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Scct Demo Impressions


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***SPOILER WARNING***

 

Well, just played thru the Splinter Cell Chaos Theory first person demo. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

 

Pros:

 

-No bullet time (it was just a slomo effect used in the trailer.. whew)

 

-Not forced to kill anyone (in this mission)

 

-The choke outs that you see in the trailer are actually non lethal KO's; he's not breaking anyone's neck with his bare hands. Also, you can't just run up to someone and choke them, you have to grab them and put the knife to their throat first.

 

-On Hard difficulty, if you get shot twice you're dead, or if you're unlucky enough to get shot once in the head, also dead.

 

-Hard difficulty guards have very good sight and hearing (the slowest "creeping" movement is still completely silent as far as I can tell though)

 

-Guards sometimes light flares and hold them aloft if in a dark area.

 

-Basically this means that on hard, if a guard carrying an automatic sees you, and you give him time to draw his weapon, you're dead.

 

-Stats screen at the end is very conducive to ghosting; It keeps track of number of times spotted, enemies killed/ko'd, non-combatants killed/ko'd, bodies found, etc. It also gives you a percentile rating, and I only played thru once but it seems like ghosting (or only ko'ing people the game forces you to ko) is 100% a rating

 

(I got a 95% because I KO'd two guards that were torturing a guy in the mistaken belief that I could save the victim, which was the original goal of the mission -nope, scripted death. One of the guards saw the other guard go down before I got him, so that was a body seen too <_<. So the message to take away is: it's better to just sit and watch someone get tortured to death than to break ghosting rules. )

 

-New EMP pistol attachment is pretty cool. While not quite realistic (lights taken out with an emp would not magically come back on again after a time), it works as you'd expect, and does not work on gas lights. (lol, there will probably be some console gamer trying for hours to get it to work on a gas light and crying 'why isn't it working??')

 

-As in the previous two games, the graphics make good use of the PC and are not consolized crap.

 

-They SEEM to have upped the distance at which you trigger the AI patrol routines, so AI don't seem to appear in the same place every time (scripted conversations and events aside). 'Bout freakin' time after 2 games.

 

-Realistic levels of zoom (no super-zoom)

 

-Shooting is still pretty hard on hard setting

 

-It still "feels" pretty realistic (minus the crazy inverted hang takedowns that would make an olympic level gymnast green with jealousy). Good amount of tension, dynamic lighting, guards notice things well and can kill you with one shot.

 

Cons:

 

-I still hate third person

 

-These people do not know the definition of 'nonlinear gameplay.' I saw a dev interview where they talked excitedly about how they had listened to the fans and are incorporating more nonlinear gameplay. What this amounted to was a map that is still one huge linear track, going from point A to point B. The "nonlinearity" comes from 3 instances there were 2 separate paths to "get forward" a short distance on the track. Also, there were 5 2ndary objectives that could be completed in any order, but all this amounted to is going backwards along the linear track to complete any that you missed. Still nothing like realistic architecture or multiple entrances/exits on large buildings. (As I recall, the CIA building in SC1 had some good nonlinear play and realistic architecture, but apparently they forgot how to do that).

 

-Game forced me to KO at least two people (one to get information from him with interrogate, and the other one at the extraction point; wouldn't let me call for extraction until he was ko'd. That makes sense in a way, because he would see the chopper and run to warn others, but I still don't like being forced to KO.)

 

-Ghosting in the traditional sense (no 2nd stage alert) is often not possible, since you have to dim a light or something to get by someone, and that alerts them.

 

-One of the new gadgets is pretty useless; you point it at certain objects like generators, propane cannisters, etc, and it suggests that you shoot the object, or interact with it, or something. Why someone needs this gadget I do not know. It's basically "puzzle solving for retards."

 

-Anal realism point: You can switch hands to shoot with your off hand, but there is no accuracy penalty for using your non-dominant hand (I guess the protaganist suddenly became ambidextrous since the last game).

 

Overall

I'll probably buy the game, but I'll wait for reviews to see if it ever gets ACTUALLY nonlinear, or if it is all this 2 branches that lead you to the same place in a linear track BS.

 

That's it. I welcome the angry responses from fanboys!

Edited by Ishtvan
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Actually, for a non-thief game... it sounds pretty good in the stealth department :) I'm impressed.

 

The stealth genre is really taking off now...

 

There's that other game... can't remember what the name is, but its a new one, not released - the main character is Anya, and you CAN'T kill anyone... you can only knock them out. And after a while, they will wake up and the whole bit... it's just so good to see this kind of thing.

 

How many years since T1 and T2? Took everyone long enough to catch on :)

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Oh yeah, one pro and one con that I forgot to mention:

 

Pro:

When you KO a guard, you can hear the enemy radio operator asking him to check in, asking why he isn't checking in, etc. I thought this was cool in that it encourages ghosting, because you can tell people catch on when you KO people that are in radio contact. However, nothing ever came of it. I thought maybe if you KO'd enough people the radio operator would raise an alarm or send out a team to investigate or something. I haven't seen that happen, but I haven't ko'd that many people.

 

Con:

The stupid PDA thing on his back, that we are FORCED TO LOOK AT due to third person view. The neon green pda screen totally destroys my natural night vision when I'm playing in a darkened room (and not using the character's "night vision" option). Also, makes you wonder how he ever freakin' hides with a bright neon sign on his back.

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