doesn't matter to you as an end user, how this is achieved, but again this is a time and resource consuming way of doing things and many of the features that were planned to be included in the game never made it despite the long development cycle and a few trucks of cash being thrown at the project.
Next point is the draw distance which is pretty poor in most console games, especially open world ones like GTA 4, Red Dead Redemption, even Assassin's Creed. You can hide this, but only if you tightly control what the player can do and see. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes it isn't, depends on the genre and personal preference. You don't have real towns or open areas because the PS 3 does not have enough Ram to fit them in together with highly detailed characters. The world in Chrono Trigger on the SNES felt more alive than FF 13 imho. Furthermore their attempts to engineer a relatively good looking game are also very time consuming and take away resources that should be used on something else than tackling problems of severe hardware limitation. From a financial point of view FF 13 was a disappointment. Which is why they are creating FF 13 -2 to try and recoup some of the money they sunk into the game creating their own proprietary engine.

The bottom line is, console games can be made to look decent if the creators know how to hide hardware deficiencies, but there are always trade-offs to be made. Heavy Rain and God of War 3 are two examples of games which look ok and don't make you think about the limitations that the game is imposing on you. FF 13 is an example of the same idea, but badly executed. And at the end of the day if you really think that FF13 looks anywhere near as good as a modern PC game then it's time to upgrade your 5 year old PC or go to Specsavers (other opticians are available). I enjoy console titles a lot and gameplay > graphics every single time, but I think we are getting to a moment in the console life cycle when devs are saying; well, we'd like to do A, B and C, but we don't have enough VRAM and the GPU won't push enough polygons so we need to cut that. Obviously you get hardware limitations in every game you create, but I get the feeling that this has a far more negative impact on multiplatform games released right now.


my 2 p

(more like 2£)
GravitySmacked 1st August 2011, 00:23 Quote
I was more surprised to hear you haven't got a copy of Deus Ex yet when the PC Gamer review is out (in the mag) and gets a great score. I didn't realise there was such a pecking order when it comes to the big new releases.
CardJoe 1st August 2011, 00:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySmacked
I was more surprised to hear you haven't got a copy of Deus Ex yet when the PC Gamer review is out (in the mag) and gets a great score. I didn't realise there was such a pecking order when it comes to the big new releases.

There's always a pecking order.

We'll be picking up our code tomorrow.
Telltale Boy 1st August 2011, 00:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GravitySmacked
I was more surprised to hear you haven't got a copy of Deus Ex yet when the PC Gamer review is out (in the mag) and gets a great score. I didn't realise there was such a pecking order when it comes to the big new releases.

Maybe the high score and the 5 or so news articles about it on their website might have had something to do with that. To be less cynical; it is quite a widespread gaming magazine so it could just be their popularity that got them an early copy.
Parge 1st August 2011, 10:01 Quote
I can't say I agreed with your views that BF3 and CODMW3 are fundamentally very similar. Yes, they are both shooters, but to anyone that's played both of them, they handle, feel and look and play like very different games.
Lenderz 1st August 2011, 10:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
I can't say I agreed with your views that BF3 and CODMW3 are fundamentally very similar. Yes, they are both shooters, but to anyone that's played both of them, they handle, feel and look and play like very different games.

Got to agree with you there, I thought they were kinda missing the point. Yes they are both manshoots set in a modern/near future setting. HOWEVER they are vastly different games (or at least should be) battlefield should be vast wide open landscapes with a range of tactical options, and different ways to approach a challenge with a lot of vehicular combat options, from driving a tank or APC to a Jet. Whilst MW3 (if it follows the 1 and 2 ethos) will be a simple corridor shooter, where you walk into walls of spawning men shooting them in the face, never really going far out of your corridor, with the occasional turret segment, rather than any real freedom.

Also to me COD games are more about the intense singleplayer and stupid story, with the last decent multiplayer being MW1. Whilst BF is always AWAYS about the multiplayer first, and everything else second, and that is where the fundamental differences will show, will you be covering a massive map in a transport chopper dropping off your mates to the frontline on a dedicated server or will you be playing a P2P corridor shooter..... Massive difference.
Odini 1st August 2011, 11:13 Quote
Continuing the difference between COD and Battlefield is that whilst they are the same genre, DICE has spent a huge amount of time developing new technologies to increase the scope of gameplay.

COD however has stagnated without too much innovation in my opinion. Just more explosions.
runadumb 1st August 2011, 11:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
I can't say I agreed with your views that BF3 and CODMW3 are fundamentally very similar. Yes, they are both shooters, but to anyone that's played both of them, they handle, feel and look and play like very different games.

Oh god yeah. Was quite surprised when they started saying that. The games play very differently.
Like quake 3 and unreal 2003. If I described them to someone they might think unreal is just quake with vehicles but they are very different games in gameplay.
Jamie 1st August 2011, 16:10 Quote
I have to query the Final Fantasy 13 question. If the original question was regarding the cut scenes, they are pre rendered which is why it look so good, the gameplay doesn't look anywhere near as good as other games on the same platform in my opinion.
wuyanxu 1st August 2011, 17:54 Quote
BF is just simply much better than CoD. 'nuff said. it's like comparing a rewarding relationship to (in CoD's case) an expensive trashy hooker: one off expensive way of blowing money.



regarding re-using game locations, i think one of your comment on DLC hit the nail on the head: games are defined by exploring a location. whereas films are defined by actor acting, location is only a backdrop. so re-using the same location within a game is not feasable unless it's been radically changed (eg. Assass's Creed Brotherhood, modern day Desmond go back to Ezio family villa) an excellent reusable game location: GTA4 diamond museum mission -> GTA4 Gay Tony used exact same event, from a different perspective.



