GameSpot GamePlay Episode 10: Adolf Critler

Guild Wars 2 Lead Designer Isaiah Cartwright goes massively multiplayer with Tom Mc Shea, Justin Calvert, Carolyn Petit, and host Kevin VanOrd.

by

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 10: Adolf Critler

Guild Wars 2 lead designer Isaiah Cartwright joins the team to discuss the fates of Thycameltoe, Floppy Eared Fooker, and Snugglebert in the world of Tyria. Justin gets all British while discussing Red Dwarf, host Kevin VanOrd wonders if asynchronous multiplayer is really the wave of the future, and Carolyn Petit dives deep into the subject of ludonarrative dissonance.

Tom Mc Shea, when not busy congratulating himself, tosses in a few thoughts too. Mainly about robots.

Click here to subscribe to GameSpot Gameplay via iTunes.

Subscribe to this RSS feed to receive new episodes of GameSpot GamePlay through your favorite RSS reader.

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 9: Out of the Closet

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 8: Ladycrotch

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 7: Bald and Powdery

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 6: Dirty Talk

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 5: Hybrid Species

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 4: Pulling a Brad

GameSpot GamePlay Special Edition Spoilercast: The Dark Knight Rises

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 3: Biological Warehouse

GameSpot GamePlay Special Edition Spoilercast: Spec Ops: The Line

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 2: Desensitized

GameSpot GamePlay Episode 1: Martha Stewart Shivving

Discussion

32 comments
WTA2k5
WTA2k5

It's really surprising that GTA IV is so often thought of as a standout example of ludonarrative dissonance. I just replayed the game recently, and it gives plenty of reasons for why Niko is capable of doing terrible things despite having some semblance of caring and conscience. A poster below me has already explained why in some detail, but I'd like to briefly reiterate the fact that Niko's contradictory nature is part of what makes his story so compelling and tragic. He seems to be an essentially good person who leads a life of crime simply because he can't see any other way; the situation he finds himself in when he arrives in America (trying to deal with the mobsters terrorizing Roman), the set of "skills" he acquired during wartim, and his all-consuming desire to get back at those who betrayed him are all factors that serve to blind him from the opportunities and chances to start anew that Liberty City offers him. In many ways, Niko's characterization mirrors players' tendencies when it comes to open-world games; we love to race through environments, indulge in mindless killing sprees, and complete one mission after another, but very few players take the time to truly luxuriate in a sandbox environment and find alternate ways to interact with it. Long story short, the character is very well established in the game's logic, and I'd strongly encourage anyone who doesn't see that to replay the game.

rallykupojr
rallykupojr

Great cast as always, but man this page is hard to find. I'm auto-subscribed through Zune, but I spent 10 minutes looking around the Gamespot homepage trying to find this page to leave a comment. Eventually I just had to google "gamespot gameplay" to find it. I doubt there's much you guys can do about it, but a little more exposure sure would help!

 

And I love the "Guess the song" segments. I usually surprise myself on how many I get right. Metroid theme this week and Demon's Souls the one before? You sir have some excellent taste in compositions!

Falzonn
Falzonn

Also, you guys should start an "Interesting" counter, to track the number of times someone (usually a politically correct guest) says the word 'interesting'.  Such a safe word.  I chuckled every time I've heard a Gameplay guest use it.

Falzonn
Falzonn

I always read the entire review.  Without reading the whole thing, you cannot fully understand why and where a reviewer got their score of a game from.  I can't just look at the score to make my determination on a game, because how do I know if that's the score *I* would have given it?  There are a lot of games out there I think are crap that others absolutely love.  A 10 to one person is a 5 to another, and vice versa.  As long as the reviewer fully articulates WHY they feel a certain way about a feature of the game (or perhaps a lack of a feature[s] in a game), and how exactly said feature works, plays, and feels, then I'll consider the review well written, even if I disagree with the end opinion.  As long as the review teaches me -something- about the game,  then I'm happy.  That is the reason we have reviews right?  To educate a potentially ignorant person on the qualities of a game, so that they can make an informed opinion of whether or not they should buy it.  It's one of the reasons I hate review score fanboyism.  People take the end-score waaay too seriously.

 

Random side question for no reason:  Do you (GS crew) prefer the Oxford comma or not?

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

For once, don't feel bad guys. I played Asheron's Call for years (6 maybe?) and while it sounded familiar, I didn't know it.

AndCarlsen
AndCarlsen

First if all, great episode like always. I have a confession to make When I first saw the score to Zelda SS here in GameSpot I was really angry. Zelda is my favourite franchise, so seeing a 7,5 was disappointing. After I played the game, however, I realised it wasn't really very good. Though I might not give it a 7,5, I would never give that game a 10 like IGN did. It's nice to see that you guys actually review the games, and don't take into account the publisher/developer. I'm not criticizing IGN or anything, just commenting.

ruythalacker
ruythalacker

Guys, I really like your articles and do read most of the reviews that you post, specially on games I'm interested in. But I would like to ask you for one modification in the POD cast: could you make less quizzes and talk more about games you played and you experiences playing them. Even though the quizzes are fun, it takes to much time of the show.

Rodrigo_AA
Rodrigo_AA

Can someone explain me the joke that they did about not getting married in specific MMO?

