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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Demon's Souls and singing online

This sounds so awesome:

The most direct way of helping other players, however, is to join them on their quest. Demon's Souls' ingenious implementation of co-op play is hardly straightforward, though it is incredibly imaginative. Players exist in one of two forms: body form and soul form. If you are in body form, you have full hit points, while in soul form, your hit points are generally halved (though a terrific ring you can find early on will give you a boost). You start your adventure in body form, and when you die, you are resurrected in soul form. Because you are only restored to body form when you defeat a boss or use a relatively rare stone, you'll spend most of your time as a soul. When in soul form, you can drop a soul marker; a player in body form can then activate that marker to summon you to his or her world. At that point, you join the player in his or her realm and tackle the challenges at hand together. If you are in body form, you can summon either one or two players, for a maximum party of three. There is no way to invite a friend, and no voice chat to communicate strategies or warnings. Yet while that sounds limiting, this imaginative system works in the context of Demon's Souls' harsh world and backstory. You feel as if you occupy a single node on a vast web of interconnected realms that mesh and overlap in mysterious ways.
Demon's Souls Review

First - seriously? Another incredible title hits the streets already? I'm already swamped with Uncharted 2 and it isn't even out yet. I've got Fallout DLC installed but untouched. I've got katamaris to roll, people.

Fine, the game sounds like a must have - but not sure when at this point. But more to the point, there's something deeply attractive about coop designed where nobody can talk to each other. I blabbed about this on twitter a bit ago ... I honestly have to say that I think online voice in games is about the most useless invention in the history of gaming.

OK, more specifically - to the large number of non-clan gamers. Sure, if you play the same game with the same group all the time - I get it. But that's not the majority of players.

Most of the time, it is idiotic laughter, rampant complaining and for some odd reason ... singing. Or playing guitar. Yes, I've had to listen to some jackass playing his guitar online. One night I had to listen to some guy who used "epic" and "fail" every other word. I remember when Counter-Strike was going to implement it and it was going to revolutionize gaming completely - but all I'm hearing is some guy's wife in the background and bunch of people screaming at each other.

So to Demon's Souls: thank you. I embrace your silent online world, no matter how vicious the demons may be...


sterno said...

Oh and don't forget those guys who think they have great music you want to listen to.

Yeah when I played PlanetSide I'd use voice with my group and it was great. But in all my time playing random games where I wasn't with a specific group I can recall only a handful of times where voice chat did anything more than annoy me.

Josh said...

I was told by my Guild Wars friend that you weren't really playing without voice - but he was in a serious, serious clan.

Also, I love the overmic'ing in general - like I want to hear someone eating or drinking while playing...

sterno said...

Yeah one frequent problem with voice on console games is that there's rarely any push to talk capability. So you either end up broadcasting everything or you push your mute button on your headset and then forget it's muted when you need to say something.

It's just a problem with fitting that many controls into that amount of controller real estate. You have to budget, from the outset, the PTT capability, and potentially give up other useful functionality to do it.

Tony said...

I totally concur with the sublime beauty of a voice-less online game. If I'm on Xbox Live with friends, I'm fine with chatting, but the rest of the world can be left out for all I care.