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PC Gamer: The Uncertain Future of Games Like Deus Ex and Dishonored

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Jawmuncher

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In arkane games the endings don't even seem to really matter. They're more a "it's about the journey" than anything else. So the very light and quick endings were pretty well. Since if you go either High chaos or Low Chaos you don't really miss out on anything story wise. It's all mainly related to the gameplay and nothing more.

Which is rather nice especially for someone like me who sticks to high chaos. The endings I got in Dishonored 2 and Prey were nice for not belittling my style.
 

CHC

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In arkane games the endings don't even seem to really matter. They're more a "it's about the journey" than anything else. So the very light and quick endings were pretty well. Since if you go either High chaos or Low Chaos you don't really miss out on anything story wise. It's all mainly related to the gameplay and nothing more.

Which is rather nice especially for someone like me who sticks to high chaos. The endings I got in Dishonored 2 and Prey were nice for not belittling my style.

Generally I agree, but I do have to say I really enjoyed the ending of Prey. I heard a lot of complaints about the late game pacing and the ending itself, so my expectations were low. But I thought things really came to a head nicely, with the
coral gradually overtaking most of Talos I. And I also enjoyed the big twist. It was a rare case of the "it was all a dream" trope actually making the stakes higher rather than rendering everything meaningless
.
 

NoPiece

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I don't get the "more of the same" criticism when the genre is pretty starved and the releases are as far apart as they are. If I can play two stealth-action games a year I'm happy, and we're not really seeing a saturation.

Two things. I agree, the genre was more starved than saturated for a decade, but we did get Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2, and Prey all within 9 months.

However, I didn't mean "more of the same" in the sense that the market is saturated. I meant it in the sense that they were too similar to their predecessors. In comparison, look how much The Witcher changed from 2 to 3 in roughly the same time frame.
 

StereoVsn

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There are certainly some issues with the genre itself, but that's greatly exacerbated by technical issues, content issues, bad marketing, terrible release dates, etc... So let's take some of the OP's examples one by one:

- Deus Ex Mankind Divided: The game had technical issues at release, marketing around pre-orders had all kinds of shenanigans, microtransactions were shoved into SP game at the last mode, some random MP mode was added, game felt "short", story was cut in half it seems, the whole racism against cyborgs shtick was not well done, development took a long time, critical receptions suffered and game sales suffered. So it wasn't just the genre that was the culprit here. Deus Ex HR was a much better overall package, and Deus Ex MD seemed more of the same but perhaps worse and with less content.

- Dishonored 2: The game seemed pretty good but it had terrible technical issues on PC, and some on consoles, marketing seemed quite a bit off, and furthermore it had a horrible, horrible release date. I mean, seriously, who the hell decided on that one!

- Prey: The most niche of the 3 games. Marketing seemed very shallow. The game once again had some technical issues around it. I just don't know if this sort of the game really sells well in today's market (unlike Deux Ex and Dishonored games which I feel have more potential).

Some of the other notable failures mentioned:
- Watchdogs 2: After Watchdogs 1 that had to be expected. The first game was a massive disappointment to quite a few people so naturally the sequel wasn't going to do so well.
- Titanfall 2: MP completely changed its "flow" from Titanfall 1 which was where the game shined. SP seemed pretty good if short, but considering changes to MP, that wasn't quite enough. And finally, the most terrible idea was to sandwich release of this between Battlefield and COD. That was truly a genius sort of a decision.

- SFV: Yeah... Don't want to even bother with responding on this fiasco.

- ME:A : Everyone knows what happened with this one.

So, in a majority of cases, it wasn't the genre (or even sometimes the game) that was the culprit. There are a LOT of other factors. On the other hand, lets take a look at successes:

Nier, Nioh, P5, Horizon, Ratchet and Clank, Crash Bandicoot all sold pretty well. And before that we had quite large sames for Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Doom, etc...
 
May 13, 2008
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Dishonored is the worst at this, basically forcing you to play the most unfun way as possible by holding the "good" ending hostage with your killcount.

Even though I personally always choice the stealth route with Dishonored/Dishonored 2. I can agree with your opinion when I put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn't want to strictly play stealth.

They introduce weaponry and stuff but then you're restricted from using it as much as you would like because you know bad ending.

Someone said just youtube the ending, that's like a terrible counter argument to Azzandra's point lol.
 
Two things. I agree, the genre was more starved than saturated for a decade, but we did get Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2, and Prey all within 9 months.

