Games that penalize you for playing a certain way

The_Blue_Rider

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So, I made a mistake earlier today, one that I probably shouldnt have made but I did. I played a stealth build in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and recently got to the first boss. Wow, fuck me, that is a terribly designed boss fight. Ive heard the stories about this games bosses, and thought maybe it was exaggeration, but no, Im an idiot.
The rest of the game feels so good with stealth, im honestly shocked the first boss fight is just shoot guy in face until you win, its such a disservice to otherwise amazing game so far.

Any other stories of games that arent friendly to certain playstyles, at least for a section or two?
 

Melon Hunter

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Taking the mostly lethal route in Dishonored bags you the High Chaos ending, where Emily ends up evil, everything generally goes to shit, and Samuel the boatman gets all passive-aggressive. Which is a bit hard to avoid, considering most of the game's items and spells are in some way lethal. To be fair, I preferred the challenge of doing everything stealthily and without resorting to murdering everyone in sight to get Low Chaos, but it does strike me as a tad unfair that the game pushes all these awesome, deadly gadgets and magic on you, then turns around and goes "Man, you are such an asshole for using that!"

Also, the Director's Cut of Human Revolution does go some way toward making the boss fights winnable for a stealthy, hacking build of Jensen, but sadly they never went as far as being able to dodge the fight altogether like in the original. The rest of the game is massively biased toward stealth, though, so it's not really a mistake to specialise into the augmentations that allow that.
 

fhmy

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I thought that playing lethally in Human Revolution was penalising actually. Lethal takedowns were noisy compared to non-lethal when functionally they are the same and they didn't give as much exp. You also miss out on a tonne of exp if you start shooting since you don't get stealth bonuses.
Melon Hunter said:
Taking the mostly lethal route in Dishonored bags you the High Chaos ending, where Emily ends up evil, everything generally goes to shit, and Samuel the boatman gets all passive-aggressive. Which is a bit hard to avoid, considering most of the game's items and spells are in some way lethal. To be fair, I preferred the challenge of doing everything stealthily and without resorting to murdering everyone in sight to get Low Chaos, but it does strike me as a tad unfair that the game pushes all these awesome, deadly gadgets and magic on you, then turns around and goes "Man, you are such an asshole for using that!"
Except the High Chaos final level is so much better than the Low Chaos final level. The Low Chaos version is so mild it's disappointing, especially since most of the bad guys are dead before you even meet them. Story-wise it's unpreferable, sure, but the story really isn't the highlight anyways.
 

Catfood220

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The_Blue_Rider said:
So, I made a mistake earlier today, one that I probably shouldnt have made but I did. I played a stealth build in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and recently got to the first boss. Wow, fuck me, that is a terribly designed boss fight. Ive heard the stories about this games bosses, and thought maybe it was exaggeration, but no, Im an idiot.
The rest of the game feels so good with stealth, im honestly shocked the first boss fight is just shoot guy in face until you win, its such a disservice to otherwise amazing game so far.

Any other stories of games that arent friendly to certain playstyles, at least for a section or two?
To be fair, the first boss is probably the hardest and then they can be dealt with quickly and easily with the Typhoon "smart bomb" thing. A couple of hits with that will take out the bosses without breaking a sweat, except for the final boss which takes a few more hits. Then you can get back to the stealthy goodness without too much of an interruption.
 

Treeberry

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It's not quite the same thing but I've recently found that games which give you an automatic game over if you make a mistake to be particularly irksome. If I'm playing a mission that requires stealth or a particular style of play then please let me overcome my mistakes rather than automatically failing me.

I am not the developer, I do not know where every enemy is placed and don't always have the time - ingame or in reality - to learn their routine nor should it be my fault if a bug occurs. Let me use my gosh darn wits (I have some! I swear!) and let me attempt to melt back into the shadows, or trick someone or poison them or if the need arises let me just throw them over the wall even if I must be penalised somehow.

I think what I'm trying to say is, if a game wishes the player to act in a ninja-ly manner then they should freakin' let them act in a ninja-ly manner.
 

Auberon

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I dare you to play Bloodlines as social/mental build with bare minimum or no combat at all. Though it was mostly because Activision forced Troika for early release and last third is unfinished.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Melon Hunter said:
Taking the mostly lethal route in Dishonored bags you the High Chaos ending, where Emily ends up evil, everything generally goes to shit, and Samuel the boatman gets all passive-aggressive. Which is a bit hard to avoid, considering most of the game's items and spells are in some way lethal. To be fair, I preferred the challenge of doing everything stealthily and without resorting to murdering everyone in sight to get Low Chaos, but it does strike me as a tad unfair that the game pushes all these awesome, deadly gadgets and magic on you, then turns around and goes "Man, you are such an asshole for using that!"
The worst part is that if you knock someone out and then they're eaten by rats while knocked out it counts as you killing them. A friend of mine was trying to play through the game with no kills and couldn't figure out what kept screwing him over until he released that rats would randomly kill people he knocked out, so from then on every time he knocked someone out he'd pick up their body and move it so that it wasn't laying on the ground. Such a pain in the ass.
 

