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Old 04-20-2002, 07:17 PM   #31
Fallen Jedi
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Outer spiral arm of the galaxy
Posts: 5,437
10 year veteran! 
Originally posted by Eternity
Don't get me wrong. The game is great, and Raven must have put a LOT of effort into the game. They just didn't want to go the extra mile....IMHO.
To be fair...I think Raven were also under a great deal of pressure to get this game out in a short time frame. Remember that Jedi Outcast only came to light after Obi-Wan was announced to be moving to the X-Box. I still feel (though it is just my personal opinion), that Lucasarts felt bad about disappointing the fans, and decided to make a sequel in the DF series... This move may have been unplanned...and so the budget to produce the game may not have been as large as it could have been - or they stipulated a fast-track development so that JK fans would get a decent game not too long after Obi-Wan's release. Again, that's purely speculation.

If that was the case...then Raven had a very finite timeframe to work within...and they had proven that they could produce a high-quality game in a short development cycle on Heretic II - which featured a lot of moves and attacks in 3rd person. So from where I'm sitting it made perfect sense to choose Raven to develop JKII. However, it should be noted that H2's SP game is also quite linear...and quite short.

If they had been given a longer timeframe for development, and perhaps a larger budget, they may have come close to producing a game without as many issues as people have with this one (myself included) - but then, we also would not be playing the game, perhaps for another year.

To be honest, I think it's a remarkable achievement that Raven managed to produce a high quality product in such a short time...but it does feel incomplete.

I can only hope, therefore, that Lucasarts will sit back, and mull over some of the feedback in these forums, and take some of those issues on board...and then hopefully make the smart move, and start thinking about the next game in this series now. If I was in their position...I would see that JK2 is a success, and there is certainly an opportunity to build on that success. I believe that a sequel should be given a longer development time, to thoroughly address those things that players consider to be flaws or issues with JKII, and improve upon them. One of these issues, which would require a longer development time, is the cut scenes. Personally I think they should all be CGI...or go the Half-Life route and leave most of them out in favour of in-game scripted sequences. If they start putting a rough framework together, and start planning now, then it should be possible to produce a well-polished sequel in about 3 years time.

Of course, that's assuming they would want to do that...but I'm certainly interested in another game in this series.

The FPS has such potential, and it upsets me. Half-Life went to extra mile, and look at them.
Yes, I agree that the FPS does have a great deal of potential, especially in the Star Wars universe. A decent Bounty Hunter game and a Rebel/Imperial Commando game set in the time of the Classic trilogy would go down a treat with me. I'm sure there are lots of other ideas too...including the time of the Knights Of The Old Republic.

In terms of Half-Life...the SP part of that game has issues as well. Personally, I didnt like most of the Xen levels...except fighting the Head-Crab boss...I can't be bothered to look up the name of it. The end boss was rubbish, IMO. The story was classic 50's SF B-movie stuff, but well executed in the delivery, largely due to a lack of cut scenes. Yes, there was some innovation...but there were also maze-like crawls to get to an area so you could open a door from the other side and end up where you started from. With all the guns, etc., at your disposal, I think most people would make short work of a door. And some of the puzzles again felt just like that...conveyor belts that led nowhere, just going around and around, so you had to jump from one to another. This type of thing is like the Doomgiver's Rubik's Cube...a puzzle for the sake of a puzzle, and nothing more.

Basically, I haven't played a single FPS that hasn't had something wrong with it...and you usually don't realise it until you've finished the game and reflected on it, and then you think...'Hey, hang on a minute. What was that all about? Why couldn't I do this? How come I couldn't break that stupid door down instead of travelling around half the level to end up at the same point?' etc...

When it comes to JKII's is pretty much a classic, simple, linear Star Wars plot, executed in the traditional way with cut scenes. Nothing wrong with that...lots of other games have that. I though the story was okay - and better than Half-Life's when it comes down to it - but not quite as good as JK's. It even parallels that of RTCW...agents sent in to infiltrate an enemy base...who stumble across fiendish experiments...and track down the perpetrators...and kill the nasty end boss.

If the game industry really wants to try to break the mould in terms of story development, they need to go back to the roots of story-telling...books. Sometimes a book comes along that does bring something fresh to the scene, and does have some decent plot twists. Trying to emulate the movies in terms of story is a bad idea...because we've seen it all before. However, movies are all about games developers can learn a lot from movies in that respect (such as camera angles, action and cutting between characters etc., in cut scenes).

Of course, that brings up the question of whether cut scenes are needed at all. For something like Half-Life, where you are totally focused on one person's experience, they probably are not needed. If you look at Star Wars, however, it' always been more than that. Dogfights in space, big ships, and taking a quick peak at what the enemy is up to. These are the things where cut scenes are really needed...but as I said above, it would not have bothered me at all if the character scenes involving Kyle were done from his a similar way to Half-Life.
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