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View Full Version : I Think PC Gamer Just Made My Mind Up For Me



Maleficus
02-21-2010, 22:50
So, the latest issue of PC Gamer has a review of N:TW. They give it a fairly respectable score of 82, but bearing in mind they gave Empire, vanilla Empire no less, a 94, the 82 is hardly flattering.

Also, actually reading the article gives a more negative view: "To impess us - the old hands - NTW needed two things: novelty and refinement. Alas it offers precious little of the latter and only a flawed form of the former." They also bemoan the lack of replayability of the Italian campaign, the lack of diplomatic options during the Egyptian campaign and the ease of conquering enemy capitals.

Throughout the article, sometimes in the text, sometimes in the captions, the reader is made aware that the Black Watch routs too easily, naval battles are beautiful yet bland and, perhaps most vitally, that the AI still utterly sucks at both campaign strategy and diplomacy.

It is when they get to discussing the new attrition features, however, that it starts to sink in that CA really haven't been making the efforts they should.


Depleted armies will automatically replenish just about anywhere as long as they've got a general. Supply posts can only be built in economic satellite towns, and are far from essential. Attrition - which should have been a major pain in the rump - only occurs in midwinter and desert conditions. Elite units are immune. In short, Creative Assembly have bottled it. The enhancement that should have prevented that classic and increasingly tiresome TW phnomena, the rampaging MegaKill Army, barely impacts it.

I don't know about the rest of you, and I'm certainly not usually one to pay too much attention to reviews, but I can't help feeling that if the very magazine that generously described ETW as 'A strategy masterwork' is struggling to find very much positive to say about it's sequel, then it's unlikely to be worth investing 30 of my hard-earned cash.

Julius_Nepos
02-21-2010, 23:14
Well I always thought NTW was far too limited in scope for my interests. I had not really paid much attention to its development or feature set, but it does not surprise me that CA would come up with a way to increase the strategy of the game, at a core level, then cripple it hopelessly. I remember when The Elder Scrolls IV (Oblivion) was being touted for its Radiant AI, problem was, the hype couldn't match the actual programming requirements and in the end RAI was gutted. So, I understand this sort of thing doesn't happen just to CA, but it's disappointing none the less. I really just see no reason to get NTW; I like minor factions, I like reshaping the face of Europe, I like actual grand strategy, NTW offers none of these. ETW is still a train wreck in some respects and I really can't see the impetus for me to buy yet another product, standalone or add-on considering the disabled nature of the original release. Oh well perhaps next time we'll get: The Caudine Forks: Total War. I'm sure it would sell well.

Furunculus
02-22-2010, 12:08
i am ok with the attrition mechanic, but the campaign is too limited in scope for me to be happy, on the other hand NTW is listed for only 17 on amazon, so i may give it a shot.

still a balls up, NTW should have upgraded and expanded Empire, not this half arsed affair.

gollum
02-22-2010, 14:23
Sounds like standard CA policy, ie introduce features without them being too essential in terms of strategy as they want casuals and newbies getting the game and playing through it, without rreally knowing what they are doing. I am always suspecting of reviewers, but if the reviewer is 50% right, then this is as many of us thought, another milking of fanboys with basic visual entertainment, bad AI and lack of gameplay optimisation.

Not that i'd be surprised.

Have fun Lemur.

NimitsTexan
02-22-2010, 15:19
the reader is made aware that the Black Watch routs too easily,

If that is a comment reflecting a change that makes units rout quicker in general, that is actually a very good thing. As it stands in Empire, units can withstand way too much punishment before the rout, and battles are much more bloody much more quickly than is appropriate for the time period.

Crazed Rabbit
02-23-2010, 01:48
Well that seals it. Huh, having my cynicism vindicated feels strangely empty.

Anyways, could you post something a bit more in depth about what they thought of the AI?

CR

Goaswerfraiejen
02-23-2010, 05:12
Well, in all fairness, EB has an attrition feature, and it works pretty well. Sounds like it's better than NTW's at any rate, which is sad, since it means they haven't internalized some of the best features of the best mods.