The Wykydtron

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Boss fights in Vampire The Masquerade. It's Deus Ex: Human Resources level of bad, maybe even worse. They are all bullet sponges (well, sword sponges because who the fuck thinks a gun build is viable in a game where 90% of enemies have 50% bullet damage reduction?) and anyone who didn't take decent points in two or three combat skills and have a massive hoard of health items stocked up are totally fucked. You best be mashing that Bloodbuff son!

I think I did the second to last boss fight by sitting invisible regenerating some health before chipping away at her again, it's why my second playthrough with a different class is still stuck on her (out of health and blood points on a buff heavy, AOE combat styled Ventrue obviously.) Level 5 Obfuscate OP. Honestly, normal enemies are pitiful since you can stealth kill someone without leaving invis and a guy suddenly sprouting a sword through his chest and dropping dead in the middle of a crowded room gets zero reaction because the game has you as in stealth technically and with level 5 you never need to leave stealth ever again since you can run around freely.

So the real matter at hand is why anyone would be boring enough to choose a clan that is not Malkavian? Malk Master Race right here.
 

votemarvel

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The Batman Arkham games do it to an extent.

You are encouraged to avoid conflict, take people out from the shadows etc. Then the game throws you into massive unavoidable brawls.
 

waj9876

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Weirdly, the devs of Dark Souls seem to hate anyone who isn't using the biggest sword they can find, the heaviest armor, best physical defense/stability shield, and putting all of their points into strength and such.
 

The Random Critic

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System Shock 2 seems to favor hacking and repairing quite a bit

It's my first playthough, though. By the looks of most of the loot placement, and by speed runs show on the web, everything expect hacking is pretty even out. Though to be fair, level 1-3 hacking cost pretty little. Also there are ICU picks.
 

Spanglish Guy

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fhmy said:
I thought that playing lethally in Human Revolution was penalising actually. Lethal takedowns were noisy compared to non-lethal when functionally they are the same and they didn't give as much exp. You also miss out on a tonne of exp if you start shooting since you don't get stealth bonuses.
Yeah non lethal playthroughs offered alot more xp but then got screwed over by those terrible boss fights where there is only the option of fighting them head on, there is no stealth or hacking option. The first boss really caught me off guard when he had a minigun for an arm and all I could do was fire tranq darts at him.
 

MeatMachine

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Most Final Fantasy games that offer customizable party options APPEAR to be totally free, allowing you to choose whatever classes you want and roll with it. This has been a huge, consistant facade in the way the game actually plays, though.

For example, I am going to refer to [the original] FF3, FF5, and FF Dimensions, as they are some of the more prominant titles that always allow you to choose your party's classes.

In all 3 of them, you absolutely MUST have a White Mage at all times. MAYBE you can get around this by having 2 Red Mages that focus predominantly on healing, but for the most part, a White Mage is essential for sustained grinding and dungeon crawling, as well as keeping your party from getting completely wiped out by bosses. As a healer, the White Mage almost always has no attack power - and if they do [Aero, Holy], it often draws from the same valuable resource that your much more beneficial supportive power does, be it Mana or Mana Charges. Should you find yourself grinding for EXP or Job Points or whatever, a White Mage is a worthless waste of a valuble character slot, who exists solely to deal 12 damage per turn and patch up your meat-shields every 5 battles. Boring.

Secondly, in many Final Fantasy games, you will inevitably face off against enemies who are almost entirely resistant to standard attack damage. This means that your frontline fighters who've been carving through hordes of enemies at no cost are now worthless against these particular foes - and, as previously stated, you are also likely running a White Mage, who, again, ALSO cannot deal damage. This means that you MUST have at least one party member strictly dedicated to offensive magic... i.e., a Black Mage (or again, possibly 2 Red Mages to make up for their innate lack of -oomf-). Once again, we find that this mage fills only a niche, though necessary role as the "tide turner" - a character whose expensive abilities are only put to use when they absolutely have to be. Most time spent in Final Fantasy games are traversing dungeons and grinding, which you often encounter only weak or moderately powerful enemies that your primary fighters dispatch with little effort. Wasting 15 magic points to speed up the process is a waste, as you never really know (in your first play-through anyway) when a REAL threat might pop up, or just how far the nearest Town or Healing Spring is. Just like the White Mage, your Black Mage is going to spend a lot of his time knifing meager enemies and contributing fuck-all.

