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E3 E3 2012

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159 comments

  • nathstyles - June 8, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    I'm still not clear on whether the focus here is the violence or the reaction of the journalists. The former depends on personal taste. I agree that violence in context and moderation is more effective than a constant stream of explosions/decapitations/assplosions etc, but I accept that is a result of the way my tastes have changed as I've grown up with games. The latter depends on interpretation. The reaction (Last of Us) felt to me more like a release of tension. Admittedly I wouldn't have cheered but I did feel the dramatic impact of the moment as much as anyone else. All I can say is that yes the violence is getting silly, but we can just not buy these games if we feel they aren't going to entertain us enough to justify it. As for games journos, I've seen enough frat/teenage humour on these sites that awkward/insensitive reactions don't surprise me. I agree and hope that these are probably just the vocal minority.
  • radiodeaf - June 8, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    reaching for something a little far off on this article. but yeah, sit on the high horse a bit longer.
  • ultimatepunchrod - June 8, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    I took the cheering as the crowd being impressed by what was on display. It was impressive that Ellie's AI was smart enough to help Joel in a situation where the player was in need of it. It was also impressive to see how the executions worked in Splinter Cell and to see Kratos rip open the elephantlopes's head. But, it's difficult to convey, "Wow, that's really impressive!" with anything other than cheering when you're sitting in a seat among hundreds of others. It's like in stand up comedy where the comedian asks how everyone is doing, and they all clap. No one claps in a one on one conversation to say they're doing well. They just say it. I could be wrong, but I think if The Last of Us were to be shown in a one on one demo, the reaction would be less "bro dude" and more appropriate. I was blown away by the demo, but I thought the ending where Joel shoots a man point blank with a shotgun as he's begging for his life was heart wrenching. I don't know if I would or could end the scenario that way, and that, was impressive. I couldn't do anything but tweet my praise at Naughty Dog though, but I have a feeling that if I was in the arena, I would have clapped and maybe even cheered because it impressed me that a game could make me consider a route other than mass murder to reach my objective. Also, if the HIV laugh story is true, then I'm probably wrong. I'm hoping that your source was exaggerating. As for all the games looking alike, I just disagree. They may all use cover, but their content was very different. Cover systems are good, and I hope they stay around for a long time. They don't save a game, but they can make a fun one. I'd say all of the games you mentioned are easily distinguishable and moreover, they would probably play pretty differently (at least as differently as games in the same genre would).
  • Viron - June 8, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    If people don't want to take it seriously then they can, it's not your position or mine to sit in judgement of others (I'm a hypocrite by saying this because I do it all the time out of boredom and stupidity). If I cheer at someone's head getting shredded by a shotgun blast and then proceed to laugh at a fart, does that make me less of a person? No. And neither does it mean that I am shocked by the brutality of the face shredded man or disgusted by the fart. So why don't you climb down from you lonely ivory tower and just live for yourself. If other people want to be morons then good for them. Because stupid people seem to be having more fun than I am.
  • el.waxa - June 8, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    Love this haha
  • Letter11 - June 8, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    Interesting read Dave. I love your point about how everyone is Marcus Fenix now. It's sad how all the genre's are blurring together. One question though. At the end of an extremely impressive presentation how else can a crowd show enthusiasm? A group can't simultaneously say, "That violence was realistic and gritty, and really made ponder the moral dilemma of inflicting violence in the name of survival" while they all stoke their chins pensively. All a crowd can do is cheer, applaud, boo or remain silent. If the demo had ended on a panoramic view of the ruined city, I'm sure people would have been cheering just as loudly.
  • sourpunch - June 8, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    Very well said. also, I miss the original tomb raider well there was only animals as a threat and not more concerned with killing other people then exploring the tomb.
