TheEldritchGod

Redux: First Impressions

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Episode 1:

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

I really like that you moved the promo from episode 2 to the beginning of 1. It makes much more sense thematically.

However, it also makes me repeat my demand for that Poncho that Astrid is wearing.

Otherwise, I really like that opening clip. Very strong imaging.

THANK YOU for talking out the clip from Astrid in the beginning. It always made me feel like she could see him but just didn't bother to go back for him. So she called down to him some encouraging words then walked off. I hated that.

It is important to protect your protagonists.

THANK YOU for not making me stab my mouse button a thousand times to pull out the shard in my hand.

YES. THANK YOU. I like the flashback as a tutorial.

Map.. nice...

You reversed the timer so it's now counting down instead of up. Nice.

Okay. I love that hangar.

Heh. Foreshadowing.

Okay, is it just me or was the cut scene different then how it played out before? It certainly felt "tighter" and the last time I got the impression Astrid was a bit of a... well... bitch. This version is much improved. From a story perspective, I approve.

Again, protect your Protagonists. If people start hating them, you're done. I approve.

OMG!!! You have loading the plane to teach the player how to manage weight! THAT IS PERFECT!

Okay, I accidentally double clicked on the wrong thing and the next cut scene started. had to go back to save point. Little annoying.

Heh. Hot plate funny.

Okay, you cleaned up that third cut scene. I know you did. It wasn't much, but that subtle change? Well done. Good idea to soften the antagonism between the two of them. I approve thematically.

Okay. I am a little disappointed I didn't get to keep the cooking pot or anything else i scavenged from the hanger. Like the tea

I like how what you selected at the hanger and loaded into the plane winds up at the crash site.

The changes to the map are most interesting. Must explore them in survival mode sometime. That said... YU CHANGED MY MAP! DON'T LIKE CHANGE!!!

but I'll get over it...

Ooo! Trail of Blood! nice touch!

WHO DID YOUR WRITING??? Seriously. I am loving the new grey mother.

Yay! You fixed the trust system!

I am glad to see you really upped your game when it comes to the corpses as well as the story behind said corpses.

I'm liking the changes to the fetch quests and the dialog. The floating words works for me

I'm liking the expired notifications.

HEY! it's Methuselah! Or as I like to call him, "Slim Wintermute" Basketball star, super scientist! Also, Crystal Methuselah, but that his Stage Name for his rock and roll band. In case you are wondering. Methuselah is Metal.

Milton! Paradise Lost! Now THAT's good writing.

I love this guy.

Like the changes to the map. the iconography is much better. And the direction arrow is very useful.

Heh. I get it now. the reason we have maps in the game is because we picked them up at the hanger. That's cute.

Never did like the bus at the tunnel part. I hate that I had to go to the Orca, back to grey mother, back to the tunnel, back to grey mothers. However, it's a minor quibble.

If you are going  to make me do all this running, you could have given Methuselah a little dialog for the return trip. Again, minor complaint.

Ooo... blood and glasses outside the old school. Interesting.

Of course the crowbar is with the crook.

Interesting dilemma with Hobbs. Oh. I just got it. A hobson choice. Nice. Or are you referring to "Old Hobb" another reference to the devil, perhaps? If your intent was to combine both, well played.

Man. Milton just got gruesome. BTW, love the couple having an affair.

This is a much softer version of Grey mother. I do not have the urge to shoot her in the face like the last one.

That is a much nicer way of presenting the side quest

Did you redo the church? It looks different. Like... was there always a bell?

I was wondering how you were going to work the boots back in.

You know, the way that stick is, I think Methuselah is talking to it. Although considering I checked on him in the Orca before coming down here, he's a spry old guy.

Heh. I like Methuselah. He crazy.

BTW, did I mention how much I like how the health bar turns blue when you are well fed? Nice touch.

And that's my first impressions of the first episode redux.

I have to say that over all it was an enjoyable experience. I'll save my over all summary after I finish episode 2. This is just a core dump of what I was thinking as I played. I would say so far, a thousand times better then before. I really need to put it on easy mode and go tourist for a while, but on this play through, I put it on hard and just plunged ahead. The amount of detail is much improved, as well as answering a number of questions I had. Boy am I glad I never did that video on the school house.

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Episode 2 is even more different than Episode 1. 

And I swear Methuselah is some kind of figment of Will's imagination. I get some LOST vibes from him. But if that's not the case then he is definitely an omnipotent apocalypse god.