Then, with that out of the way, you're pretty much stuck with mostly-interchangable fighting classes (Knight, Dragoon, Ninja, Monk, etc) with your remaining 2 or 3 party slots, who, 99% of the time, are simply going to be using the same command in every fight, against every enemy - the "Attack" command. There are a few exceptions to this, but seldom do they pay off or are more tactically rewarding than simply pummeling an enemy until it dies.

"Niche" classes, such as Alchemists, Bards, Dancers, Scholars, etc just don't hold up. Ever. Even in scripted fights where their weird, unique abilities are often the intended focal point to counter a certain boss's traits just don't really work out - "Attack", "Attack", "Cure", and "[Black Magic Attack/Buff]" is always the "correct" way to play a lot of Final Fantasy games.

No, I don't like metagame any more than anyone else does, but in "customizable" Final Fantasy games, there are so few combinations that actually work, it's ridiculous.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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waj9876 said:
Weirdly, the devs of Dark Souls seem to hate anyone who isn't using the biggest sword they can find, the heaviest armor, best physical defense/stability shield, and putting all of their points into strength and such.
Not even true in the slightest. The easiest way to go through any of the souls games is to use magic or miracles. 90% of the enemies in the game are incredibly vulnerable to magic and lightning and you can attack from a distance without any fear of them fighting back. It almost turns it into a totally different (and not nearly as fun) game.
 

Ghraf

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Catfood220 said:
The_Blue_Rider said:
So, I made a mistake earlier today, one that I probably shouldnt have made but I did. I played a stealth build in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and recently got to the first boss. Wow, fuck me, that is a terribly designed boss fight. Ive heard the stories about this games bosses, and thought maybe it was exaggeration, but no, Im an idiot.
The rest of the game feels so good with stealth, im honestly shocked the first boss fight is just shoot guy in face until you win, its such a disservice to otherwise amazing game so far.

Any other stories of games that arent friendly to certain playstyles, at least for a section or two?
To be fair, the first boss is probably the hardest and then they can be dealt with quickly and easily with the Typhoon "smart bomb" thing. A couple of hits with that will take out the bosses without breaking a sweat, except for the final boss which takes a few more hits. Then you can get back to the stealthy goodness without too much of an interruption.
And then there's this method too:

 

Rayce Archer

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MYTH. FUCKING. TWO.

So the Myth games are Real Time Tactics games where you manage squads of fantasy soldiers. And in multiplayer, you need to be dynamic and think reactively and generally play smart like in any RTT/RTS game. But in single player it quickly devolves to contra-esque memorization- you must move THIS unit HERE and use special ability Y at point X, or you will be FUCKED. Once you know what the game wants you to do even the hardest levels become comically easy and if you keep trying to go your own way, you're hosed. All the strategy goes out the window.

Myth 3 was even worse that way, but it sucked in general so nobody played it.
 

chiggerwood

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TopazFusion said:
Well, Hitman Absolution is an obvious one.

If you play it non-stealthily, the game actively penalizes you for it by docking your score for that level.
It's a stealth game, that's the point. That's like complaining about a racing game penalizing you for going the wrong way on the track.
 

V da Mighty Taco

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Infamous is an obvious one, as well as the Suffering games. Playing as anything other than absolute good or absolute evil results in your character actively being weaker than if they had stuck to an extreme, with truly neutral characters being nearly powerless.

Skyrim punished mages and agility-centric melee fighters hardcore. Mages simply did not have the damage output or mana efficiency to be practical without abusing horribly broken exploits such as the Impact perk (literally makes any enemy in the game unable to ever fight back due to infinite stunlock) and / or making all spells free to cast via Enchanting. Melee fighters either had to be massive tanks or stealth kill everything, as those blasted cinematic finishing moves that enemies had would automatically trigger the exact moment you got in range of an attack and stopped blocking, regardless of if the attack would have actually hit you or not, causing the player to be literally locked in place and instakilled without being able to do anything about it. If you ever tried playing a Light Armor brawler without using Smithing or Enchanting, then you know what I mean. I literally bought the PC version of this game for the full $60 months after release entirely because of how much I wanted to mod that crap out of the game.

The original Thief games punished players for not playing stealthily. What did the devs think it was, a stealth game? :p

Lastly (for now), modern CoD games are pretty much designed around players either going full Leeroy Jenkins and rushing right in or camping a corner and waiting for someone to run by. Hopefully the increased mobility in the next game can fix that problem and open up more strategies, but I highly doubt it.

Captcha: "most likely" Now Captcha is taunting me.