  • FoxdenRacing - June 8, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    Thank you, Dave. Mainstream gaming really is becoming no place for old men anymore...I never thought I'd see the day where adolescent power fantasies with Saw and Final Destination levels of gruesomeness as the 'bare minimum' acceptable violence weren't niche, but rather central to the industry. I really do worry about the next generation sometimes...for every kid that plays these games and comes out well-adjusted, with the amount of realism now I fear there's gonna be another dozen that aren't. Don't get me wrong, I've been around for more than a while, violence in games is old hat and as a concept doesn't bother me...what does bother me is that it's become needless, gruesome [bouncing ham-hocks is funny; realistically-splattered brain matter isn't], and too realistic for its own good. And this is coming from someone whom experienced all the famous controversies firsthand as a teenager. I've spent countless hours on Carmageddon and Soldier of Fortune and any number of classic deathmatchers where opponents shatter into bouncing ham-hocks and heads pop off at the slightest provocation. I was one of the teens people were scrambling to protect when Mortal Kombat hit. But when those games hit, they weren't the headliners of industry shows, and they certainly weren't cookie cutter...they were over the top, outlandish, the Looney Tunes to gaming's cinema, even in the days where 'story' wasn't anything more than the thinnest premise possible to grab a potential buyer's attention and explain why they're walking right and beating people to a pulp [Bad Dudes comes to mind here]. The games we grew up with then are today's Bulletstorms and Borderlands, not the stuff on display there...well, aside from Soldier of Fortune, which deserved every bit of controversy it got. That game had plenty of stomach-flipping potential. Look at the bright side, though...at the rate things are going, by E3 2020, those colleagues of yours whooping like adolescents drowning in hormones won't be cheering violence any more...they'll be whooping at the premiere of "Bum: The Game", the most high-resolution bum in all of gaming. Get QTEs right to expel gas and score; mess it up and shart instead. And of course, the DLC: new bums and noises and different textures of feces, just $14.99 a month.
  • BladedFalcon - June 8, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    This coming from a man that game his game of the year to a game which rewarded you for shooting into someone's ass and make it explode, and called it an "Assplosion" And also for impaling several enemies with a giant drill called "the penetrator". And is also a game notable for trying too hard to make it's story serious in tone and expect us to believe that the man performing such actions has a conscience as was wrongly accused. Hmmm.... Nope! Not contradictory at all! (Disclaimer: I actually think said game is brilliant, and is one of my favorite shooters of this generation. I just thought I'd point it out in context to what Mr. Dave is complaining about here.)
  • FoxdenRacing - June 8, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    To be a troublemaker, the two are different due to the context. Bulletstorm makes no attempts to take itself seriously, present itself as serious, or rest on the laurels of realism. That'd be like saying criticizing Saw or The Human Centipede and not Looney Tunes is hypocritical. (I get your point, we've had enough great conversations to know you're not trying to be a jerk, just had to throw that out there.)
  • BladedFalcon - June 8, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    ...Erm. You haven't played Bulletstorm, have you? One of the biggest criticisms of the game is how the story DOES try to take itself WAY too seriously. Yes, the gameplay's completely cartoony and over the top, but you would never know that watching the story cutscenes alone.
  • FoxdenRacing - June 8, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    I have. Preordered it, loved every second...and I'll give you that, the opener set a tone different from the rest of the game. I still stand by Dave, though...I'm just as disturbed as he is that a bunch of what are supposed to be professional journalists are hooting and hollering about the kind of brutality in The Last Of Us' video with [from his description] the kind of enthusiasm and fervor of a 13-year-old putting a cherry bomb in a jack-o-lantern for the first time. I also still don't agree that him stating that the depicted scene (and the reactions thereto) crossed the line makes for a double standard; if having thresholds is a sign of hypocrisy, then that's suggesting the world operates purely in clear-cut black-and-white scenarios, where either you wholly support something no matter its intensity or you wholly oppose it no matter how mild it is. That's all I was getting at.
  • BladedFalcon - June 8, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    The thing is... even if they are professional journalists, you still have a bunch of people in one room. And if there is one thing I agree with Dave in this article, is that the majority of human beings are idiots. Thus, is it really that surprising that even a few of the attendants missed the point and cackled with glee instead of wincing as intended? And I'm sorry, being "proffesionals" doesn't automatically make them all smart or mature. Every single profession is filled with competent, genius people, and more than it's fair share of imbeciles. So what I am saying, how is this really a surprise? or even disturbing? again, it's the way a good majority of people have been trough all ages of history, or do i need remind you of gladiatorial games? Is it sad? yeah, but that's humanity for you.
  • Tronto13 - June 8, 2012 9 a.m.