Kurando
02-23-2010, 07:02
IGN Review (http://pc.ign.com/articles/107/1070234p1.html)

Looks like IGN just posted a review with some details.

adembroski
02-23-2010, 12:23
Why would you make a game that clearly is going to appeal to hardcore fans and then insist on constantly worrying so much about the casual fan? The biggest problem with the TW series has been this lack of commitment to any one vision.

Do casual gamers even bother with TW?

gollum
02-23-2010, 13:17
Nope, the problem of the TW series is that its genre is for hardcores, but the developer addresses it and designs it for casuals. And yes, casual gamers do bother since 2004 with TW, very much in fact, sales alone prove this beyond any shadow of a doubt. However the game itself is more and more degraged because by definition its format is meant to be addressed to hardcores, wargamers and the like. In the end TW has become no less than a paranoid series that it drwns in its own contadictions.

antisocialmunky
02-23-2010, 14:01
Nope, the problem of the TW series is that its genre is for hardcores, but the developer addresses it and designs it for casuals. And yes, casual gamers do bother since 2004 with TW, very much in fact, sales alone prove this beyond any shadow of a doubt. However the game itself is more and more degraged because by definition its format is meant to be addressed to hardcores, wargamers and the like. In the end TW has become no less than a paranoid series that it drwns in its own contadictions.

Well to be honest, that's not that much of a problem. The complexity has always increased. The only thing is that they are marketting it to a broader audience. The main problem is that 40% of the last 2 games just don't work right. It would not be a bad thing if they released a 100% polished, functioning game that was a little dumbed down and not as feature rich.. Atleast then the game would have a good basis to start adding features to.

Goaswerfraiejen
02-23-2010, 17:20
What exactly do you mean by casual gamer anyway? I'd say I'm a casual gamer, since I only play total war (and now, only EB). I've played through MTW, VI, RTW, BI, Alex, and M2TW. None of these games, nor any of their features, were too complex for a "casual gamer" like me to grasp--it's not like we're morons. Unless perhaps you refer to modding, I'm just puzzled as to which target you're trying to hit. If, on the other hand, you're referring (by "casual") to the class of players impressed by the games' graphics, then I'm afraid that "hardcore" games are just as much to blame.

But to be honest, as a "casual gamer," I've had no trouble dumping TW after the M2TW fiasco (I couldn't play anything but the campaign for almost 6 months, since battles would go by one frame every 30 seconds or so--had to wait for that to be patched). I don't spend much time playing video games and, as a result, I don't immediately buy into the hype, and I'm happy replaying the games that I truly enjoyed the first time around. If anything (since we're pointing fingers), I'd say that it's the "hardcore" gamers that are failing to learn their lessons, and who continue to prop up CA's mistakes. Everybody in the last few years has spent far too much time being dazzled by improved graphics to hold true to their commitments to hold CA to account. Topical enhancements like graphics don't just appeal to new players or casual gamers: hardcore fans are also sucked right in. Don't kid yourself.

gollum
02-23-2010, 19:13
Originally opsted by antisocialmunky
Well to be honest, that's not that much of a problem. The complexity has always increased. The only thing is that they are marketting it to a broader audience. The main problem is that 40% of the last 2 games just don't work right. It would not be a bad thing if they released a 100% polished, functioning game that was a little dumbed down and not as feature rich.. Atleast then the game would have a good basis to start adding features to.

Actually they are one and the same problem - the complexity increasing across the board in order to marke to a broader audience and the quality is lower because the complexity across the board does not permit high quality within the time and resources they have.

It was possible to patch MTW to perfection - but not RTW and cetrainly not M2TW. ETW is patched even less in terms of completion of the original vision. The two are one and the same, and this has been stated over and over again by various mpers and others that have participated in beta testing from the early days is some cases. CA just plainly told them that they make the game for the "casual gamer" in fact.

Forward Observer
02-23-2010, 20:06
Unless I missed it, neither review touched on the naval component of the game. I was hoping that for a change, the developers might add an optional realistic sailing mode.