However, I didn't mean "more of the same" in the sense that the market is saturated. I meant it in the sense that they were too similar to their predecessors. In comparison, look how much The Witcher changed from 2 to 3 in roughly the same time frame.
That's not a reasonable comparison IMO. The Witcher was a franchise where you could make huge changes to perfect the gameplay and design. Each game was further refinement and expansion. Smaller hub levels to massive open world, for example

When you have a game with a solid foundation, you tend to improve upon it because it works. Uncharted. GTA. Arkham. among others. Dishonored 2 had entirely new settings, more complex powers that could synergize in more complex ways, new mechanics and larger mini-sandbox stages, and so on.

Outside of Stalker and maybe Hitman, the subgenre has a pretty specific design. Compared to Witcher being an action RPG, which has a vide variety of shapes and sizes
 

NoPiece

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That's not a reasonable comparison IMO. The Witcher was a franchise where you could make huge changes to perfect the gameplay and design. Each game was further refinement and expansion. Smaller hub levels to massive open world, for example

When you have a game with a solid foundation, you tend to improve upon it because it works. Uncharted. GTA. Arkham. among others. Dishonored 2 had entirely new settings, more complex powers that could synergize in more complex ways, new mechanics and larger mini-sandbox stages, and so on.

Outside of Stalker and maybe Hitman, the subgenre has a pretty specific design. Compared to Witcher being an action RPG, which has a vide variety of shapes and sizes

That's basically arguing the genre has plateaued, and there is nothing big and new to do with it. That would be one explanation for the tapering sales. Maybe something akin to the Hollywood sequel fatigue this summer.

But, I think there are many more areas to explore and expand on the genre. There is no inherent reason that an action RPG has more room to grow than immersive sim. These games are much more limited by budget and time than ideas. They could start with systems other genres have added, vehicles, destructible environments, bigger more open worlds, async Souls-like multiplayer, Dead Space style weapons crafting, dynamic weather, smart companions, etc..

I do agree that the Witcher as a series had more headroom to grow, so it may be a bigger challenge for games like Dishonored and Human Revolution which started at a high level.

edit: Zelda just came to mind as a series that seemed to have plateaued, and then Breath of the WIld bursts on the scene layering all sort of interesting new systems, and totally revitalized it.
 

TheRedSnifit

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Those games are inherently relatively linear story-focused games. Their main selling point is great level design and world-building. That's all stuff that's very hard to advertise in today's market dominated by service-games and online features. I don't think immersive sims were ever destined for mainstream sales. How do you sell the average GTA or COD gamer on Prey?

I think Sony is almost the only chance for a Thief/Prey/Dishonored/Deus Ex game to succeed again in the AAA sector. Sony seems to be the only huge publisher left that cares about linear story-focused games, outside of Bethesda. Outside of that I think you're gonna have three things:

1) Massive AAA open-world games that inherent some immersive sim elements. Skyrim, Breath of the Wild, Far Cry (what it's supposed to be anyway), etc.

2) Kickstarter-tier games like the System Shock remake, System Shock 3, and Underworld Ascendant. Don't know if those are gonna keep going after those games though.

3) Smaller indie games. A lot of today's first-person indie games already evoke immersive sim elements. Minecraft might be the biggest example which is how it trickled into the mainstream through BOTW. A few indies are trying to do actual immersive sims but so far they're pretty small and tend to have graphics not that far removed from Deus Ex 1. I think for small indie developers to keep doing they may have to be like Thief and have a more narrow gameplay focus instead of doing Deus Ex's kitchen sink approach.

Linear, story-driven games are almost the exact opposite of immersive sims. System Shock 2 has, like, two or three cutscenes across the entire game, and if you want a story beyond "Do you want to play System Shock or not?" you have to go out of your way to find it. Doom 2016 is actually one of the few modern games to evoke that, and it gets ragged on for it by people who want a heavy focus on story.

Immersive sims are about emergent gameplay, cross-genre roleplaying, and player choice. Not about cinematic breaks and pathos-heavy stories.
 

The Technomancer

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I'm...not sure how comfortable I am ascribing this to a problem with the genre. Honestly what is doing well these days? A small handful of games in some specific genres, most of them multiplayer. Look at how a game like Pyre is performing compared to the other Supergiant games. Look at how Hitman did compared to Absolution. Or how long it took Watch Dogs 2 to rally after practically bombing put of the gate. The truth is that lots of games are underperforming, including tons of highly anticipated sequels and follow-ups.

