Why Were Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation So Good?

Casual Shinji

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I don't think you can compare movie IP's and game IP's to the same level of appeal (if that is the right word). Movies sell themselves on what they can show, and since most people generally want to see the same stuff they always do, you get sequels, reboots, and adaptations. But since games are an interactive media, they sell themselves on what you can do. So even if we're seemingly getting more new IP's in gaming, those IP's themselves display very similar gameplay to what is popular at that particular moment.

Both Shadow of Mordor and Alien: Isolation seem to be perfect examples of this. The first is apparently a mix between Assassin's Creed and Arkham Asylum, and the latter is not unlike all those "stalker" horror games that have been gaining a lot of popularity.
 

Evonisia

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Jun 24, 2013
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Seeing as I have come home from watching Fury in a cinema to this article, I will say that I disagree with the cinema part of this somewhat unfocused article. Cinemas are loud, sure, but the better sound quality does work to create a different feel than watching films at home. Is it worth paying much more and risking being discovered with your smuggled in food and beverages? I guess that's debatable.
 

Darth_Payn

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LenticularHomicide said:
It's interesting to note that the article starts out by asking why these two recent tie-in games are actually good, answers the question about a third of the way in ("They're good because they were good game concepts regardless of the IP they're shackled to"), and then goes off on an entire tangent about how cinemas blow goats and Hollywood is a sclerotic mass.

This seems kind of odd, until you notice that the original title of the article (still preserved in the URL and page title) was "The Last Two Movie Tie-In Games Were Good; Don't Keep Making Them".

Kind of a misleading re-title, Escapist Editorial Team :-/
Oh my god, the Inaccurate Title Goblin from Cracked escaped and made his way here!
 

RicoADF

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Jun 2, 2009
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TexDangerfield said:
Basically you don't like Cinemas because you're a self diagnosed introvert right? Meh, I've always enjoyed film entertainment over videogame entertainment. That might change if I ever go into a cinema and find that I have the option to pay an additional price to see extra content or the movie's ending.
It sounds like the real issue is that they aren't giving the option. They should release on DVD/Bluray, Cinema and streaming at the same time so that people have a choice. Going to the Cinema is an activity you do with friends, fun yes but not something you want to do with every movie, so why make everyone wait longer for no real reason.
 

vagabondwillsmile

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Why Were Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation So Good?

"Where are we at..."
Why? Yahtzee, why? You're British! If I can't count on you to preserve the sanctity of the English language, on whom can I count?

OT: I agree with the principal underlying your disdain for the cinema. I feel like the industry has had a sinister need for control for a long time; and it only seems to be getting worse.

However, I will continue to see films at the cinema if I feel sufficiently excited / motivated for a number of reasons.

1. My TV isn't that big. Sometimes a feature of the medium is making stories that are told as larger than life appear as such.

2. Often comedies / horror films are more enjoyable with company. Lauging alone is a totally different experience from laughing with others - even if they are strangers - especially if they are strangers. A room full of laughing, happy people is nice.

3. Dates. After just meeting someone, and coffee, etc. etc, its's a good way to see a movie and spend time together as neither party may be comfortable going to the other's place just yet. Or, afterwards, it's fun to get out after watching something on the couch becomes monotonous.

4. And finally, I still believe it to be an art form created specific to its medium. Ballet, opera, and theatre are all performed on stage. Getting a DVD or digital copy of the performances doesn't do the experience justice. There is a "screen play", after all, but it either isn't practical or it isn't the artist's vision to tell the story on stage. Rather, the story is on film (or at least was); and the cinema is the theatre or opera house of its own medium.

And now I'm going to see Fury. Again. It's good.
 

TyphonNotMe

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Personally I would rather have good overall gaming experiences, rather than worry if the games have related releases in other media. . The thing about gaming that generally grabs me most is the hands on nature of it. In a film you are watching a person do something and you're just along for the ride, with no input whatsoever. Rather in a video game I am directly participating in the experience, immersing myself in whatever the game world has to offer. Alien: Isolation is a great example of a solid hands on experience of what it could be like in the Alien universe. I realise the in game character is actually doing the act, but that is still more hands on than a film.
 

Trizzo

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How did you not make mention of the particularly disgusting two final "boss battles" in SoM? How did most reviews miss this? Four QTE each after the build up? Then pay for day one DLC and season pass if you to actually have a bigger fight and boss battle? Not a single piece of gameplay to be had in the finale, the imbalanced gameplay, terriblely boring story. Nemesis was great, worth the price of admission but everything else placeholder.
 