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SO what's up with the skill books now in Wintermute..?.. you can't read them. Are we getting a buff to skills by having them.. no buff if you don't ?

anyone ?

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11 minutes ago, Fuarian said:

Episode 2 is even more different than Episode 1. 

And I swear Methuselah is some kind of figment of Will's imagination. I get some LOST vibes from him. But if that's not the case then he is definitely an omnipotent apocalypse god.

Now THAT makes more sense. The fire is a bit harder to explain. I just assume he is Slim wintermute, the missing basketball player super scientist who used to work for the air force. He gave himself superpowers working for the government and is aging slowly, has the strength of a Jeep and is as smart as a senile Einstein.

C'mon raph... just make him talk about having been a basketball player. Just once. It'll be all I need. It'll be code that he's Slim.

wink wink

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2 minutes ago, Cr41g said:

SO what's up with the skill books now in Wintermute..?.. you can't read them. Are we getting a buff to skills by having them.. no buff if you don't ?

anyone ?

You can't gain skills in Wintermute. You never could. I dunno why they have the books as collectables, but it's an interesting choice. I don't object to it. Maybe it's a code thing?

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Thanks... it has been a while since I did Wintermute.. I am loving the game changes though thusfar.

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The skill books unlock the survival school quests. Which in turn give you craftables as rewards. Also a much, much better way than before. They're optional, but you get something out of them (not that crafting is in any way necessary). And they complete right way (mostly) instead of you having to return to he cabin each damn time to drop off stuff

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Yeah, for example, when you find A Sewing Primer - New Quest: make three successful repairs. 

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7 minutes ago, Serenity said:

The skill books unlock the survival school quests. Which in turn give you craftables as rewards. Also a much, much better way than before. They're optional, but you get something out of them (not that crafting is in any way necessary). And they complete right way (mostly) instead of you having to return to he cabin each damn time to drop off stuff

That's... brilliant!

You know... I have to admit... I set the bar for "satisfactory" at "Don't destroy your own game". I mean it. As of late, in the gaming industry, that is what I consider a successful update. Do Not Destroy Your Own Game. You might think this is easy to achieve. But no. In fact, there are companies that missed the bar so bad they may have destroyed the entire COMPANY (cough-cough **EA** cough-cough) or at the very least sent their stock prices into freefall.

When Raph said they were only releasing episodes 1+2 and waiting on 3, I told myself "Better good then fast." I told myself that this was a good thing. They were taking their time to do it right.

In reality I was telling myself that this was going to be an unmitigated disaster and that another IP that I liked was about to be destroyed before my very eyes.

For Raphael to not only achieve the level of not destroying The Long Dark, to not only NOT burn HLG to the ground and salt the earth where his company once stood, but to come up with a well written, thematically appropriate story, create compelling narratives, make a vastly improved tutorial, to make me actually start caring about the characters, to dramatically improve the game mechanics on EVERY GODDAMN LEVEL!!!

I know... I know.. maybe 10 years ago this would have gotten nothing more then "Good Job", but these days? In comparison to everyone else? Raphael is a Genius. In the state the industry as a whole is in, this is pure brilliance. To put it in game terms, lately, his competitors haven't been able to get to first base. Hell. Most other games this past year have managed to beat themselves into a coma with their own baseball bats at home plate.

I have not played the second episode yet, but assuming Raphael keeps up the level of quality and improvement I have seen here, he'll have gotten a home run. As long as he doesn't shoot himself in the foot, or some how- Well.. I don't want to Jinx it. I am... Actually (dare I say it?) HAPPY WITH THIS!

And you might be saying, "Well, aren't you giving HLG a backhanded compliment? You are giving them high praise is comparison to other games." Yes. But that has ALWAYS how the industry has been. I cannot compare a game of today to a game of 20 years ago. Was Halo ground breaking and an amazing game? OH YES. For the TIME. Every game is judged on the time period it exists in. All games must be judged in the context of the zeitgeist of its' age. This is why I have problems with most retro-critics. Context is king.

Again, don't want to Jinx it, but this is shaping up to be the best goddamn thing to happen in the Video Game Industry for 2018. This update may well be the best thing to happen in YEARS. I loved this game before the update, but this update takes it to a truly new level of polish and enjoyment that would have gotten merely positive reviews from me 10 years ago, but in this day and age, I have to say that it is as close to perfection I have seen in a long... long time. It's like water to a man in the desert. It is like steak to a starving man.

