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Death Stranding - Kojima at it again


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10 hours ago, Lying Cat said:

 

I suspect that you'll be very ashamed of your words and deeds when you find out the reason Sam has no willy.

It's a Phantom Pean?

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1 hour ago, Moz said:

The cutscenes aren’t awful, the writing is awful. It’s funny-awful though, I love how unfiltered it is. I wish Kojima would hugely reduce the dialogue and concentrate on visual storytelling because he’s really very good at it. 


Yup, I think that’s a spot on assessment really. I love watching the cut scenes as they are absolutely beautiful. But it’s very tempting to switch off the dialogue completely and make up a story as you go along.

 

I feel very sorry for the actors...you can hear them struggling to work out what the fuck they’re supposed to doing pretty much constantly. 

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2 hours ago, Moz said:

The cutscenes aren’t awful, the writing is awful. 

 

Believe it or not, I actually considered making this distinction but then didn't. Trouble is, far too many of the cutscenes so far consist of nothing but people standing in a room having excruciating conversations.

 

Still, I knew this wasn't going to be another MGSV--which for me was a Kojima game without the garbage, for which I LOVED it--and if I have to indulge Death Stranding's story content to get to the good stuff, then so be it. 

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2 hours ago, Number 28 said:

People using a pad on PC, which pad are you using? Because you kinda need a touch pad don't you? I guess the Xbox controller uses back for likes and shouts, etc?

 

What does touch pad add? Because yep, the back button on a xbone pad does those things. Although I've already had three "Oh shit" moments, when trying to like a construct and it's shouted instead, with BTs nearby. 

 

What's the point of shouting anyway? Actually don't tell me. I'm sure Kojima will reveal it clears spores from a microverse, or the resonance makes Deadman ejaculate, or some such. 

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@Treble I imagine the back button is better on second thoughts...jamming it for likes on PS4 felt kinda awkward. Although I resent having to jam any button repeatedly in games. RSI-tastic.

 

The only thing I can think of that seems particular to the touch pad is the map in the menu which rotates slightly if you hold a finger to it (not press) and move your pad (gyro). But it's more of a single 'ooh that's fancy' moment than anything actually useful. It wouldn't surprise me if a bunch of people never realised it was possible.

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8 hours ago, Moz said:

The cutscenes aren’t awful, the writing is awful. It’s funny-awful though, I love how unfiltered it is. I wish Kojima would hugely reduce the dialogue and concentrate on visual storytelling because he’s really very good at it. 

 

I'd agree with this in most Kojima games like MEtal Gear, where Snake's jumping through a window and blowing up a fifty foot tall robot with a rocket launcher.

 

Outside of a few specific scenes in Death Stranding however, too often it's just a bunch of actors in a room jawing with one another. And, since they're relying on said writing to carry the sce...

 

... Christ, I just remembered the Chiral Artist bit. Oh, Jesus. I need to back out of this thread for a bit. Immediately.

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Kojima needs an editor or to let someone who isn't rubbish write his shit. Apparently there were 2 other writers credited on this, but Kojima obviously got final say on what went in which is why it's so toe curlingly poor.

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3 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

I almost think it's done on purpose sometimes. The game pans back to Daryl Dixon and you think yay, here we go, let's go exploring, then fucking Death Egg Zone Man comes in and says 'before you go...' before micro-explaining the fabric in your jockstrap again.

 

There's that thing that Deadman says (I'm paraphrasing but almost literally) "They call me Deadman because I like the dead. Geddit?!" and this is a few hours in after you've had it explained who he is and what he does. I mean.... If I thought the whole game was done with a wink it wouldn't bother me nearly as much as it does but it's nearly all played dead straight which is why the ridiculousness doesn't work.

I think the writing was the biggest axe I had to grind with this game. It shouldn't matter as I've played games with shitty dialogue to completion before but there's just so fucking much of it in here.

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You mean the bit where...

 

Spoiler

Like halfway through the game he explains that he’s basically a Frankenstein and does a complete 180 on his view of BB mid-conversation and the fact that he’s a Frankenstein never comes up before or after?


I swear Norman Reedus played that as just “visible confusion”. Pure Hideo.

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I'm playing through the game now, and I'm finding it hard to reconcile this idea some have that it's played completely straight, with all the daft jokes and literal winks to the camera that I'm seeing. Feels like I'm playing a different game. 

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39 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

Kojima needs an editor or to let someone who isn't rubbish write his shit. Apparently there were 2 other writers credited on this, but Kojima obviously got final say on what went in which is why it's so toe curlingly poor.

 

There should be a "we need to talk about Kojima" thread. Its clear Kojima likes to make games that are 65% movie 45% video game, but he really needs to get his shit together when it comes to writing. His writing is Uwe Boll level at times. Despite enjoying this game, I feel that its a missed opportunity considering he had Guillermo Del Toro onboard. 

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Yeet! Love that. Yeah, I'm 7 hours in and I'm ready to offer free blowies to the guys at Konami for their sterling work at trimming down Kojima's bullshit in MGSV.

 

How you can make Phantom Pain, see it universally described as your greatest triumph (with some even going so far as to say the even MORE stripped-back Ground Zeroes is his highest achievement), throw a paddy and make your own studio just so you can indulge in your own mastabatory writing style is... it's just the worst hubris in gaming outside of David Cage, and his own uniquely foul-smelling cow ordure.