Beskar
02-24-2010, 01:44
What exactly do you mean by casual gamer anyway? I'd say I'm a casual gamer, since I only play total war (and now, only EB). I've played through MTW, VI, RTW, BI, Alex, and M2TW. None of these games, nor any of their features, were too complex for a "casual gamer" like me to grasp--it's not like we're morons. Unless perhaps you refer to modding, I'm just puzzled as to which target you're trying to hit. If, on the other hand, you're referring (by "casual") to the class of players impressed by the games' graphics, then I'm afraid that "hardcore" games are just as much to blame.

But to be honest, as a "casual gamer," I've had no trouble dumping TW after the M2TW fiasco (I couldn't play anything but the campaign for almost 6 months, since battles would go by one frame every 30 seconds or so--had to wait for that to be patched). I don't spend much time playing video games and, as a result, I don't immediately buy into the hype, and I'm happy replaying the games that I truly enjoyed the first time around. If anything (since we're pointing fingers), I'd say that it's the "hardcore" gamers that are failing to learn their lessons, and who continue to prop up CA's mistakes. Everybody in the last few years has spent far too much time being dazzled by improved graphics to hold true to their commitments to hold CA to account. Topical enhancements like graphics don't just appeal to new players or casual gamers: hardcore fans are also sucked right in. Don't kid yourself.

Best advise is to look up the definitions. Let's take a look at the Wii. Basically all games are classified as causal in mind. To be a casual game, it is slapstick silly, can be put down and played within 30 minutes max easy. Total War itself as a genre, cannot be Casual, as even though argubly you can pick up and play for 30 minutes or so. It will take a long time to complete a campaign.

Casual is simply that, simplistic, short-gaming experience. To quote examples - Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, and similar.

The "casual gamer" is a susposed silent majority when it comes to game sales. A "hardcore" gamer might pick up and play a game like EU3, happy to play it. A casual wouldn't even look at it. Casuals simply like flashy graphics and pretty much that, no gameplay elements, or anything lasting.

Overall pretty much, you spend any real length of time in games, though it sounds like you are talking about M:TW onwards, you are not a "casual" gamer. So your own argument about being from a casual perspective is actually incorrect.

mountaingoat
02-24-2010, 04:06
Well to be honest, that's not that much of a problem. The complexity has always increased. The only thing is that they are marketing it to a broader audience. The main problem is that 40% of the last 2 games just don't work right. It would not be a bad thing if they released a 100% polished, functioning game that was a little dumbed down and not as feature rich.. Atleast then the game would have a good basis to start adding features to.

the only thing you might consider to be "complex" is the graphical representation of each unit , and how each unit interacts with each other .. other than that ( and mounting units onto walls + new mapping system ) .. it seems if anything that more complex features have been taken out and then some placed back in later on .

i agree that even if they make a 100% polished game that is more towards the "roman wardog glaidator ninja" players , at least with correct modding tools the game can be a great base for a good conversion.

we also have to look at where their energy goes , in regards to "increasing complexity" .. if for example in MTW2 .. instead of placing so much time ( even though it seemed be lacking in ) with multiple elaborate finishing moves ...they could of instead placed efforts into advancing the fluidity of the combat system and how multiple animations are interacting... or how the AI reacts towards obstacles in game.

instead of spending so much time making sure that the each coat of armor has the best shiny coat or each cannon ball can leave the right type of indentation on the ground .. what about compiling a list of basic strategies for the AI so that they do not all engage in the exact same way ...

complexity is added in areas that are designed to appease the sales managers , whom are only after the bottom line (money) , the idea is to generate as much revenue as you can .. by trying to capture more of a "mainstream" audience i guess.

yes you all know this already .. but this cannot be overlooked in relation to the "development" of TW series ..

antisocialmunky
02-24-2010, 04:41
I'm just saying that TW gets more and more complicated with each iteration because they add a few big features and a few small features and never seem to fix any old features.

