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Gaming Dishonored review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 8 Oct 2012.

  1. Kiytan

    Kiytan Shiny

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    I just presumed that if you don't mention installation issues, DRM issues (which is slightly moot as it's a steamworks game) consistent frame rates etc. then there wasn't any problems with them.

    combination of a very positive review here and from Totalbiscuit means I'm certainly going to get it at some point.
     
  2. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    Unfortunately, Dishonored isn't the first flying car, it is just the latest, if outstanding, flying car. As the latest flying car, you would think a review might investigate how this flying car is technically better and more worthy of a purchase compared to other flying cars currently on the market, some of which are very good or outstanding as well. Have I beaten this bad analogy to death yet?

    It seems from what Joe has said here, and from the editorial restrictions that has been placed on him (word count, because he is probably paid by the word), this is another case of lowered Bit-Tech quality.
    Tell me that the Bit-Tech 2006 review of ES4: Oblivion (or any other review from the era) isn't leaps and bounds more informative than this one. In depth and breadth, the two pages of this review would equal the single "Gameplay" page of the Oblivion review, and that one had another FOUR pages of technical analysis that informed me what technology the game had under the hood as well as the hardware required to show it off.

    I understand the business case for Bit-Tech moving to freelance writers, and for the most part it is being/has been done with little/no drop in writing quality. But let's not kid ourselves that it isn't at the expense of depth. For me, the result is that although I still read, enjoy and informed by Bit-Tech it is no longer a sole or required source of information before a purchase. The reason many of us came here originally wasn't the quality of the writing, but the quality of the writing, the analysis and the depth of the articles.
    Bit-Tech still gets the same page clicks and advertising revenue from my visits, right, so no difference? Personally, I think there is a difference in reader loyalty and what those marketing wonks would call "mind share". Bit-Tech isn't as important to me as it used to be.

    Anyway, good review Joe, thanks. I'll pick it up after I finish Borderlands 2 and Black Mesa and...
     
  3. Blademrk

    Blademrk Why so serious?

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    Sounds like re-playability should be great - tackle the missions differently each time you play, see what works / what doesn't.

    99% in this case just means Joe loves it - it's an opinion, as he said himself, scores are meaningless.
     
  4. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    There's at least two wholly different endings, with shades of grey in between. My first playthrough took me literally two full days of play - or about 24 hours of solid gaming - and I didn't see everything.

    That might be a little light on quantity for some crowds, but obviously the quality is a factor too.
     
  5. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    I'm biased, but I actually think these reviews are better than the old, hardware-focused reviews. There's more information about gameplay in this style of review and it's put forward by someone who has spent a lot longer getting to know the game - someone who's played it for many, many hours.

    Bear in mind that when I started I wrote at Bit-tech about four or five years ago, I wrote the sort of article you're describing. I did seven page graphical comparisons and the mammoth twelve page review of Crysis, etc - and I know that those reviews came from a less-informed position. It simply wasn't feasible to spend all that time testing and compiling while at the same time playing enough, writing well enough and editing my work.

    Crysis, for example, I spent weekends working on because of the pressure at the time and still didn't make it more than halfway through the game before the review had to be released. I also had little more than a basic technical knowledge of the technical stuff; most of what was said wasn't anywhere near as informative as it may seem.

    The old style of review may seem more informative by virtue of being longer, but it was not better and much of the hardware information you mention is simply not relevant to a wider game review. I understand a desire for technical information - which is why I began trying to produce separate articles for that just before we adopted the new business model - but really hardware questions should be covered in hardware articles.
     
  6. Plastic_Manc

    Plastic_Manc Member

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    Haven't bought a new game in ages but this really does tick many boxes for me. I don't get people moaning about scores, they're always going to be subjective and I like the fact that this game has tipped the scales enough for the reviewer not to care about some of the usual technicalities. It shows that it's a great game regardless of them, MOAR emotion!
     
  7. Bauul

    Bauul Sir Bongaminge

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    Hmm, I agree with you to a point. Fine, replace "flying car" with "zeppelin" (or a commercially viable passenger air ship, if you don't like brand names). Dishonored might not technically be "new", but it's been so long since we've had a classic inclusion into the genre it makes far more sense (in my opinion) to talk about the wider aspects of the game, than to spend time discussing minor details or making technical comparisons.

    Just my two cents though.
     
  8. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    It is possible I squeaked! What with this, Torchlight2, Baldurs Gate Enhanced next month I am good for a while yet. And then there is Borderlands 2 which my mates are telling me to play. What an awesome end to the year!
     
  9. heir flick

    heir flick Active Member

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    im in the market for a new game and this could just be what im looking for
     
  10. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    I think the operative word in that last sentence was "should", but it is debatable if they do.
    I'm feeling a bit argumentative and raw on this issue because I'm worked up from the exact same argument I just had on the hardware side (specifically the GTX650 review): Hardware articles are now shallower when it comes to graphics reviews, with less testing of the abilities of the cards. The recent GTX650 review told me that the card can't play Battlefield 3 @ 1920x1080/4xAA/16xAF/Ultra settings, but didn't tell me at what point it could play BF3, if at all.