IF, episode 2 is as good as the first. Still... this is light years ahead of everyone else as it stands.

If I were to rate the games of 2018, this update makes TLD number 1 for the year, as far as overall playability is concerned. And yes, I can say that without playing episode 2. HLG has already shot past my expectations and buried the goddamn needle. Anything past this point, Raph just needs to coast. If he actually does anything MORE? If he actually makes it BETTER then how episode 2 was before Redux?

I will do a happy dance.

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Absolutely correct... many companies are releasing utter garbage these days just to make a buck off a franchise and end up shooting themselves in the face. There are still those people out there that just say "all games release buggy" shrug there shoulders and accept it as the norm...these people are f***ing idiots. What they fail to realize is the power of their wallet... but some are starting to come round.

Bethesda will take years to overcome the unmitigated Fallout 76 disaster that "may" have killed the franchise.. it has certainly burned consumer trust. I can forsee Ubisoft might have problems with their latest Far Cry... lots of negativity surrounding a release that comes off looking like a DLC...

Hinterland have built a true gem. I will play this game for years and years, it will never leave my console.

I don't care how long it takes to produce the next episode, I would rather have perfection and wait for it than have something rushed.... and well to be honest...IMHO.. if you don't 100% agree with me, you're just plain wrong.

 

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They are a lot's of things I want to talk about of this Redux but for me there is one thing VERY important. The switch from cinematic in the 3rd person to every thing in fps without real cinematic. I was worry about this and the issues/bugs. And they are a lots of issues like the one about the transition between episode 1 and 2 (Nothing to say but.... man, 1 year of work and we got a bug like that...).

And I think that WinterMute lost A LOT of narration and story. The idea of the 3rd person cinematic is to have empathie for the caracter you are playing, to cut the story in parts and get the cinematic as a reward. The cinematic were amazing in the first version of Wintermute, now we have a story that's looks like the old trust system with a little of music behind (The music pls MORE, present, loud, ... That's  an enormous part of the game and it is so less present than before), the new audio are very sad, I mean I got my volume to maximum and that's like I can't hear them, the actor are amazing and when I watch the old cinematic we lost a lot of acting.

I'm for now happy to see this new wintermute but very dissapointed about the atmosphere than so poorly present. It's like playing to a point and click with some times a music (THE NEW MUSIC ARE DOPE) that last for 15 sec. 

 

Conclusion: Lot's of things to fix or change for the episode 3, I want more music, the cinematic in 3rd person even if I know you will not do that or at least more sound and LESS HOWLING OF WOLFES MAN: every 10 sec your hear 3 wolf HOWLING. 

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7 hours ago, Fuarian said:

And I swear Methuselah is some kind of figment of Will's imagination. I get some LOST vibes from him. But if that's not the case then he is definitely an omnipotent apocalypse god.

In front of the Dam, Methman says something along the lines of "Before I was a walker, now I'm a watcher". The way it's worded hints strongly that he is not a physical being, regardless which one of theories hold, he gave me some supernatural demigod vibes.

He also talks about the quiet apocalypse as something that has happened before and is just bound to happen again, because we "sinned".

My money is on "sadic demigod". 

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24 minutes ago, Dan_ said:

In front of the Dam, Methman says something along the lines of "Before I was a walker, now I'm a watcher". The way it's worded hints strongly that he is not a physical being, regardless which one of theories hold, he gave me some supernatural demigod vibes.

He also talks about the quiet apocalypse as something that has happened before and is just bound to happen again, because we "sinned".

My money is on "sadic demigod". 

When Will asks him "You saw the aurora coming?" he replied with a no. He says that he's seen the collapse of civilization before, so he's likely just really intuitive. I don't think he saw the quiet apocalypse coming. If anything non physical is going on here, he's likely a figment of Will's imagination hence the line "You seem oddly familiar, old man." which gave me some LOST vibes. Could be a recreation of Will's dad in his mind. But again even that seems far fetched. I'm sure he's just meant to be perceived as a mysterious character that acts as a motif.

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Could very well be, specially since we got to see his dad in that picture inside McKenzie's office. 

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Glad to hear you're all (mostly) liking the changes.

Always interesting to see what people feel has been changed and improved, vs. what feels fresh because the things around them have changed. :) 

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Methusela sure looks a lot like an older Will to me... So figment of his imagination, looking like his dad? Time Traveling Will from the future?? The literal Will who's been living here in survival mode for the last few years??!?