Case and points:
Sieges - Pathing and wall fighting is still buggy after TWO ENGINES.
AI - Still the #1 complaint after 3 games and 3 expansions.
AI Running units around under fire like idiots - It has actually gotten worse since the first appearence of this in RTW.
Detailed Diplo Options - Still token, broken, and not particularly interesting.

Those complaints are all from RTW and before...

mountaingoat
02-24-2010, 07:59
I'm just saying that TW gets more and more complicated with each iteration because they add a few big features and a few small features and never seem to fix any old features.

Case and points:
Sieges - Pathing and wall fighting is still buggy after TWO ENGINES.
AI - Still the #1 complaint after 3 games and 3 expansions.
AI Running units around under fire like idiots - It has actually gotten worse since the first appearence of this in RTW.
Detailed Diplo Options - Still token, broken, and not particularly interesting.

Those complaints are all from RTW and before...

without a doubt...


would be nice if we could get some kind of project going to obtain the engine from one of the games , and then have access to re code and release a kind of open source modification.

antisocialmunky
02-24-2010, 12:06
There are no other TW engines lol. We could probably make one, the basic premise is not htat hard.

mountaingoat
02-25-2010, 01:18
There are no other TW engines lol. We could probably make one, the basic premise is not htat hard.

lol what? i guess i meant ,to obtain the source for one of the TW engines ... unless you are saying the engine from STW is the same as NTW .. which in that case , then to just obtain the source code or something

Royce
02-25-2010, 16:27
Thanks for posting that review. It's very difficult to decide because some review are really promising. I want to believe NTW is going to be great but after dealing with Steam on some issues I too have my doubts.

Fisherking
02-26-2010, 08:41
I was reading a couple of threads ranting and railing against the article for giving it much too low a score.

I am sure they took a lot of flack for the state of ETW on release and they were taking no chances.

Also some were complaining that the reviewer didn’t know enough about Total War games to give a decent review.

It is really to early to tell who is right. There is a lot of enthusiasm for NTW at the moment. Complainers are being shouted down. It will take a while before we get a clearer picture.

Generals_Bodyguard
02-28-2010, 05:03
Read this:
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=236676

and this review:
http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3178121

antisocialmunky
02-28-2010, 05:28
Our horses will wear hats!?

'Nuff Said.

gollum
02-28-2010, 12:59
Is there anyone left who still believes what comes out of Kieran Bridgen concering tw?

Madoushi
02-28-2010, 13:11
Having only gotten MII recently, I am pretty satisfied with it.
It certainly isn't perfect, but AI aside, it fixed most of the problems I had with Medieval (too easy, too much Italian Cavalry Machine, I mean, Pope)
and Rome (everyone hates you, money is scarce, navies fragile)

I'm somewhat glad they added a mission system in the Council of Lords, though I wish there was more diversity to it.

It seems Lords almost always go for the same provinces in the same order (unless you've gotten ahead of them), which almost always means choosing between war with a probably ally and excommunication, losing repute for failing the mission, or offering up Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bern, Innsbruck, Acre, Map Info and 1000 florins per turn for 10 turns and still have them consider that an insulting exchange for Antwerp.

Though, at least in this game, you can say "Well, hose you Denmark, and hose you too, Pope. It's Antipope tahm."

antisocialmunky
02-28-2010, 14:11
To be honest, while those reviews do have a point. I think that NTW is a good game. The AI does have issues garrisoning its cities and sometimes does end up throwing everything at you. It probably needs some extra $$$ bonii on the campaing map to match the player as well. The attrition is actually quite bad in certain situations(losing 30 men off of each unit outside of a city) but the thing is, cities give instant protection from attrition. :-\

The supply situation is a little more annoying through while you have to secure a line for reenforcements, there is no 'line' of supply. You just need to build one supply depot and you're fine. It would be nice to need an actual line from your capitol.

I also don't think they considered all the game breaking bug fixes:
-FORT WORK!
-WALL PATHING IS PRETTY GOOD
-MELEE BUG IS GONE(unless fire and advance is on)
-AI ADVANCES IN A LINE

:)