Hyperkinetic Humany Thing
Join Date: Oct 2010
It's not because we were expecting an FPS (well, for most of us, anyway). It's because we've played Telltale's past games and know they're capable of better than this.
I like adventure games. I like the intellectual challenge, I like the emphasis on story, and I like the element of exploration. The whole reason I started calling myself a Telltale fan (apart from laughing my ass off at their Sam and Max revival and SBCG4AP) is because they're the biggest developer trying to keep adventure games alive in a time when the genre has nearly faded into obscurity. Most people don't even know what an adventure game is, and unfortunately, ever since BttF these people seem to be Telltale's new target audience.
Telltale's Jurassic Park was a travesty. I'm not saying that because it's not an FPS, but it's not an adventure game. But mentioning FPSes makes me think of an analogy. You know what it'd be like if this game was an FPS? You would stand completely still, unable to move around and explore where you are at all, holding a gun out. Occasionally, a dinosaur would appear, and you would need to click your mouse once to shoot it. Then this would repeat forever.
Would you call a game like that an FPS? It has the bare minimum necessary to be part of the genre, yet it's so...soulless that you'd feel ashamed saying so. That's what Telltale's JP was as an adventure game. The one or two puzzles per episode were piss easy. The QTEs were a paper-thin attempt to give an illusion of difficulty. There is almost no exploration. You can't click on stuff and get interesting dialogue, for the most part. You can't even walk. Compare that to Sam and Max, where clicking just about every single doodad in their office gets you a joke. Hell, there isn't even a consistent player character. Instead you go through brief moments of "controlling" the entire cast, including the villains. What character represents me, the player? I've spent a decent amount of time controlling Yoder, so why is he ordering an attack on the island? Shouldn't I get a say in that? This game literally ignores the player's presence. It doesn't care about you.
And don't defend it by saying "It's an interactive movie, like Heavy Rain!" Heavy Rain made up for the limited gameplay with a little thing called non-linearity. Your choices affected the story, meaning the game engaged the player by having his actions matter. In Jurassic Park, either you do the QTEs right and the game moves forward, or you fail, die, and try again. Oh, and in Heavy Rain you could walk, and it was consistent about who you played as when. Should probably throw that in.
The story was nice, I'll give the game that, but here's the thing. In a video game, even adventure games where story is generally more important than it is in other genres, the story is not your top priority. I'm not saying story isn't important. It can make a good game better, but it can't make a bad game good. All the effort Telltale spent on the plot is meaningless if I'm not having fun playing through it. I should add that some of the best adventure games (Zork, Myst, King's Quest) have had borderline non-existent plots. Why is it forgivable? ...Because it's fun to play.
The worst thing about Jurassic Park, though, is that it was all intentional. It's not like Telltale can't make a good game. They've done it numerous times in the past, when they had a smaller budget and staff than they do now. They thought your average gamer couldn't handle a proper adventure game (which, to be fair, is closer to the truth than it should be), so they deliberately made a subpar product and slapped the Jurassic Park license on it in hopes that would sell copies by itself. For added irony, they failed even harder at appealing to the casual crowd than they did to adventure fans. Like you said, they wanted an FPS because that's pretty much all they play.
You know why Telltale was founded? A bunch of LucasArts' adventure game designers were pissed that they cancelled Sam and Max: Freelance Police. Why did LucasArts do that? Because the best adventure game ever wouldn't sell as much as an average action game. Especially if you put a really popular pre-existing name on it, like Star Wars. Telltale was founded because LucasArts decided, given the choice, they'd rather make a profitable game than a good one. And now Telltale's making the same mistake.
Anyway, that's why we didn't like JP. Sorry for the wall of text, but...this game kind of rubs me the wrong way. Hopefully Telltale will return to their senses soon.
(P.S.: An FPS doesn't have to be "plotless." Look at Half-Life, or Deus Ex. Hell, even Halo, which I'm not a fan of, has a decent emphasis on story.)
Last edited by RAnthonyMahan; 03/05/2012 at 08:02 pm.