    He's not complaining about the violence he is complaining about the context and then peoples reactions. In bulletstorm (I assume that's the game you are on about) the violence is portrayed in a very comical way and is never really visceral. The point Dave is making is that in games like the last of us the violence is very visceral and intimate yet people where whooping and cheering as if they'd just won the lottery. Its the attitude to the context of the violence he was complaining about not the actual violence itself. Did you read the whole article? As he made this very clear...
  • BladedFalcon - June 8, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    I did, and did you read my post? I recommend you read it again, and the reply that I made to the gentleman above me.
  • Tronto13 - June 8, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I did read your post, that's why I replied to it. I don't agree with your point about Bulletstorm at all. Noone just watches a games cutscenes, they watch them as part of the game, the finished product. All of the over the top violence in the game is found in the gameplay itself and is all very tongue in cheek and is not serious at all. Whether the game took itself seriously or not the violence within it was not visceral, the art style of the game made it so it was not excessively gory and none of the kills were of a personal nature like those in the last of us (ie a man pleading then head blown off). Being like this the game was created in a way that no real emotion was brought into play which is where his point comes in that in these moments where a player should feel awkward or shocked by what is occurring are instead whooping and cheering as if you just won the world cup.
  • BladedFalcon - June 8, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    Alright, fair enough. And I do understand your point of view, and Dave's for that matter. I get what he's complaining about, which is basically what pretty much always happens in a theater when the movie is playing a moment that is supposed to be tragic, shocking and repulsive, and people are laughing instead. Thing is... This complaint is kinda futile, because you're pretty much complaining about the general human condition. Even since ancient civilizations, people have always amused and entertained themselves with violence or things that are tragic or bad that happen to people unrelated to them. Let's remember that ours is a race that whenever we're not fighting a war and killing each other, we get bored, and do shit like the gladiatorial games that the Romans did back in the past. I am not saying this is good or acceptable behavior. But it IS how most of human beings are. How they have always been, and how they always will be, no matter how much a few more rational people like Dave complain about it. Idiots and Mob mentality have always been the majority, and they will always be. And the reason I stated how contradictory his reaction is to all this. It's because, tongue in cheek or not, he clearly relishes on violence and brutality. Sure, the gameplay in Bulletstorm doesn't take itself seriously, and doesn't try to make it appalling and personal like The Last of Us does. But it's still killing people in brutal ways. And, when you come down to it, let's be sincere here. As much as games like Last of Us or Tomb Raider want to make you cringe at it's violence instead of whooping from a story standpoint. The reason why these games are made, and they are considered entertainment, is because you WANT to see the action, you WANT to see those kills. If they truly made them as brutal, terrible and unpleasant as it would be in real life, then no one would want to play such a game in the first place.
  • ParagonT - June 11, 2012 6:18 a.m.

    +1. Good reply.
  • Risonhighmer - June 8, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    I think you may have missed the point entirely.
  • Tronto13 - June 8, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    This was a brilliant article and is so true nowadays. I feel, like you, that the moments of uuber violence should still be in games and that their inclusion is not necessarily a bad thing but they should be bringing out a different response in people. An example that comes to mind was from the Black Ops campaign where you put glass in Clarke's mouth and beat him. Upon getting to this point my mate said to me "ahh this bit is so f*****g cool!" with a massive grin on his face and full of excitement. I on the other hand felt rather uncomfortable whilst pummelling the guys face in. I hope that the developers were looking for my reaction when putting this in the game as I feel that is what it is there for, to shock and make you feel uncomfortable with what you are doing. Its good as it adds a new level of emotion to the game that is very personal and not as easy to trivialise as a massive explosion.

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