    So while I accept unreservedly that a professional and experienced game reviewer believes that the technical aspects of a game is better dealt with by a hardware review, the hardware reviews aren't telling me that either. This is a game review similar (or better!) to those done by other game-orientated sites, such as IGN or Gamespot or <insert generic game site>. But the hardware sites aren't giving me the gameplay reviews. Bit-Tech straddles both and used to provide both, and that is what I liked about it.
    Can you see why I'm no longer using Bit-Tech alone to research my graphics card purchases?

    I like this review (it is the only Dishonored review I have read, and you have convinced me to buy it later), and I like your reviews in general, and I still like Bit-Tech a great deal. I check almost daily, and is often my first stop.
    I also appreciate how much work the old reviews must have taken, but there was an opportunity for me to view your results and make MY OWN analysis.
    It is difficult, isn't it, when you are in a publishing competition with all the other sites on the Internet? When the NDA goes down, you need to publish in order to not be late and miss out on those initial curious visitors. There isn't enough time after being given a review copy to play it sufficiently and then offering the kinds of benchmarks and IQ analysis you used to.
    Perhaps that is another opportunity for Bit-Tech, to offer a follow-up dealing with the performance/IQ aspects of some of the games you review? More revenue opportunities for Bit-Tech, the publishers would get another bite at the publicity apple and the hardware brands would have their products talked about some more.

    Fair enough, I'm not hating the article.
    But I'm in the fortunate position of having a powerful gaming system and I don't need to worry if I can play the game at 1920x1200 with all the settings on Ultra. If I wasn't in such a position, I might like to know if I should wait for 6 months until I plan to upgrade my system, or buy it on a console if it is a concern.
    The minimum requirements given for Dishonored (which aren't mentioned at all) would have to be a bit of a worry for many gamers:
    Minimum:
    CPU: 3.0 GHz dual core or better​
    RAM: 4 GB system​
    GPU: DirectX 9 compatible with 512 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)​
    Recommended:
    CPU: 2.4 GHz quad core or better (enhanced for multi-core processors)​
    RAM: 4 GB system​
    GPU: DirectX 9 compatible with 768 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)​

    Does the GPU minimum standard mean any card with 512MB is OK, such as the 9800GT in my ITX box, or does the inclusion of the GTX460 as an example mean that it has to be a bit beefier.
    I have no idea.
     
  11. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    Adnoctum I am with you 100%.

    I also like the way you put your argument politely and constructively, which is what I would like to emulate.

    I will not bother to restate the arguments, but please put me down as voting for more detailed reviews that cover graphics etc.

    I am interested in how this will play on my rig, the kind of anti-aliasing it supports, whether the textures are improved over consoles, field of view, direct x 11 support and all of the things that prompt us to upgrade and maintain our rigs.

    I am now off to find other reviews of the game which cover these elements and it is a shame that I should have to do so.

    It is not your fault Joe, as you are clearly given a word count and I think you have used it wisely, but in my opinion there is an editorial issue here.

    I think it is possible to include these features and not compromise on other elements of the review.
     
  12. Griffter

    Griffter New Member

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    sorry joe for opening this 99% can of worms :-(... if u maybe never opened it up urself. i think if a number is nonsense then do not put it in. but then again, thats in a perfect world. And anyone that has started a career or is working knows, ur way is almost never the way its done.

    just adding to take the score out. not for u so much as it is for Simon, to give more a personal touch to each of his writers blogs/reviews/ what-have-you in reflecting ur view to have a number or not. and that i will shout for as one of the sites members. and this site is trying to do everything it can to please its members.

    PS: once thats done all will ask, but what about the score 8-/
     
  13. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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  14. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Purely regarding the specs I think it depends oh how much you game. If you don't game much then those specs above mean very little indeed. Some clarification would help, and would be appreciated by the wider audience I agree.

    From my perspective I know I can play it with a glance. In fact I don't even need to look at specs for games (at the moment). And I expect most bit-techers know their system well enough to judge it with a degree of accuracy. This is not ideal for those who don't, which is why I agree with you, but then most here do know. And actually most here have a system that is so far past those specs it is laughable.

    I know even without having a quad core that it will play at max settings on my machine. An overclocked dual core with 4GB ram and a 560ti will rip through 95% of games at 1920 x 1080 without issue. It has got to the point now where if it comes out on any console you can play it without looking at the specs at all. It is out on xbox 360, therefore it is playable.

    As to the 512mb vram thing..that was low for many games a year ago. Now it is really pushing it if you game above 1280x1024.

    Loved the review btw joe. Keep it up old chap!
     
  15. fdbh96

    fdbh96 New Member

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    I really do wish I enjoyed stealth games, as this one does look amazing but its a genre I just can't be bothered to play. I don't know why but I like a set way of finishing a level (sense of achievement?), and I always get stuck on a level (lack of skill :p).

    Anyway, good review, I don't really see the point of testing the hardware side of things, as its probably better to ask questions like that on the forums.
     