"direct-to-metal" will never happen on PC games. we've gone so far ahead in unifying computers why are we throwing those away? without DirectX or OpenGL API's, there will be zero compatibility between old and new, between different card vendars. a cut-down version of API may exist, but if we want backwards and forwards compatibility, we'll just have to live with the overheads.
mrdanie 1st August 2011, 19:45 Quote
To be honest it's a different experience with both. I loved battlefield bad company 2, as well as modern warfare, call of duty etc. And I'm still going to buy mw3 and bf3, more hyped about bf3 but in my eyes they are different games. mw3 like its predecessors is at the heart an all action rails shooter with the emphasis on scripted events, the multiplayer as well is fast paced and more of a lone gunner experience. Bf3 is definitely more team based and playing the alpha I'm expecting it to play a lot like bfbc2, the single player I'm not sure about but this game is a buy for the multi-player, mw3 is a buy for the non thinking over the top action film style shooter with some mindless death-match play. People need to not compare these games so much because I don't believe they are similar enough in game play to be judged, yes they are in competition for the sales being launched around the same time, but cod players will still buy it, bf players will still buy bf3, and people like me will get both :)
KASxxWill 1st August 2011, 20:36 Quote
My 2 bits on the whole MW3 vs BF3 discussion...

It's almost not even fair comparing the 2. MW3 is coming out in November and Activision is releasing little to NOTHING on the game, so there's not much to judge on... and the little there is, isn't even all that impressive and is just a copy paste game.

Battlefield 3 on the other hand, despite a lot of it's multiplayer aspects turning me off, (IE Vehicle Health Regen, Health Regen, Icons displaying when someone is arming/disarming MCOMs, ETC), the game is impressive and will always be a buy if the game keeps at the steady pace it's going now, especially now that Andy McNabb is their "Battlefield 3 Consultant" and author for the BF3 book... which really is as useful as a story in a porno...
awok3N 2nd August 2011, 09:10 Quote
Comparing apples and oranges again are we?

MW are realistic looking games, and yes the physics and how you move about can at certain times feel superhuman. The bullets have no rule sets, they hit where you aim only with less damage at a certain range. It's a lot quicker paced than BF, but for a majority of FPS players it's these things that make the game FUN. I will undoubtedly, like with its predecessors play MW3 for thousands of hours. BF3, not so much.

I'm embarrassed to see a lot of cod fan's in their early teens gushing out nonsense and fueling this war between the two games. But that s*** comes from both ends.

Dice ruined BC, BC2 and MoH MP in my opinion, and here's why (they did a good job on BF2 i'll give them that). When I get into the boots of a virtual spec ops killing machine I expect the following;

- I expect to be able to prone, even the most unfit people on earth, can prone.
- I expect my virtual soldier to feel and move about, like he's ran a couple miles in his life, and that he does not weigh round about 500 pounds.
- I expect weapons and bullets to do at least somewhere close to the damage they do in a real situation.
- I expect 7.62 LMG rounds (were talking 5-15 rounds center mass) to kill an opponent, as in reality, one would be enough.
- I expect High Powered Sniper Rifle shots from the waist and up (excluding arms and grazes) to kill an opponent up to 800 yards, no exceptions. Because it would irl, unless dragonskin is a vest cannon fodder marines and rebels have gotten their hands on.
- I expect that if you put bullet physics into a game, that it at least represents the real thing a tiny bit. Most caliber rifles over 556 travel with no elevation loss to about 400 yards, maybe a millimeter or two. Not, several inches, or feet, like in BC2.

I could go on, and you might now be thinking hey, he just said deviating from reality was cool when he was talking about MW3, what a douche. But at least most of the facts stated, that I'm not happy with when it comes to Dice's MP games, don't occur in MW3. I mean some level of realism is required. After all they claim, and their "fans" claim it to be vastly superior based on the fact of its realism and graphics.

Yeah, I'll buy BF3 of course, I've even taken a day of from work on the 25'th of oct. I do that for most large releases. After all I need to validate, or invalidate the massive hype around the game. I'm tickled by their new engine (hey in that frostbite 2 demo the motherf***** got on his stomach and proned), and I love the idea of vehicles. For me BF has always been about the vehicles, the infantry game-play of BC2 was so bloody ridiculous i often would alt + F4 if my vehicle was destroyed. I just hope they haven't focused too much on the graphics and too little on the game-play and general feel of it, which it looks like this far anyway.

I don't know what kind of deal they have with DICE or if its EA that just throws these major contracts at them. But if they f*** this up as well I actually wont be surprised. I expect nothing less then a complete failure. So I'm hoping at least, to be shocked.

As for MW3 I'm already satisfied. The MP will be good, I hope they take a lesson from CoD:BO and reinstate the dedicated servers, if they do it'll be perfect.

Shoving my blade into makarov's heart will be one of the greatest moments in gaming, for me.
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