WarpZone

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
If the purse-string-holders start getting it into their heads that movie tie-ins result in success, then they might, with the usual sterling logic of the big-money entertainment producer, decide that they were successful because they were movie tie-ins, and not because they were, you know, decent games with good ideas that managed to innovate a bit in spite of the shackling to existing franchises.
"If?"

Colonial Marines happened.

They have always thought this.
 

thanatos388

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Casual Shinji said:
I don't think you can compare movie IP's and game IP's to the same level of appeal (if that is the right word). Movies sell themselves on what they can show, and since most people generally want to see the same stuff they always do, you get sequels, reboots, and adaptations. But since games are an interactive media, they sell themselves on what you can do. So even if we're seemingly getting more new IP's in gaming, those IP's themselves display very similar gameplay to what is popular at that particular moment.

Both Shadow of Mordor and Alien: Isolation seem to be perfect examples of this. The first is apparently a mix between Assassin's Creed and Arkham Asylum, and the latter is not unlike all those "stalker" horror games that have been gaining a lot of popularity.
Yeah, it's hard to call Shadow of Mordor original when it POSSIBLY stole code from Assassins Creed (and either way still stole the gameplay wholesale, even the crappy bits) and took it's combat from Arkham. I would think that Yahtzee would be the kind of person to make an article about how this separates games from movies or something. Kinda surprising.
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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hermes200 said:
Even today's article is about games that, even when good games on their own right, I would not call Alien and Lord of the Rings *new* IP.
yeeeeeaaaah games don't seem that much better than movies in that regard

Imperioratorex Caprae said:
I can agree with some of this, but only because I've always been a book reader and storyteller myself. I never found that a 1.5-2.5 hour movie could contain great stories as well as a series of films could (Star Wars) unless the story was small and self-contained or a comedy. The MCU is probably my favorite because of the continuity within its films. It makes me feel like I'm able to catch a big glimpse of a world that has life to it.
Ishal said:
still limited by the standard run time of a film. It's limiting, and I get tired of seeing the same formulas over again. The most enjoyment I've gotten from films in the recent years have been Harry Potter, LOTR, and recently the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I enjoy these because they're trying to be more like other mediums, at least in the larger picture. They tell larger stories and connect themselves in such a way that allows me to be invested in something, and make my time worth while. It's why I enjoy books, TV series', and games more. Because personally, I get more out those mediums than I do movies.
it.
I personally feel differently

I think our current obsession with "universing" everything doesn't always happen for the best reasons, its like priming it for milking to the point where I feel as a fan of something that I'm being exploited

because there comes a point where I want something to END, I want something to be a nice contained package rather than something will eather go on forever or fizzle out into nothing
 

Kameburger

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I don't disagree with the sentiment, but I will say I think the difference between an Alien Isolation as opposed to Star wars episode one pod racer, is that the first draws its inspiration from the source material in a way that pays homage to the film, and doesn't use a cookie cutter outline of a game to create a walking fan service tour. They made a point to tell a new story but kept the aspects that made the films scary, and they went above and beyond with translating those aspects into a game that makes you feel something a horror game is supposed to make you feel.

Star Wars Episode 1 Pod Racer was a cynical cash grab that said hey, remember that one scene in this popular movie? well We've re-skinned Xtreme G but slowed it down a bit, and We really didn't get Xtreme G but it's Star Wars so enjoy the recycled John Williams garbage, and leave us alone till the next movie comes out.

As a huge game fan but not a terribly in depth movie fan, Alien Isolation is a great game and has raised the bar for horror games as almost a master class for creating atmosphere. I understand that the film had a similar impact on horror films back in the day. But now as a fan of the Alien IP, I like this game precisely because it's not a who's who of small details the developer found on wikipedia. Everything that they introduce from the Aliens lore is done at the enhancement of the game, and only serves to enhance this games place in the story rather than detract from it.

The fact that they didn't take the Androids and try to use the same plot twists from the movie was a perfect example. Yes there are androids, but these androids exist in this game, with the only reference being that androids exist in this world. There is a reason for why they are in the game, and how they appear there, and why they look the way they do and how they act and above all it is introduced in the narrative in such a way that it is completely believable within that universe without seeming revisionist or obtrusive.
 

Brian Tams

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Stopped after the first line to make this comment.

Its hard to call Alien Isolation and Shadows of Mordor movie tie-ins, because they aren't "tied in" to any movie. They both have their own plot and characters that are separate from the movies.

