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View Full Version : What do you think about "The Thing?"



aaengel
09-04-2002, 12:04 PM
Whats your impressions on the thing, get them all down by 6pm eastern tonight. Cause I'm gonna buy the game from EB tonight. What do you allreally think of this,is it freaking awesome???żżż

AcidJazz
09-04-2002, 12:17 PM
I don't know a damn Thing about The Thing..:D

ChiZel_MunKee
09-04-2002, 12:20 PM
All of the trailers that I've seen have looked very good and the concept for the game seems pretty cool. You'll probably enjoy it. Let us know what you think of it.

Toonz
09-04-2002, 12:26 PM
I think its a exellent game. Probably about a 8.5/10 in my books. I have the PC version but it feels like a console game to me. Hopefully they get the controls done right. You spend alotta time managing your troops and making sure you all trust each other and what not. Last night after entering a room littered with human bodies and blood all over the walls my 2 team mates began to freak out. I failed to calm them down so one went into a fit of rage and shot the other with his gun haha. I was worried the guy that remained might shoot me so I orderd him to stay put and went up some stairs to check things out. When I returned about 1 minute later the guy I left behind had blown his own brains out and was dead on the floor. Thats just one of the cool scenarios I have had so far.

Coloradus
09-04-2002, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by aaengel
Whats your impressions on the thing, get them all down by 6pm eastern tonight. Cause I'm gonna buy the game from EB tonight. What do you allreally think of this,is it freaking awesome???żżż

To start, these are impressions of The Thing for the PC. Aside from the obvious difference(s) in controller set-up (KB/Mouse vs. Controller Pad), and perhaps in graphics, the gameplay on the PC should be identical to the Xbox version.

Graphics: It's no UT2003, but the graphics are certainly very good. For some reason, I couldn't get it to play above 1280x750 (the menu kept kicking me back to that, even when trying to set higher), but at that resolution with 4X antialiasing, it was more than rather nice. Textures are sharp and clean, and models are appropriately detailed. The characters seem a little more unique than in typical shooters; some of the close-ups were stunning in realism (first game to do convincing teeth in a long time... don't get me started!), though we've come to expect that since Max Payne.

The graphics just ooze atmosphere, as do the sounds. You really get the feeling of being stranded in an Arctic storm when outside; blizzard lights (long sets of light-poles in close proximity leading between buildings, for when visibility is low) illuminate your path, while the air is too snowy to let you see off into the distance, and the surroundings really drive home the loneliness of the theme. If you take some time to just explore, you see wrecked helicopters, ransacked buildings, and broken-down bathrooms. Running through the snow with one or two men beside you, you really do get the feeling of being stranded with no help possible and no escape route besides onwards.

Especially noteworthy are the particle effects; fires fire, flares flare, and tracers, well, trace. Muzzle flashes were a little understated (I would've liked to see them have a little more dramatic effect on the lighting) and the dynamic lighting isn't used to its fullest effect in most places, (flickering lights would've been nice in more spots!) but nothing really to complain about. It's a shame they haven't had more memorable moments with the lighting; the quality of the flashlight effects really shows that the engine is capable of a lot of really nice lighting.

Sound: This is, in my humble opinion, where the game shines. Music is appropriate to the game, coming in at all the right moments with just the right themes. However, the environmental sounds really stand out. Your men crunch convincingly through snow, and the wind howls around you. Voice acting is consistently good, with nobody giving an awful performance, but very few people having a chance to stand out. The main character's voice actor is especially good, which is fortunate when you consider how long you have to put up with him.

One complaint I had was the weapon sounds. While the pistol and the incendiaries were well-done, I would have preferred meatier sounds for the heavier guns. I shouldn't feel like I'm shooting a 9mm when I'm supposed to have a 12-gauge out. Another, slightly less important nitpick is the lack of variety in the generic dialogue (I know, I know, hear me out...). It's slightly amusing when you hear the second person say 'We've got company!' to alert you to an evil presence. The fifth or sixth straight character to use those exact same words begins to tug at your sanity a bit. There were even situations when two of my men would walk in out of the cold and voice the same gripe at the same time, with different voice actors. I would have liked to see a few less boilerplate expressions thrown in once in a while.