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Episode 2: (part 1)

Hrmm... I suppose it is too much to hope for a different trailer for episode 2, but it IS just for the opening credits and you don't expect every episode of a series to start with a new song.

Still... i didn't skip over it. Do like the credit scrawl and choice of song.

Wait... I seem to recall a part where Astrid was making a bow. You took that out. Good. It didn't fit. Astrid, as a character, has not earned that yet. She's tough, a doctor, scrappy, but she also has to run when out numbered, can be wounded, and she survived so far by running away. Astrid has not earned "rambo" status yet.

Thank you for feeling that it is safe to have a female lead be less then perfect. Her having flaws and weaknesses, and overcoming those flaws and weaknesses are what will make her a relatable character. She can turn INTO a bad-ass, but it is wise she is not starting OUT a bad-ass. The audience loves the journey, not the destination. We focus on the waypoints of life, because a destination means the end of the journey.

Oh, and before I forget, good job returning to the Heroic Journey arc. Smart move taking the hero's refusal and moving it from the end of Episode 2 to episode 1. End of episode 2 was jarring. In episode one, it is much more fluid. Mackenzie is still in denial at the end of episode 1. He still thinks this will end.

BTW, I like also how you tightened up the time line. It doesn't feel like you got stuck in Milton for a month anymore.

Also, side note, like the little pro-tips in the loading screens.

Excellent. Use of silence while showing us Mackensie's wedding ring. A reminder to the player what he is doing and what his motivation is before we get into this next phase.

Not a complaint, but Pine-cone beard barely touches us and we fall down? Man, Mackenzie's Glass Ankles are acting up again...

You brought the radio out into open right off the bat... interesting... can't wait to learn more about that.

"Been around doctors" Implying his ex-wife. Excellent. Tell us 2+2, don't tell us 4.

Excellent! Bringing up Milton for continuity!

Wow! He didn't insult us! He was helpful and he spoke in a logical fashion as if there was a larger world! G'dam!

HEY! We lost the safe! I DON'T LIKE CHANGE!!! But I'll live with it.

I like the new blizzard sound effects.

JEZUSFUCK! Okay! The bear actually made me jump.

Okay, I'm impressed with the use of tiny cut scenes as well as the triggered voice overs.


OMG. I cannot believe you finally fixed that glitchy drawer. I mean... damn. I expected it to be around forEVER.

You know, I never understood why we have the strong anti drug message in the game. I'm not saying it needs to go, it's just... it seems out of place, ya know? Not a complaint, more of an observation.

Does the "you can get hooked on morphine" have something to do with Astrid? Wait... Did Astrid Abuse Drugs? OMG, was she stealing Morphine at her job??? I doubt it. I doubt that HLG has the guts to actual do that, but I swear, if it turns out Astrid is a recovering morphine addict, G'DAMN that would be amazing. Like... the anti-morphine message would suddenly make sense and it would all tie together. I don't think that's the case... but DAMN.

You moved the truck. Why did you move the truck?

I like the way wolf howls are handled now.

Okay, Jeremiah is so much better now. I mean, the writing is superior as well as the voice acting. There was this little laugh. A single "heh", but it was perfectly timed. It took what would have be a sarcastic remark and softened it just enough. I can tell a great deal of time went into this voice work. Whomever is directing this voice work, chain him to a microphone and never let him escape.

I mean, dear god the difference is absolutely amazing, and it is such a subtle change, just a few words here and there and the context of the whole interaction is different. To have Jeremiah going straight for the radio changes everything. This is so much more believable. I know most people aren't audiophiles like me, so the details might be lost to some, but... wow. just... wow. Amazing Altitudinal usage. The mastery of paralanguage is perfection. All of the actors' prosody is sublime. It's like having my eardrums caressed with silk.

That hand gesture by Jeremiah, the running of the fingers, a nice touch. I mean, DAMN. That thousand yard stare. That was captured perfectly.

Damn. I love Jeremiah's Eye. That is some damn fine rendering on that eye. Dear god I like the attention to detail.

The eyebrows... just perfect. Kudos to the one who coded those eyebrows.

Again, Awesome.

The fire... damn. Just... damn. That was some fine work.

This is such a better story as far as interacting with the bear.