Not only that, but they're not being released beside movie releases, which frees them from the shackles of having to be shallow promotional material designed to get people to the movie theater.

Now, back to the article.
 

Quorothorn

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...was there a second page to this I missed somehow, or is the answer to the title's question of "Why Were Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation So Good?" really *supposed* to be "I HATE THE CINEMA"? (Or, as a more likely third option, was the title kind of not properly matched to the piece following it?)
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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Vault101 said:
I personally feel differently

I think our current obsession with "universing" everything doesn't always happen for the best reasons, its like priming it for milking to the point where I feel as a fan of something that I'm being exploited

because there comes a point where I want something to END, I want something to be a nice contained package rather than something will eather go on forever or fizzle out into nothing
I don't want everything to have its own shared universe with over a trilogy's worth of material. I enjoy MCU for what it is and haven't found anything I really dislike about it. However I do hate watching movies I know could have been better if they'd been split up into multiple movies, and likewise I'm also very disappointed with the direction that was taken with The Hobbit. I've always been a book reader and stories with more than one book attached have always gained more interest from me than one-shots, though there are a handful of great one-shot books I love dearly. I guess I just enjoy details and love movies that aren't convoluted messes.
I don't know what I want exactly but I want something different than what most of Hollywood is doing, even though I love the MCU I don't think everything needs shared continuity, just that some things could benefit from it. Like the Universal Monsters getting their own continuity? Yeah, not something I'm looking forward to or even remotely positive about.
I take Hollywood with a grain of salt because a lot of what comes out of there I'm not always in agreement with. *shrug*
 

Casual Shinji

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RicoADF said:
It sounds like the real issue is that they aren't giving the option. They should release on DVD/Bluray, Cinema and streaming at the same time so that people have a choice. Going to the Cinema is an activity you do with friends, fun yes but not something you want to do with every movie, so why make everyone wait longer for no real reason.
Because if they gave that option, cinemas as we know them would completely collapse, and they know it. The reason most people still go to theaters is because first and foremost they want to see the new releases. Watching it on a big screen comes second.

You give people the option to see the new Avengers 2 at home on release, and the financial loss would be staggering.
 

LenticularHomicide

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Darth_Payn said:
LenticularHomicide said:
Oh my god, the Inaccurate Title Goblin from Cracked escaped and made his way here!
Given your previous thoughts on the matter,

Darth_Payn said:
You guys want click bait? Try Cracked.com. They use adjectives like "Surprising, Terrifying, Baffling, Creepy," and "...You Won't Believe." Their article titles change at least twice a day and the commenters rightly call them out on it!
I take it that the role of "Inaccurate Title Goblin" is a high honor to have bestowed on oneself.

On a more serious note, I personally believe that since The Escapist isn't an SEO-driven clickbait engine like Cracked, they should therefore set higher standards for themselves.

OT: Like others, I feel that part of the draw of going to the movies is the social experience of it all; after all, the operas, vaudeville and stage plays that preceded the first films were as much a social event, a venue to meet and mingle with your friends and peers, as one of entertainment. True, the current cinema experience is quite far removed from that, but it made more sense in the early days. So, to answer the question posed to the reader, yes, I'd probably invent the cinema system if it hadn't existed - though I wouldn't have let it evolve into its current form.
 

Varis

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Dear VideoGames, I know you're a big boy but do remember to eat your veggies and wash your hands after toilet nonetheless!

Love
-Mum
 

thanatos388

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Quorothorn said:
...was there a second page to this I missed somehow, or is the answer to the title's question of "Why Were Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation So Good?" really *supposed* to be "I HATE THE CINEMA"? (Or, as a more likely third option, was the title kind of not properly matched to the piece following it?)
Well if you go back to the article and look at the URL you'll see the title was questionably changed to get more clicks.
 

Pink Gregory

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'Pretentious nichey wank'.

Yes, that is an appropriate approximation of all independent, experimental or avant-garde films, and we're all pretentious nichey wankers because we don't want to watch fucking Marvel films all the fucking time.

Well done.
 

Quorothorn

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thanatos388 said:
Quorothorn said:
...was there a second page to this I missed somehow, or is the answer to the title's question of "Why Were Shadow of Mordor and Alien Isolation So Good?" really *supposed* to be "I HATE THE CINEMA"? (Or, as a more likely third option, was the title kind of not properly matched to the piece following it?)
Well if you go back to the article and look at the URL you'll see the title was questionably changed to get more clicks.
Aha! Thank you.