My theory? There's too. Much. Noise. There's too many games coming out constantly. People say Dishonored 2 launched with too much stuff around it, when the hell since then would it have had any more room?
 

jtb

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People don't want games with freedom or player agency or thinking involved. There's just no demand, and, frankly, there never has been. The budgets have gone up, but the revenues have stayed the same over decades and decades of games. (See: the unceremonious death of the WRPG genre)

These are basically the only games in all of videogaming that I enjoy too. I'm resigned to that. It's fine. Time to get a hobby that wastes a little less of my time.

(Also if Dishonored is an "immersive sim" then the label - already fucking stupid, sorry Warren - is officially meaningless because there is nothing immersive or sim-y about Dishonored.)
 

Lord of Ostia

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I agree in an objective sense, they are better: better looking, more abilities, bigger levels, etc.. They benefited from the long gap between their initial release, and the new console cycle and extra hardware power. They suffer though, from being more of the same, just slightly improved. Which wasn't enough to push them above their predecessors, and one of the reasons they didn't provoke a passionate response.

Look at the gaf GOTY voting, which is a self selected group of serious gamers. Human Revolution was 4 in 2011, Dishonored was 5 in 2012, Mankind Divided was 14, Dishonored 2 was 15 in 2016. That's not a marketing fail, that's a sign the games slipped behind the curve of top tier games.
Dishonored 2 is markedly worse than the first Dishonored in terms of story, characters, and setting. The level design is better, but so much of the game feels like a retread of the original. It didn't improve on Dishonored in the areas Dishonored needed the most improvement in.

Edit: For the post above
People don't want games with freedom or player agency or thinking involved. There's just no demand, and, frankly, there never has been. The budgets have gone up, but the revenues have stayed the same over decades and decades of games. (See: the unceremonious death of the WRPG genre)

These are basically the only games in all of videogaming that I enjoy too. I'm resigned to that. It's fine. Time to get a hobby that wastes a little less of my time.

(Also if Dishonored is an "immersive sim" then the label - already fucking stupid, sorry Warren - is officially meaningless because there is nothing immersive or sim-y about Dishonored.)
Sorry, you are wrong. Breath of the Wild is a game all about freedom, player agency, and thinking through problems, and it's the second highest selling title this year. The problem with the revent immersive sims is not their depth. Also since when has the WRPG been dead? Witcher 3 was one of the best selling games of 2015, Horizon did well this year, there are CRPGs coming out every year for the last 3 years.
 

jtb

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also, when you only get one release in the genre per year - and that one game is not up to par (i.e. MD) - then that "hurts" the genre disproportionately. Just the way it plays out.

I'm just glad we got Prey - a bona fide masterpiece that does everything I've dreamed of since Deus Ex - before they all called it quits.

Sorry, you are wrong. Breath of the Wild is a game all about freedom, player agency, and thinking through problems, and it's the second highest selling title this year. The problem with the revent immersive sims is not their depth. Also since when has the WRPG been dead? Witcher 3 was one of the best selling games of 2015, Horizon did well this year, there are CRPGs coming out every year for the last 3 years.

Let me put it in even blunter terms: people don't like to read.

Anyways, it's fine. W3 is a great game that barely has any of the trappings of the things I love about RPGs - particularly in contrast to its predecessors. I'm perfectly content to be done with "hardcore" gaming at this point and play the one or two games a year that appeal to me.
 

Urthor

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Feel like the only way to save this genre is to dump a bunch of Game of the Year awards on Prey and have gaming journalism give literal mouth to mouth to the genre everyone in the industry and all the hardcore fans really love. Sad that's the truth but it's probably what'd need to happen to get anything greenlit after Prey's poor sales.
 

Decado

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Didn't all three have pretty serious launch issues on steam? That can kill a games' sales. May not reflect the viability of the genre.
 

A-V-B

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I thought Steam would be eating up these thinking-man games. The Steamspy numbers seem quite disappointing to me.

I've only played Dishonored 2 of the bunch, and I love the genre. Mankind Divided just had too many publicly known cons as opposed to pros, and Prey... I'm still not sure what to think about Prey.
 

RedSwirl

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Linear, story-driven games are almost the exact opposite of immersive sims. System Shock 2 has, like, two or three cutscenes across the entire game, and if you want a story beyond "Do you want to play System Shock or not?" you have to go out of your way to find it. Doom 2016 is actually one of the few modern games to evoke that, and it gets ragged on for it by people who want a heavy focus on story.

