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Action in adventure

posted by Heatherlee Telltale Alumni on - last edited - Viewed by 1.1K users

Interestingly, when I asked about favorite recent adventure games, some action/adventures started coming up.

I had been under the impresion that adventure game "purists" didn't like to mix their action and adventure. Am I mistaken?

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  • I think one of adventure games biggest problems is that they've become "walking simulators". Someone on some forum somewhere joked that the games should be compatible with those dance pads from Dance Dance revolution in order to be "more immersive", and we could get the full effect of the distance walked by the character.

    I think I used to consider myself one of those purists, though, but I've recently realized how bored I got when playing some adventure games, even though the story was interesting enough. It's just that the time between the story bits and the puzzle bits and the time it took to figure out how to solve the puzzle bits turns out to be quite awhile. Especially when the character moves soooo slow (I'm specifically talking about Syberia here...). So I'm starting to think that adventure games could use a dose of action in them. Required or optional, as long as it's nothing that would require extreme dexterity. Not that I don't play those games, too, but it just might be overkill. Or perhaps have action sequences that you can't possibly lose no matter how hard you try, even if you keep pressing the "suck" button/key. That would help move the game along during those slow moments.

    I've been wondering what it would be like if a Grand Theft Auto III-style of engine were made into an adventure game. Getting to and from a destination would be more fun. And it doesn't need to be the kind of violent shooter that GTA is. But consider what it would be like if, for instance, Sam & Max were made into that style of game, where they drive around to their different missions, nearly running over every pedestrian on the way, causing untold collateral damage to public property. And it could still have adventure elements of course, once they're at the destinations, but the city map would be full of all kinds of optional action fun to be had. They could also do their highway surfing thing, too (for the Sam & Max purists).

    I don't know. But I'm up for Adventures having action in them. However, I think the genre title, Action/Adventure, is inappropriately used for most games out there, since there really are no puzzles that are story-related and no character interaction beyond shooting/killing/jumping on head. So create a new genre called Adventure/Action. Or Happy Happy Fun Time.

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    I would not call my self an adventure game "purist" but the adventure genre is by far my favorite. I strive to be more of a game connoisseur; I try not to discriminate against games based on genre. To me, as long as the game is fun, I don't care if it's action, adventure, role-playing, shooter, platformer, puzzle or what have you. If a game sticks to what it claims to be and does it well, then I find it most enjoyable. If I'm playing a classic style adventure game and out of nowhere it throws at me a DDR type timed button press mini-game or some junk like that, then I might get frustrated. I'm not saying that if you have a mini-game like that in your adventure game then it's bad, but it at least must make sense within the context of the game. If you make a game that is an action/adventure game then I expect to be a little more on my toes, and there shouldn't be extremely in-depth hard puzzles that will completely halt the action. I think that's what it really boils down to: expectations. If I play an adventure game it's because I want to take it slow and solve things at my own pace, but if I play an action game it's because I want to twitch a little. My friend says that she could never finish Full Throttle because of the action elements. When she bought the game she expected an adventure game and she plays them because she's not any good at action. If you make a classic adventure game with no action the "purists" should love it, but if you made it an action/adventure game you'd have a different audience and different expectations.

  • I don't think I'm a purist I'd say I'm a gamer. The lucas games were all really great and I'd play games like that. A lot of it comes down to cash. I want a game thats going to take a long time to finish everything. thats why I can buy gta games and not have any problem with it cause I know it will take me a long time to do everything. With adventure games there is little replay value where as with something like neverwinter nights or bloodlines I can play it like 5 times over using different characters. As for pure adventures I've said it before it's the humor that does it for me. All the great adventure games arn't really all that funny

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    I find most other genres to be pretty boring (especially FPS, I find that constant violence gets boring pretty quiclky). 2d RPGs strategy games, and side-scrollers are better than most but adventure games are the only games that really hold my attention. I think however it all boils down to story. I don't want to spend hours playing a game if the story isn't any good (that also goes for reading books). The exception to this is older side-scrollers, wich have a nice retro apeal but I usually play those for about 20 minutes at a time.