 

But what a frikking paradox this thing is. To use Hideo's own nomenclature, it's Beautifully Mundane Logistical Action. The hard sci-fi world aesthetic, the loneliness, the effort, the anxiety, the maudlin ambiance... it's amazing. It tells a story in aural and visual splendor that takes the emotive aspects of walking sims, bolts them to the mechanics of an action game, then flips THAT on its head by only selecting the parts of those games that are ignored. As I said earlier, fatigue, repetition, anxiety and The Slog are what matters, and it turns them into art.

 

It's a mesmerising, postmodern take on what our society is becoming, conveyed 100% perfectly by its aesthetic... and then you're made to sit down and forced to listen to badly-delivered exposition for literally hours at a time. Even making a delivery, you're subjected to endless variations on, "You're amazing at this job. I hope you get to the West Coast ok! Isn't the president amazing? We need more materials, but this is a great start. Please expand the chiral network..." over. and over. and over.

 

I'm very close to just skipping the cutscenes and reading the notes that get added to my log. Can I get away with that? Cos if I can, i'm bloody gonna.

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18 hours ago, JoeK said:


Yup, I think that’s a spot on assessment really. I love watching the cut scenes as they are absolutely beautiful. But it’s very tempting to switch off the dialogue completely and make up a story as you go along.

 

I feel very sorry for the actors...you can hear them struggling to work out what the fuck they’re supposed to doing pretty much constantly. 

 

I should say, I've only play two hours of it!

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14 hours ago, moosegrinder said:

Kojima needs an editor or to let someone who isn't rubbish write his shit. Apparently there were 2 other writers credited on this, but Kojima obviously got final say on what went in which is why it's so toe curlingly poor.

 

For me it's the pacing with too much squashed at the start and at the end. This does mean though that the middle is almost pure gameplay and not too much cutscene interruptions.

 

Kojima needs to be more confident. There's several bits in the the game where a character will hint at something and start you thinking "ah I wonder...." only for the character to spin around and explain it all in detail and then again in case you haven't got it. Less is more.

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On 15/07/2020 at 17:01, JoeK said:

I wonder how difficult it is for Devs to incorporate DLSS into games, as I'm still surprised that it is still fairly rare in games and only this and Control have managed to make it look amazing.

 

I'd love to see it in something like Red Dead 2, but as that's still a bit glitchy I'm guessing that ain't gonna happen.

 

I went off and looked into DLSS and what actually happens, and it's fascinating and bafflingly complex at the same time.

 

My "Thicko's Understanding" version is this: Developer makes game, submits it to Nvidia. They then run it through their super-computer (Nvidia DGX) which uses AI to come back with a graphics driver - the 'game ready' driver that's optimised specifically for that game. The so-called 'Tensor Cores' in your graphics card run this code, and Bob's your auntie's live-in lover. And I assume that some pre-existing engines are better suited to DLSS than others. To be honest, I've only tried it on two games (this one and Control) and DLSS 2.0 has been amazing on both. Which games is it crap with?

 

The second thing is, I have no idea (in layman's terms) what it's doing under the surface. Something to do with predicting what objects in the next frame will look like, and rendering that as a higher resolution image, rather than the engine producing it as a real-time object? I dunno, Nvidia's bumpf around this is terribly written, so much so it seems deliberately obtuse.

 

As an aside, one of my career skills is creating technical documentation, also converting it into business language, so I know what info should be conveyed in these messages. And what Nvidia are doing ain't it :D

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16 minutes ago, Treble said:

 

The second thing is, I have no idea (in layman's terms) what it's doing under the surface. Something to do with predicting what objects in the next frame will look like, and rendering that as a higher resolution image, rather than the engine producing it as a real-time object? I dunno, Nvidia's bumpf around this is terribly written, so much so it seems deliberately obtuse.

 

@siri summed it up as "witchcraft" and I'm inclined to agree.

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I watched Digital Foundry's vid on DLSS 2.0 yesterday and that shit is just crazy. You can run the game in 540p with DLSS 2.0 (Alan Wake's resolution on the 360) and it basically looks as sharp as native 1080p. I have a 2080 Ti, so I can whack eveything on Ultra in Control with RTX on and still have great famerates thanks to DLSS 2.0. Awesome tech.

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Basically you train a neural network to map from a known input to a simulated output, and reward it for making an output similar to the known, ideal output. In this case the input is the low resolution nasty game image and the ideal output is the same game running at high resolution with expensive anti aliasing etc. If you train it well enough, then when you give that trained network a new low res image of the game which it hasn’t seen before, it will be able to make a convincing simulation of the high resolution, anti-aliased version of that image.

 

All the computational cost is in the training; neural networks are cheap to actually execute. So you can just distribute that trained neural net for that game and it’ll be able to run fast enough to upscale the game in real time. That’s the game-specific DLSS “driver”.

 

It’s an incredibly powerful solution which means you can get far better results than you would expect for a given piece of hardware. I kind of wonder if the console manufacturers backed the wrong horse with AMD given the efficiencies it gives you. You have a closed platform where you could have “add DLSS” as a paid option in the online store submission process. 
 

And DLSS is just the beginning. You could train a neural net to supersample low-resolution streaming games and not only improve resolution but fix compression artefacts I’m sure. Temporal supersampling to higher frame rates is probably also possible. It could be much more important this generation than ray tracing is meant to be, and if PC developers get on board broadly we could see a step-change in what PC games are capable of.

 

Edit - I’ve said “image” here but DLSS actually uses information from a finite slice of time to “understand” how it needs to upscale a given frame.

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I meant to say “temporal upscaling” because supersampling would be something else.
 

Edit And even then that’s already the name of a thing. I mean, use the neural network to interpolate high quality frames between your existing ones. Without somehow introducing latency? It feels like it’s possible in principle.

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