Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Isaac Frost Might Be One Of The Hardest Bosses I’ve Ever Fought

So, I’ve owned, and have been playing the shit out of Fight Night Champion for a few months now.

While my first impression of the game was rather poor, after several hours tooling around in the demo; I finally decided to break down and buy the game.

After having gotten the hang of the new control scheme, (for like the 4th time in the franchise’s history…) the game opened up, and now I’m proud to say it’s one of the better games in the series.

In either case, it’s not everyday boxing videogames aimed at hardcore boxing fans are released; so even if the game was utter crap, I still probably would’ve picked up Fight Night Champion from a bargain bin at some point.

Anyway, over the past few months I’ve obliterated a handful of people in online play, I’ve rewritten history through countless bouts against the CPU; but as of now, I’ve yet to complete the game’s much lauded Champion Mode.

For those who are unaware, Champion Mode represents a first for the series, in that it serves as a sort of pre-arranged campaign mode, complete story cutscenes between and during bouts, featuring it’s own cast of characters.

Sadly, the actual narrative is kind of lame, with most of the characters being shallow stereotypes of the genre, and much of the dialogue coming across as more than a little inorganic due to the rather forced inclusion of exposition-y game speak.

"This guy's gone down on body shots in the past! You should hit him with body shots this round! Body shots kid, remember? Body shots!"

At the end of the day, Champion Mode ends up being a slightly watered down version of Soulblade’s Edge Master Mode, or Street Fighter Alpha 3’s World Tour Mode.

Basically, one plays through various boxing matches as the character Andre Bishop, though several matches require the use of specialized tactics or the completion of certain in-match achievements in order to win.

While limited in the sense that I’ve played similar, and better modes in games from 15 years ago; Champion Mode was a welcome addition to the franchise, though with one little catch:

They made the “last boss” too fuckin’ hard!

The “last boss” of Fight Night Champion is a massive, tattoo bearing, short-haired motherfucker named Isaac Frost.

I’d make a joke about how Frost looks more than a little more like a UFC spokesmodel, or I don’t know, RANDY FUCKING ORTON; than a heavyweight boxer, but doing so would be beneath me.

... I'll just let the picture do the talking.

I’d also make a joke about the plausibility of an unbeatable white American heavyweight champion in this day and age being slim to none, but some would perceive that as racist.

I’d perceive that a statement of fact, but to each his own…

Like any “bad guy” in a boxing story, Frost is a massive prick, though seemingly for no other reason than the fact that he likes being a prick.

The man has zero backstory, so there’s no real explaining his prick-ish demeanor; but the point is:

Frost is an ass.  You’re supposed to hate him.  In spite of all this, he also happens to be a FUCKING BEAST in the ring.

Thanks Google, now I know that there actually is a game called "Beast Boxing."

That last part serves as my reason for not having beaten Frost as of yet.

I don’t know if it’s brilliant programming on the part of the folks over at EA Montreal, or really fuckin’ cheap programming; but Frost is a fuckin’ force of nature to contend with.

He’s very tall, making his long strides more than a match for your best footwork.

He’s a genius at cutting off the ring, leading to more than a few instances where he actually tricks you into stepping right into his fists.

His punching power is off-the-fucking-charts, making 2-3 consecutive punches a recipe for putting you on queer street, or flat on the mat.

And on top of that, his AI is entirely based on the Fight Night engine, meaning his actions are engineered to be unpredictable.

While most videogame bosses typically hold all of the above advantages in terms of attributes, the one thing that really makes Frost unique, at least to me; is the fact that he doesn’t have any set attack patterns.

In short, like any fight in a Fight Night game, the battle with Frost plays out like an actual boxing match.

There’s no golden mechanic for winning the fight, with every engagement serving as a moment-to-moment clash of wits.

I’ve always made it my business to win underdog fights against the computer in Fight Night games, largely because I derive a great deal of satisfaction from winning said bouts; but fighting Isaac Frost is an entirely different affair.

Like many fights in Champion Mode, you’re expected to take on Frost in several stages, employing different tactics as the rounds go by.

The first 2 rounds see you dancing around Frost and basically trying not to get hit.

Pictured: What happens when you try to hang back on tall guys.

I can usually do this without going down, but not always.

The next 3 rounds require you to land a total of 75 heavy body blows on Frost, and that’s as far as I’ve managed to get against him.

I’ve tried stepping into his chest to diminish the punching power of his long arms, but usually I get caught by an uppercut.

I’ve tried leaping in after one of his jabs to hit him while he’s pulling back his punches, but I usually get caught by an uppercut.

I’ve tried hanging back and using my head movement to counter and then step around him, but I usually get caught by an uppercut… Among other things.

Pictured: Me.

The point is, Frost’s punching power is so dominating, and his punch accuracy so sharp, that I simply can’t find a way to get inside on him without getting brained in the process.

After much frustration, I’ve come to the conclusion that Isaac Frost may be one of the most difficult boss fights I’ve ever run across.

Oh well, at least I can still enjoy the game without beating him…

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Thoughts On Fight Night Champion Demo

So, I tried the new demo for Fight Night Champion on my PS3 yesterday.

For those that are unaware, I’ve written quite a few posts in anticipation of this game’s release.

Most of those posts were fairly critical of the new elements being introduced to the franchise, and sadly; today’s post will continue that trend.

The Fight Night Champion demo consists of a local and online head-to-head mode and several video featurettes detailing the new gameplay elements and graphical improvements.