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

Woo!! I love Red Dwarf! Its big in ireland to! What a classic british comedy!

hiroichi
hiroichi

I'm feeling guilty for not reading the review of guild wars 2, I'm going to read it now

WCK619
WCK619

and again GameSpot staff crap on GTA IV because of their inability to understand it. GTA IV did not have the Ludonarrative Dissonance that Sleeping Dogs did. Tom sums it up as a disconnect when a vegetarian character who would never punch garbage cans is then punching garbage cans to get hamburgers for health in the gameplay. This contradiction of character is simply not the case for Niko Bellic. GTA IV made it beautifully subtle, but clear, that Niko was a troubled character who regrets his past and his actions. Niko doesn't just express this regret in the cutscenes, but during gameplay he'll even mention his sense of shame for what he's doing. He does what he does because he doesn't know any other way, this is a life he's drawn to because he feels it's the only thing he's good at and believes following through with it to the end would result in closure. In the end though, the answers he killed for proved to not be worth it, as they never put him at rest the way he imagined they would. It was very bitter-sweet, and it's important to note that Niko was never supposed to be recognized as someone with strong moral values. He was someone who struggled with the morality of what he was doing. I think the writers did a great job of portraying him as a real person rather than someone who was just "good" or "bad".

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

the part with the nintendo wii songs is basically "how to make songs right"

cosades2002
cosades2002

Why did they think Metroid soundtrack sounded lik Zelda?

xSagez
xSagez

Where is the volume for this mechanism?

jazilla
jazilla

really stoked to listen to this! i am absolutely in love with guild wars 2, and by that i mean, when something awesome happens it is AWESOME, like when you are fighting a 75 foot tall dragon that is 200 feet long with 100 of your closest friends. And, just like being in love, when something goes wrong, it's usually pretty bad(personal story lines, i am looking at you for getting all mellow dramatic like the girl you are in love with being really high maintenance). But, as with true love, you take the amazing with the awful, because hey: It's love!

robfield
robfield

 @WTA2k5 

I can understand a character having questionable morality, that is the charm of many characters.

 

However, the moment Niko decided to rob a bank and kill dozens of police officers was the moment that crossed the line for me. I don't care how cool the developer thought that mission would be, there was no redeeming Niko after that. He was just bad and wasn't trying very hard to start a new life.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

@WTA2k5 I think player preferrance has a lot to do with it. I was wholly engaged with Niko's moral plight, while my brother just couldnt care less. It really holds only if you care enough to understand Niko as a person and not as a tool for vicarious mayhem.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

@WTA2k5 Thank you! I agree with you completely. Niko's character is arguably the most human character in games as his flaws work as great narrative and in how it explains his and the player's actions. I also found going on random rampages just felt kind of wrong near the end game as Niko does evolve, which reflected how i had evolved with him. It was kind of breathtaking, i nolonger expect such childish shinanigans from my GTA anymore and am excited to see what compelling narrative they tackle next (as opposed to what types of weapons or clothing i can run around in).

Falzonn
Falzonn

PS. I also prefer the article version of a review as opposed to the video, since I think the written one can tend to go into more intricate detail.  The video review is still good though since you can match up a reviewers feelings with actual gameplay of said feeling to accompany it, which goes a lot farther than just a screenshot.

pal_080
pal_080

 @ruythalacker I kind of agree with this, the quizzes are really what ties this show all together, but the best part is definitely when you guys get side tracked and speak of personal experiences and anecdotes and the like, so don't feel too compelled to focus heavily on the quiz portion!

Kevin-V
Kevin-V moderator staff

 @Rodrigo_AA A former GameSpot staffer met his or her (now ex) spouse in an MMO. Eliminating actual names to protect the innocent :)

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @WCK619 I agree. There's a friendly, respectful debate about it here in the offices, but that viewpoint is certainly not unrepresented here.

Rodrigo_AA
Rodrigo_AA

@Kevin-V

Ok them. I thought that was a reference to something specific that I didn't get because I don't play MMOs. Never would guest that was joke related to the Gamespot staff. What a mean co-workers you are, guys. :P

 

WCK619
WCK619

 @carolynmichelle Well you have a strange way of showing that. And by showing I mean hiding. Because any Gamespot staff made video, audio, or article I read that involves GTA never has any defence of GTA IV. It's not just the US staff. Even the UK staff attacks it with no opposing view. When the guys in the UK were doing that Community Service segment playing GTA IV, Seb Ford went on and on about how he couldn't find a single redeemable feature in any of the characters for the game. And of course, nobody disagreed.

 

If there's any debate about it within the Gamespot staff it certainly isn't being shown outside of your personal conversations. Either nobody wants to defend it on tape, in writting, on video, or the people who do just aren't being given the opportunity.

TomMcShea
TomMcShea

 @WCK619  @carolynmichelle Also, the vocal minority is usually the loudest. Most people at GameSpot seem to really love GTA IV, but the few people (like me) who have issues, feel compelled to voice them. And if you want a counter, just read the review! We gave it a 10.

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @WCK619 We were mainly talking about Sleeping Dogs, and I wasn't sure at that moment that I wanted to totally go deep on a GTA IV tangent. But you're right, GTA IV came up and it was a chance for me to explore this issue further. If I had it to do again, I probably would. Sorry I didn't grasp the opportunity.