  • I don't care what you call it - what I can't stand is when the only way to beat a game is by being the fastest "button masher." Action elements were always a part of the old Sierra games (Roger Wilco navigating the Kerona desert in SQ1 for example), but the action elements cannot become the only part of a game. And, you can always go back and try again an infinite number of times unlike some action games with a certain number of "lives" before you have to restart the level. The way I always looked at it was if it doesn't require a gamepad then it is fine with me. As soon as you need to have a joystick or gamepad to make the game playable it has left the realm of adventure and crossed completely into action.

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    I think some diversity is great. It's always fun to actually control the character when the do things, as opposed to just watching a cutscene. The deal with adventure games though, is that there can't be too many little diversions. They also have to be easy to complete. I don't have a gamepad for my PC, and I'm not getting one.

  • So long as the game still passes the 'sandwich test' (ie. you can play the game using one hand on the mouse while the other is involved soley in holding food / drink, then I have no problem with action elements - especially when it makes the game more immersive.

    Oh, and following the LucasArts philosophy, you shouldn't ever die in an action segment, just be returned to the start of the sequence at worst if you fail at it.

    I quite liked the Indy Jones adventures in that you could (almost?) always avoid a fistfight if you chose the right dialogue path.

    And ignoring all I've said above about sandwiches and avoiding fights and not dying, KOTOR was my first (and only to date) RPG, and I play it in a more 'adventure style' - exploring, talking, object collecting. I haven't a clue about dice-rolls and hit points. And to me KOTOR is the most fun, interesting 'adventure game' I've played since Grim Fandango.

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    [quote]And ignoring all I've said above about sandwiches and avoiding fights and not dying, KOTOR was my first (and only to date) RPG, and I play it in a more 'adventure style' - exploring, talking, object collecting. I haven't a clue about dice-rolls and hit points. And to me KOTOR is the most fun, interesting 'adventure game' I've played since Grim Fandango.[/quote]

    I do the exact same thing. It really is a Star Wars Graphic Adventure with some other RGB stuff I don't understand thrown in.

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    Personally, the things that attracted me to all the Lucasarts games wasn't the lack of action or having to think on my feet. It was the wit, the immersion, the attention to detail and beautiful backrounds,the intricate characters, and the little touches that made it more than a story, it was an experience. I consider myself a "purist", but I still love intrigue, suspense, and a little danger if they can enhance the overall tale and immerse me a little more.

    I feel that these days games that are cranked out with unbeleivable graphics and real life physics have lost that touch, the swagger that really made those early games special. If action can mesh with the rest of the game without seeming forced, I am all for it.

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    I think it all depends on how you implement it.

    For instance...anyone here ever played Titanic: Adventure out of Time (and yes, you can laugh at me for actually having played that game--but in my defense, I hated it)? There's a segment not long before the ship hits the iceberg where you have to fight your way past a bad guy in your basic fistfight. Let me tell you, I hated that part. It was completely counterintuitive, there was no instructions or anything and no warm-up/foreshadowing that this would happen, and the bad guy moved like somebody'd lit his feet on fire, while my character didn't, no matter how fast I clicked the mouse.

    That action sequence was a big part of why I ended up literally throwing the CD out the window. Drove me nuts.

    Now, then we have the Old Mine Road sequence in Full Throttle. That, I loved. The manual actually gave clear directions as to how to switch weapons/throw punches/etc. If you lost, there weren't negative consequences (in Titanic, IIRC, you lost a bunch of valuable time by being unconscious). And it was just easy for me to coordinate things--timing and how you manuever your bike are a big factor in winning those sequences, and that, I could handle. Randomly throwing punches and hoping I took out a guy built like a brick blockhouse, as in Titanic? Not so much.

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