Gameplay: First of all, you Resident Evil junkies can turn in your paranoid, conserve-everything attitude at the door; this is action survival, not true horror-survival. Playing in maximum 'fall-back and pick them off' style, I constantly had a surfeit of ammo and medkits, although things did run a bit thin towards the end of my session. Hopefully, the next few hours will change the style back over to the 'I think I can peg him with two pistol rounds!' department.

The usage of squad members is a refreshing addition to the PC survival horror genre; for too long I've viewed other humans only in cutscenes. Getting to supply them with weapons yourself is a nice tactical diversion, too; should you outfit your engineer with the more powerful shotgun, or save it for yourself and hand him a pistol? What makes this especially engaging is the 'Fear' system put into the game (the quotes around that one are not my own, folks; the proper name for it is Fear, so according to convention, it's the 'Fear' system). If you don't give your men powerful enough weapons, they may freeze during battle or run away. I've even seen men freak out at the sight of a mangle body, retch, throw up, and cower in horror before getting it together. (Trivia time: is this the first game to explicitly show vomit as a horror-inducing device? Extra points to He Who Can Name A Predecessor!)

Unfortunately, the 'Trust' system left a little to be desired, at least for the careful player, at least so far. (Keep in mind those caveats! I'm only three hours in!) Mainly it boils down to a few simple things: don't shoot teammates, make sure they're supplied with weaponry/ammo, et cetera. Most of the time, you'll have to perform some task for a character to gain his initial trust; these normally come down to 'slay-the-Thing' or 'find-the-blood-test' hunts, not the dynamic system of fear and tension I was hoping for. It's good, but not revolutionary.

A word now on AI, for those interested; the AI in The Thing is some of the better single-player AI I've seen around. There's enough scripting to keep characters in line, but the dynamic AI seems to have given your men the ability to run-and-gun in different situations quite nicely. They work well with different weapons, and the pathfinding is top-notch from what I've seen. You don't notice the characters in terms of AI, which, in my opinion, is the top praise AI can possibly have in a purely single-player sense.

I can't go into too much more detail on the gameplay without spoiling things; even a cursory description would give away too much of the game. Just remember to watch your team members as closely as the enemy; after all, they could be one and the same... *cue ominous music*

I suppose, in the interests of fairness, that I have to put one substantiated, factified complaint here, which doesn't base on things that could change later in the game (such as atmoshpere, style, etc.). <rant>Whatever happened to the 'jump' key? I've had it for many years! It was right between my two Alt keys! But here, *gasp!* no jumping! I checked my keyboard, I checked the key-config, I even checked the manual! Alas, it appears that Your Noble Hero is purely grounded for this flight.</rant>

At the risk of becoming long-winded (no!) I limit myself to a few closing comments. Number one, this game is not for the weak of constitution. Blood spurts, wounds ooze, and massive, massive sprays of blood... well, they spray. You will see many, many gruesome sights even in the first three hours or so. Second, it's not for the weak of Constitution; your only freedom here is forward, backward, left, or right. The progression is linear, and I can't see much replay value except in re-equipping your squad to see how they deal with something. I don't see any sign of the mythic 'Branching Story' here; not that it's a bad thing, when the story's appropriately well-told. Finally, those of you expecting sublime horror, stop now. Turn around, go back, and buy System Shock 2, or failing that, Undying, or failing that, go watch the director's cut of Alien again. If you can't take a little run-and-gun, or in this case, run-and-flame with your horror, you'd best back off. But if you don't mind some gunplay, this one looks like a winner.

Overall, it's extremely entertaining, and one of the better plays I've had in quite a while.

mrgrod
09-04-2002, 01:33 PM
Whoa, I hope you remembered to take a couple of breaths during that review!:D I imagine this game must be pretty good, cause the movie's a classic. Unless they really f'd it up, it should be able to stand on it's own.