Immersive sims are about emergent gameplay, cross-genre roleplaying, and player choice. Not about cinematic breaks and pathos-heavy stories.

I didn't mean it in that sense. I meant "relatively" linear compared to games like Skyrim and "story-oriented" compared to multiplayer games. There's tons of story in System Shock 2, it's just not conveyed in cut scenes.

What i'm saying is, the big AAA publishers are moving away from games that don't involve some kind of platform for continuous income. They're moving away from games that have a beginning, middle, and end. Even games as open-ended as Deus Ex fit that mold. We all saw this with how Square Enix tried to put service-oriented stuff into Mankind Divided like Breach mode. I think Sony right now is almost the only publisher still willing to take that kind of game and give it a gigantic TV marketing budget.
 

Decado

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Many big sellers on Steam had and still have major technical issues.
True, though not all games are immune. DXMD has out right poor scores. D2 clearly had a rocky start. Ppl may be expecting more from sequels to liked games.

IMO, Prey just looks boring with its inky enemies.
 

ScaryShark

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Haven't played Prey but Dishonored 2 and Mankind Divided were both just 'fine' and didn't really elevate either franchise in to me caring a lot about them continuing. The gameplay in both is mostly rock solid but both games had serious narrative issues and didn't leave me really wanting more.

I'll play Death of the Outsider because I love how that series controls and I love stealth but if it didn't exist I wouldn't lose sleep over it. That's not something I would ever have said after the first game or after Human Revolution.
 

TheRedSnifit

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I didn't mean it in that sense. I meant "relatively" linear compared to games like Skyrim and "story-oriented" compared to multiplayer games. There's tons of story in System Shock 2, it's just not conveyed in cut scenes.

What i'm saying is, the big AAA publishers are moving away from games that don't involve some kind of platform for continuous income. They're moving away from games that have a beginning, middle, and end. Even games as open-ended as Deus Ex fit that mold. We all saw this with how Square Enix tried to put service-oriented stuff into Mankind Divided like Breach mode. I think Sony right now is almost the only publisher still willing to take that kind of game and give it a gigantic TV marketing budget.

Just looking at 2016-2017, we have two CoDs, Battlefield, Battlefront, Titanfall, Sniper Ghost Warrior, Doom, Wolfenstein, and a few others in the "AAA shooter with a linear campaign" mold, and most of those have a very strong emphasis on cinematics and storytelling (quality varies). CoD, Battlefield, and Battlefront in particular have marketing budgets that almost certainly dwarf Uncharted 4's. By comparison, how many Sony studios are still making AAA linear games now that Guerrilla has been put on a Ubisoft-style open world franchise? Not as many as you're implying, I think.

Sony games already have platforms for continuous income. Basically all of their recent shooters (Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, Killzone Shadowfall) have multiplayer with microtransactions. I don't know why you're drawing a distinction between them and others in this regard.

Immersive sims are "relatively" open when compared to Killzone and "gameplay-oriented" when compared to Uncharted. Prey does not bear any more resemblance to the games being pushed out by Naughty Dog than it does to GTA.
 

MartyStu

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I think they just need to try a different angle. Instead of relying on hub worlds these action RPGs (I refuse to call them immersive sims) should sell themselves as open world action games like the latest Far Cries, the Arkham games or even Bethesda titles like Skyrim and Fallout 4. I think they'll be much more popular this way.

Wait, is this an argument to ruin perfectly fine single player games with MORE open world garbage?
 

NoPiece

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Wait, is this an argument to ruin perfectly fine single player games with MORE open world garbage?

I think it is a fair suggestion about what changes might be made to perfectly fine games, that didn't sell well, so they they will sell more and we get more. Prey and and Mankind Divided are basically small open world games already. There is room though, for at least one attempt at a big open world immersive sim.
 

GameAddict411

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Publishers barely did anything to market them, and two of the major games that fell Deux Ex and Dishonored 2 has technical issues on PC on launch with the latter experiencing the most significant issues. Publishers blamed the games instead of other issues that I think mattered more. Prey was not really marketed that well.
 
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I think it is a fair suggestion about what changes might be made to perfectly fine games, that didn't sell well, so they they will sell more and we get more. Prey and and Mankind Divided are basically small open world games already. There is room though, for at least one attempt at a big open world immersive sim.