  16. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Stealth is an option mate. You don't have to play that way if you don't want to. You can use distraction coupled with brute force quite happily from what I've seen.
     
  17. Adnoctum

    Adnoctum Kill_All_Humans

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    It is an odd way for Bethesda/Arkane to phrase it though, don't you think? If all that was required for the minimum was 512MB of VRAM, why bring the GTX460/HD5850 into it? Unless you need 512MB and the power of the GTX460, it just muddies the issue.

    I'd probably play the game on my gaming system which easily surpasses the recommended settings, and could max out what ever Dishonored requires. But it would suck down the juice and convert it into heat quicker than Shane McGowan could convert a whiskey into a good time.

    For those times when I want to play less demanding/older games, I have a low power ITX gaming computer. It has a 2.5GHz quad-core (45w) and a 1GB 9800GT (>75w) and it pulls less than 100w when gaming. How would Dishonored go on such a system? The published specifications don't help me (and is confusing), which is where a performance review would be of great help.

    EDIT: There are no benches in any review I can find, so it is possible that no one has been able to independently run a benchmark. I did find this on the Bethesda forums which does a wonderful job at clouding the issue further. To the question "Will my system play this?", an Arkane producer comes back with the clear-as-mud answer "It depends on how you will play" - Run & Gun will use the CPU while Stealth & Powers will lean on the GPU.
     
    Last edited: 8 Oct 2012
  18. dolphie

    dolphie New Member

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    oh em gee
     
  19. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    It doesn't just mean a 512 mb card will be enough. That is why they use the 460 and 5850 as an example. They are letting you know that you will need a card of around that power with at least 512 ram to play the game acceptably.

    They are covering their bases so that no one can turn around and say "oh my 6450 has 512MB but cant play it". They state the 'sort' of grunt you need and they state the amount of vram you need for the game to be enjoyable.

    Maybe I'm just hungover and missing the point. I kinda get the feeling I stumbled past it earlier while I was drooling on my keyboard.
     
  20. xrain

    xrain Member

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    I am going to disagree with you on this. I've been reading bit-tech for nearly a decade, while many of the changes to the site and in the reviews have certainty been a great positive. There are a few that I have found to be a bit problematic.

    Firstly, the idea of "If I didn't mention it, it wasn't a problem" really doesn't sit well with me. Since I know that there is no practical way that you have investigated every aspect of that game, and found no issue. I would really like to be told exactly what that you have looked at. It doesn't have to be a dissertation by no means, just a simple "The sound scape was great, with the musical score quite moving in all the right places; and installation was had no problems, with no issues found, a google search for common issues with the game, revealed few problems with the game itself etc. etc." So you really don't need to extensively cover every aspect of the game, but at least just touch on the subject; however brief, will give a well rounded feeling to the article. Then go into depth on the things that actually were issues.

    Telling someone that "everything you haven't talked about is just fine", is kind of like being a car salesman, and selling someone "motor-vehicle". It's a problem because that could be anything, is it a lamborghini? a 1970 Subaru outback? or an aircraft carrier? I realize that you guys aren't entering into a contract with us, so I cant hold you liable for everything you implicitly agreed to. But it still isn't good to promise things like that.

    Personally I really liked the technical portion of the articles, I would first read the game-play bit, and figure out if the game sounded like something I would like, then I could go to the technical bit, to see how well the game could play on my machine, or if I needed to reduce the graphics, what would be the best thing to reduce first. Even then, whenever I build a new machine, I could go back and pick my favorite games and see how well a budget system would run it. It honestly provided a significant amount of utility to me.

    Putting it only into the hardware section isn't correct, yes it makes the OCD in us all rejoice in how tidy everything is now, with all the hardware stuff in the hardware section, and the game-play stuff in the game section. In reality having a bit of bleed over isn't a bad thing. Even if it is just a case of you copying a graph from a few of the gpu reviews. It makes the data easily accessible, and doesn't force us to run through a bunch of video card reviews to see where the game was bench-marked. Think of it like this, I can go to the hardware section to see how a certain piece of hardware will fare in games. I can go to the games section to see how a game will place on different pieces of hardware. Yes the net effect is similar, but I really feel it is a useful concept.

    In the end, the problem you guys are having, is how you have been rolling out changes on us. Even if when you really boiled it down the new review format is indeed much more relevant and useful, its also much shorter. At the same time you are also now having a few "sponsored" articles from AMD and the like. So regardless if its the case or not, its getting viewed as if the site has cheapened itself. I can't really think of a good way to do this, other than if you kept the length and depth of the review feel somewhat consistent with the past, you could probably get away with adding more revenue streams to the site, since people wouldn't feel like they are paying more and getting back less. Notice I said consistent, not the necessarily the same.

    If you didn't want to read all that I just wrote, the basics are, the reviews now feel more like how the previews used to be. A bit of repetition between the hardware section and the games section isn't a bad thing, and finally at least briefly touch upon the stuff that you categorize under "If I didn't mention it, it wasn't a problem".
     
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