You have read my review of The Order: 1886, and you know I mostly liked Ready at Dawn’s latest labor of love. Now let’s hear a completely different point of view from Cliff Bleszinski, one of the men who are considered among the founding fathers of the cover shooter genre. After working on the Unreal and Gears of War franchises, he is now leading his own studio, Boss Key Productions, working on a shooter code named Project BlueStreak.
Bleszinski played the first hour of the game on air on Twitch, accompanied by Boss Key Co-Founder and Guerrilla Games veteran Arjan Brussee. He seemed to appreciate what little he saw of the shooting mechanics and the graphics, but he was also definitely frustrated by the long cutscenes getting in the way of the firefights and action, and by the fact that they can’t be skipped.
Here are his closing thoughts:
I want to fucking like it, but the narrative is just forced on me so much. I’m like “Dudes, let me experience the combat You can have QTEs. It’s not always a bad thing, but it’s so heavy in this.
I don’t know, It’s fucking gorgeous, the animations are great. But as a developer who has a studio, I’m always thinking about games costing money to make. I just see this as a fucking big experience that the money could have been spent in some other places to get a better bang for buck.
But you know, Sony needs to sell consoles. I always call it a system justifier. Look at these looks. It clearly looks better than PS3. That’s what they’re gunning for.
I just can’t do all the cutscenes guys. Call me jaded. I’ll probably go back to it, give it a go. A lot of people really worked their ass off, and I hope I didn’t offend anybody with my commentary here. I just had a little bit of fun with it, and don’t punch me in the nuts at GDC if you see me .
Bleszinski also explained his point of view on the shooting mechanics and on the AI:
I mean, the shooting mechanics are pretty good for what it is. The problem with the AI is that… we had a timer with the Gears franchise that if the enemies turtled, eventually they would come running for it, so there was a certain amount of tension.
We then got his opinion on why the filmic approach to games has become quite common:
This industry is fundamentally insecure about Hollywood and wants to be Hollywood… The only way to convince executives to release the money to greenlight productions is to do movie-like productions that impress them. That’s honestly why this stuff happens.
He also has more to say on Twitter:
TLDR first hour of the Order. Right as I started to dig the shooting got overwhelmed with cutscenes. QTEs not that bad. Gorgeous game.
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) February 20, 2015
Cover controls felt solid. — Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) February 20, 2015
If you want to hear more of Bleszinski’s opinions and see how he fares at shooting the bad guys (he’s actually quite good, very quick on the aiming), below you can see the whole livestream. Of course be aware of a bit of profanity, and of obvious spoilers.
Incidentally, Boss Key Productions’ official Twitter account mentioned that Bloodborne will be examined by Bleszinski’s expert eye as well.