The appeal of these games is their smaller, dense, handcrafted worlds. Turning them into huge open worlds would is not something most fans of this genre want.
 

toddhunter

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Market your games better.

Make better games and you don't need to market them.

Dishonoured and the new dx's and bioshocks are simply very mediocre games that try hard to appeal to people who don't care (brain dead action fans), at the expense of people that might.

This flows onto games like Prey. I have heard it is quite good but I don't really trust that it will be. Such is the negative experience from these othergames that I want to wait till they are very cheap.

Marketing? No. Realistic budgets for games actually made to appeal to people who might buy them? Yes.
 

NoPiece

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The appeal of these games is their smaller, dense, handcrafted worlds. Turning them into huge open worlds would is not something most fans of this genre want.

I wouldn't use small, dense, or handcrafted as definitions of the genre, though they might be practical limitations given time, budget, and technology. Something like Far Cry 2 is an example of where they took elements of an immersive sim and put them in big, open, systems driven game.

I don't know what most fans want, but Warren Spector's quote in the article encapsulates why I like the genre, "They removed barriers to belief that I was in another world and they let me approach problems as problems, rather than as puzzles."

This flows onto games like Prey. I have heard it is quite good but I don't really trust that it will be. Such is the negative experience from these othergames that I want to wait till they are very cheap.

You should give Prey a try. I wouldn't say any of the recent immersive sims pandered to action game fans, but Prey is the most hardcore of the bunch. 50% off on Steam right now.
 

RedSwirl

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Just looking at 2016-2017, we have two CoDs, Battlefield, Battlefront, Titanfall, Sniper Ghost Warrior, Doom, Wolfenstein, and a few others in the "AAA shooter with a linear campaign" mold, and most of those have a very strong emphasis on cinematics and storytelling (quality varies). CoD, Battlefield, and Battlefront in particular have marketing budgets that almost certainly dwarf Uncharted 4's. By comparison, how many Sony studios are still making AAA linear games now that Guerrilla has been put on a Ubisoft-style open world franchise? Not as many as you're implying, I think.

Sony games already have platforms for continuous income. Basically all of their recent shooters (Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, Killzone Shadowfall) have multiplayer with microtransactions. I don't know why you're drawing a distinction between them and others in this regard.

Immersive sims are "relatively" open when compared to Killzone and "gameplay-oriented" when compared to Uncharted. Prey does not bear any more resemblance to the games being pushed out by Naughty Dog than it does to GTA.

But look at how many of those games are depending heavily on continuous revenue through online functions. Their campaigns are mostly there because the budgets are big enough and the publishers know they have the online/MP services to fall back on.

What's different about most immersive sims is they're games where pretty much their ONLY source of revenue is the initial package of the main SP game itself, and maybe an expansion pack with another SP story. The most similar games to that in your post are of course Bethesda's other games -- Wolfenstein and DOOM. DOOM tried multiplayer with all-MP DLC but the fans don't seem to care for it much.

I made the comparison to Sony because it still seems willing to push games like Quantic Dream's stuff or the last Guardian. Horizon, Last of Us, and Uncharted are advertised almost exclusively for their stories -- I don't just mean story in the sense of cut scenes, but just the SP gameplay in general. The shooters from other publishers are advertised knowing people will mostly play the multiplayer and get in on the microtransactions but Sony seems to be coming from the other direction with their games, and I don't the other big publishers would ever support something like TLG or Detroit -- something that has no service-game angle at all, unless it's a much smaller project from an indie (like Unraveled or something).
 

HK-47

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The "good" ending is just a different ending, and you can watch it on YouTube so it is not being held hostage.

One of the best things about Dishonored is that you can play it in two very different styles are both are enjoyable.
He wants to be able to murder dozens of people and have the game not react to it.
 

TheRedSnifit

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But look at how many of those games are depending heavily on continuous revenue through online functions. Their campaigns are mostly there because the budgets are big enough and the publishers know they have the online/MP services to fall back on.

What's different about most immersive sims is they're games where pretty much their ONLY source of revenue is the initial package of the main SP game itself, and maybe an expansion pack with another SP story. The most similar games to that in your post are of course Bethesda's other games -- Wolfenstein and DOOM. DOOM tried multiplayer with all-MP DLC but the fans don't seem to care for it much.