I need to stop at this point before getting the spear, but damn if this isn't some damn fine work. I mean, just... holy hell this is some damn good audio. And the animation with it, stylized over realism. Exactly the way I like it. Do it your own way. Style is important, especially when you have substance to back it up. I'll hope to get more of episode 2 done tomorrow.

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BTW,I basically had my master's thesis on non-verbal communication. I don't know who put the time and effort into rendering  Jeremiah's body language and facial expressions, but it shows. Raph? Find that person and handcuff them to a computer. I want them on the next three episodes, no matter the cost or price. Beat them if you must, but do not let them escape. Talent like this is a rare thing. Fake this person's death so nobody comes looking for them, then get them to work in the code mines.

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28 minutes ago, TheEldritchGod said:

Jeremiah's body language and facial expressions, but it shows

Jeremiah looked based off of a motion capture reference, or at the very least the acting mustve been filmed live action first and the animators interpreted it.

 

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9 hours ago, Fuarian said:

When Will asks him "You saw the aurora coming?" he replied with a no. He says that he's seen the collapse of civilization before, so he's likely just really intuitive. I don't think he saw the quiet apocalypse coming. If anything non physical is going on here, he's likely a figment of Will's imagination hence the line "You seem oddly familiar, old man." which gave me some LOST vibes. Could be a recreation of Will's dad in his mind. But again even that seems far fetched. I'm sure he's just meant to be perceived as a mysterious character that acts as a motif.

If I remember correctly, Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah in the Bible and lived the most, almost a millennium. He probably witnessed the flood, caused by people sinning. Maybe the NPC refers to that apocalypse.

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And btw, I loved the first half of the game. Yesterday I have played for 5 hours and stopped after killing Hobbs. I've tried to skip the spoilers in this post. I couldn't agree more with the OP about the changes in the redux. But I have to mention a few things. It will be a matter of time untill I will get used to the new fireplace interaction. I loved the moral implications of killing Hobbs. It was beyond Mackenzie. Mackenzie became me. I was feeling guilty for killing him, but at the same time feeling good for doing the right thing. I was expecting to keep the knife after killing him.

I feel the plot now is more well presented and made me realize that the story mode prefix had huge plot gaps... Now it's highly improved. I know what happened to 4 prison mates. I know how Astrid escaped. I know what happend to Milton (I loved the leaflets about Milton's history) and I care more now for Grey Mother, Astrid, Milton's folks.

Overall, I am highly satisfied with the redux so far, and can't wait to play more when I get home. I will write more after I will complete the episodes

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Not bad. A few quick points, take or leave them as you like:

  1. Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure that I saw the scene of me recovering from the crash and yanking metal out of my hand TWICE in five minutes. Either cut the first one, or find a way to not need the second.
  2. Astrid is a much more sympathetic character, which is good. I still feel she's being wasted- she not only abandons us, which calls her aptitude as a physician into question, but abandons the case which she insisted was critical to her plans. Things might be better if she frantically climbs after you, gives you some degree of medical attention because you're really hurt, then takes the case and runs. Maybe she's running because she knows, accurately or not, that you'll be fine. Maybe she's reluctant to leave you but has a mission, for better or worse. Maybe she's just a jerk. You can apply a bandage because the one she applied to you needs to be changed, or something.
  3. For the love of all that is holy, let us keep the knife after Hobbs. Regardless of choice, leaving such a useful tool with him is deeply silly. Especially if it's the only one we've found up to that point. Or make it a screwdriver.
  4. Overall, story is much improved. I'm happy for it. I think newer players will appreciate not having to axe-struggle multiple wolves in a row, and other gameplay changes are just as welcome as the story changes.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for the New Year!

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6 hours ago, BESt said:

If I remember correctly, Methuselah was the grandfather of Noah in the Bible and lived the most, almost a millennium. He probably witnessed the flood, caused by people sinning. Maybe the NPC refers to that apocalypse.

Yeah I'm thinking this character is meant to symbolize the quiet apocalypse as a whole. He's meant to be the cliche old wise guy that always reappears (I hope the doesn't constantly appear throughout the story though, that would be weird). 

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7 hours ago, MarrowStone said:

Jeremiah looked based off of a motion capture reference, or at the very least the acting mustve been filmed live action first and the animators interpreted it.

 

Must be, because who ever did it, they know how to act. Just the right amount of "squirllie-lived-in-isolation-too-much". The running of the fingers, I almost didn't catch it. Like he's running in his mind. Thinking, always thinking. Planning ahead. Tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick...

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