I made the comparison to Sony because it still seems willing to push games like Quantic Dream's stuff or the last Guardian. Horizon, Last of Us, and Uncharted are advertised almost exclusively for their stories -- I don't just mean story in the sense of cut scenes, but just the SP gameplay in general. The shooters from other publishers are advertised knowing people will mostly play the multiplayer and get in on the microtransactions but Sony seems to be coming from the other direction with their games, and I don't the other big publishers would ever support something like TLG or Detroit -- something that has no service-game angle at all, unless it's a much smaller project from an indie (like Unraveled or something).

The Last Guardian and Detroit are hardly AAA games and as far as I'm aware haven't gotten much marketing. Naughty Dog is literally the only Sony studio that still makes AAA linear games. Horizon is a straight-up open world game, might as well bring up Ubisoft as a company pushing immersive sim-like games.

You're also drawing some pretty arbitrary distinctions here. The Battlefield 1 reveal trailer consisted entirely of footage from the single-player campaign. Plenty of people buy these games for the campaigns, and the actual game content is no different than Uncharted 4; linear, story-driven cinematic campaign with microtransaction-filled multiplayer. There are plenty of these games every year (especially if we expand away from AAA down to the tier of TLG), and the vast majority are not coming from Sony.
 

Alpha Phoenix

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True, though not all games are immune. DXMD has out right poor scores. D2 clearly had a rocky start. Ppl may be expecting more from sequels to liked games.

IMO, Prey just looks boring with its inky enemies.
It really doesn't, though. It actually reviewed pretty well across the board and has a metascore in the 80's.

As others have said, the game had other issues, like poor marketing and tacked-on microtransactions, that hurt it more than the content itself.
 
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I wouldn't use small, dense, or handcrafted as definitions of the genre, though they might be practical limitations given time, budget, and technology. Something like Far Cry 2 is an example of where they took elements of an immersive sim and put them in big, open, systems driven game.

I don't know what most fans want, but Warren Spector's quote in the article encapsulates why I like the genre, "They removed barriers to belief that I was in another world and they let me approach problems as problems, rather than as puzzles.

Dense, detailed worlds are one of the major parts of immersive sims, Warren Spector himself dreamed of a game where you only played in one city block but with everything being interconnected and reactive to your choices.

Scaling up size inevitably means dialing down the elements that make immersive sims what they are. If there can ever be one set in a huge open world where everything is as dense and detailed as Deus Ex, im all for it, but otherwise, you can't really call it part of the genre. It may be more popular, but simplified things always are.
 

tuxfool

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The Last Guardian and Detroit are hardly AAA games and as far as I'm aware haven't gotten much marketing.

Of course they are.

Scaling up size inevitably means dialing down the elements that make immersive sims what they are. If there can ever be one set in a huge open world where everything is as dense and detailed as Deus Ex, im all for it, but otherwise, you can't really call it part of the genre. It may be more popular, but simplified things always are.
This very much depends on what components you think are required for a game to call itself an immersive sim. The FC2 example is interesting because that game is highly systems driven, but it also eschews tight level design for a more open environment. However the tools it gives you are more appropriate there and not things that you'd find in immersive sims.
 

Y2Kev

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I think these games actually may offer too much player choice, or at least the illusion of it. I find Dishonored 2 really difficult to play to a point where you feel like you're doing a good job given the huge number of branching paths and the seemingly visionary AI. I thought Mankind Divided gave you this richly detailed city and asked you to vent crawl / window climb into everyone's apartment. I think the scale needs to stay really small so that players don't get frustrated.
 

Curufinwe

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Even though I personally always choice the stealth route with Dishonored/Dishonored 2. I can agree with your opinion when I put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn't want to strictly play stealth.

They introduce weaponry and stuff but then you're restricted from using it as much as you would like because you know bad ending.

Someone said just youtube the ending, that's like a terrible counter argument to Azzandra's point lol.

The game is quite obviously designed to be played thru twice, and high chaos and low chaos playthrus are rewarding in their own ways. It's quite ludicrous to act like this is somehow a negative, or to expect the game to treat you like a goody two shoes when you are murdering everyone in sight.
 

CloudWolf

Member
Feb 22, 2011
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Such a shame Prey sold so terribly, it's a great game.

Though I'm still a bit salty over the fact that I unknowingly ruined my "kill everyone" playthrough because Arkane decided that one NPC doesn't count as a human kill anymore after a certain part of the game.
 

Y2Kev

TLG Fan Caretaker Est. 2009
Jul 6, 2005
91,410
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He wants to be able to murder dozens of people and have the game not react to it.

I think this is exactly the case. Or, rather, make the player feel like the game's reaction isn't a punishment.

I've heard this argument since the original MGS. People try to play stealthy (because the game really does encourage it), screw up, restart, screw up, restart, screw up, restart, and get frustrated. Eventually they stop playing because the "player choice" in the game is overwhelming and not rewarding.

I didn't usually agree with this but I totally felt it in MD and D2. Night Prague in MD totally sucks and D2 just felt like a disaster to me. I felt like I couldn't get anywhere without the game finding me.

edit: Also plot-as-reward works really well in these games (MGS, Splinter Cell, DX). Human Revolution had a riveting action story. MD was droll and Adam sucked as a character. I gave up at the end after my ninth failed attempt to sneak around some guards by crawling through an apartment window.
 

RedSwirl

Junior Member
Mar 29, 2009
28,093
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Haven't installed my copy of Prey yet but last year I recognized it didn't really have an immediate selling point. The whole appeal was pretty much "It's a modern take on System Shock with a decent budget." People tried to draw comparisons to BioShock for its format but it didn't have the immediate appeal of BioShock's story and setting. I thought Dishonored 2 as dope as fuck. Deus Ex MD to me was merely "very good" in a classic PS2-era/Mid-2000's PC game sense that we don't really get anymore, at least not with top-of-the-line graphics. I enjoyed it but realized Square Enix couldn't really sell the game on people. Look how they attempted to jam a service-game into it.

The weird thing about all these immersive sims is they occupy that mid-space in-between super-linear cut-scene-driven story campaigns and fully open-world games. Nobody does the mid-sized hub world thing anymore in big-budget games which is part of what made DXMD so appealing. Nobody does that "wide-linear" style of game much anymore, which is part of what made Dishonored so cool, though I find it surprising that Uncharted seems to be creeping towards that kind of design. Prey has (I hear) a large-but-not-GTA-sized interconnected world -- some would call Metroidvania, that's also not common in today's biggest games. Dark Souls does it and I think the Arkham games but most big SP games are either COD-style linear or Ubisoft-style open-world.

Like I said earlier, right now I see the future of these kinds of games being Kickstarter-tier projects, massive AAA games that have borrowed immersive sim aspects, and indie games either borrowing their aspects or doing a more focused-style of imsim like Thief.

I don't know, if mid-sized Japanese console games can come back in such strength, why can't immersive sims?

Edit: And Christ we need a new Crysis 1.
 
Jun 12, 2013
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The Last Guardian and Detroit are hardly AAA games and as far as I'm aware haven't gotten much marketing. Naughty Dog is literally the only Sony studio that still makes AAA linear games. Horizon is a straight-up open world game, might as well bring up Ubisoft as a company pushing immersive sim-like games.

Santa Monica has been making nothing but linear AAA games for the last 15 years.
 

Sizzel

Member
Feb 24, 2016
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I don;t think people en masse like stealth games and most(not all) of the people I know that like these franchises.. like them for the stealth. Sorry stealth bros. Also, the sequels were pretty much DOA as even my stealth friends thought they were meh and not stealthy enough. I know some people love these games...a lot and the sequels.. but there don't seem to be enough to really justify another AAA go round. Time will tell.
 

Nick_C

Member
May 30, 2014
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When Bethesda green lit TEW2 I'm pretty sure they also considered the console sales of the original game.

Without a doubt. We're also comparing lifetime sales with games that are barely 1 year old to a game that released 3 years ago. A game which has also been on sale for sub $10 numerous times.
 

NoPiece

Member
Mar 27, 2013
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I don;t think people en masse like stealth games and most(not all) of the people I know that like these franchises.. like them for the stealth. Sorry stealth bros. Also, the sequels were pretty much DOA as even my stealth friends thought they were meh and not stealthy enough. I know some people love these games...a lot and the sequels.. but there don't seem to be enough to really justify another AAA go round. Time will tell.

What do you think though, made Dishonored 1 and Human Revolution sell well? They had broader reach than stealth game fans, which I agree is probably a modestly sized niche. D2 and Mankind Divided aren't more stealth oriented, and weren't marketed as stealth games, so it doesn't seem like that would be the reason for their low sales.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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May 31, 2020
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They never gave the player truly interesting choices to make. Immersive sims are now multiplayer games.
 

Gusy

Member
May 9, 2014
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WTF

face would GIF
 
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