For anyone whose been following any of the pre-release videos and articles regarding this game, the videos contained in the demo are exactly the same that have been used to promote the game thus far, so you may as well skip ’em.

Anyway, let’s get to the important stuff, namely the actual gameplay of the demo.

The local version of the demo (I haven’t tried online) comes with 4 fighters at 2 different weight classes, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson at heavyweight, and Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao at welterweight.

 

Not what I'd call the most even of matches for a demo...

If I may diverge for a moment, I feel a need to rant about stats in boxing games.

I think it’s kind of funny that they listed Manny Pacquiao’s stats as being 93 overall, making him on par with Muhammad Ali.

While I don’t doubt that Pacquiao will find his way into Canastota (the boxing hall of fame, dumbass) in the near future, and will likely be regarded as a top 100 of all time fighter, the very notion of stats in a boxing game kind of irks me, largely because a few nasty experiences I had in fighting opponents with vastly superior stats (read: BROKEN) in online matches in Fight Night 3 and 4.

 

Then again, I was playing as this guy most of the time...

If attributes were guaranteed to carry fighters to great success, as they typically do in videogames; then guys like Edison Miranda, John “The Beast” Mugabi, or Zab Judah would be all-time greats.

Just so we’re clear, those guys aren’t not ever will be anything more than “good” in the sport of boxing.

Muhammad Ali was solid in every category of physical capability that a fighter should be, with his durability, speed, and stamina serving as the foundation for his game; however the factors that put him over the edge, were intangibles like his unfaltering tenacity, ring intelligence, and heart.

Now watch, EA will go ahead and introduce a “ring intelligence” stat in the next Fight Night just to shut up dumbfucks like me.

Bullshit ramblings aside, while I took the time to play as all 4 fighters, I spent the majority of my time playing as Miguel Cotto against Manny Pacquiao, largely because I felt playing with a stat advantage would cloud my perception of the game.

I suppose it also helps that I like Miguel Cotto.

Anyway, from a presentation standpoint; the game is pretty impressive.

The fighters bear a closer likeness to their real-life counterparts, and the entrance animations are far more organic than in previous entries in the series, which had the fighters looking and moving in a very bland an generic fashion.

*Whew!* At leas it was never that bad…

In all, the most striking graphical change in the somewhat fuzzy, washed-out filtered look that the game sports.

Fight Night 4, and indeed many of EA’s recent sports games like MMA or Madden, have sported kind of a sterile/Walmart-y, plastic-y look to them that had all the human characters looking like Ken dolls.

Doesn't it look weird?

The texture work in Fight Night Champion seems more realistic, with pores, imperfections, and muscle definition appearing more realistic overall.

In-game, the default camera angle is a little annoying, with the fighter’s heads being too close to the top of the screen, and the ring ropes often obscuring some of the action; however this is an option that is changeable, so I can’t complain too much.

Despite the graphics looking nice, from a gameplay standpoint; the framerate seems a little out of whack.

Maybe it’s just the demo, but Fight Night Champion felt a little choppy to me.

It’s not that it felt slow, on the contrary it felt faster in some ways; it’s just that the game didn’t seem as “crisp.”

The delay time from controller input to on-screen action is a little more pronounced than in previous Fight Nights, and the motion blur effect is taken to near ridiculous heights, with Manny Pacquiao’s white gloves turning into white smudges any time any sort of action occurs.

Speaking of “action,” Fight Night Champion makes use of a brand new control scheme dubbed the “Full Spectrum Punch Control” system.

The new system consists of flicking the right analog stick to execute all of the punches in your repertoire as opposed to miming them with the analog stick.

Truth be told, I don’t like the new system.

Flicking the analog stick is probably more efficient, however the end result is a gameplay mechanic that is simply too sensitive for it’s own good.

Think about it, if you move the stick just a little bit off, you’ll end up doing something completely different from what you intended.

Not only that, but when you factor in the delay between action to implementation in-game; you end up with a game with an overly sensitive control scheme that queues your fuck-ups and plays them out well after you made them.

Seriously, if you have this demo, try spinning the analog stick for a second so you can watch the game play itself.

Moving on, guarding is now mapped to a shoulder button, resulting in all blocking being executed automatically, with no additional inputs required to guard high or low.

As with the punch control, this system reeks of someone thinking it would be a good idea to “streamline” the gameplay mechanics.

As with the punches, I feel that this was a big mistake.

Maybe I like being able to block high or low.

Maybe I like the idea of being able to lay traps for my opponents by aiming high with weak shots, and then going low with heavy ones.

 

Gatti vs. Dorin: Kick-Ass Bodyshot For The Ages

Honestly, why would EA think it would be a good idea to remove this?

For the time being, my overall impression of Fight Night Champion is mostly a negative one.

While Fight Night 4 was a little bit too hyperactive to be considered an accurate boxing simulation, the gameplay mechanics were solid and responsive, but moreover; it was  fun.

Fight Night Champion looks great, but the choppy framerate coupled with simultaneously overly and inadequately responsive gameplay; results in a product that if you ask me, could probably use a little bit more development time.

Either that, or less Canadians at the helm of the game’s development team:

Seriously, that guy was hella’ Canuck…

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

If you disagree with me, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this.

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Fight Night Champion Is Pretty. In An Ugly Sort Of Way…

Excuse my lame post for tonight, I’m a little scatter-brained at the moment.

I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m currently playing through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the first time, and am very much enjoying it.

Anyway, in the interest of saving myself from having to half-ass an article tonight, as well getting me back to playing Uncharted as quickly as fucking possible; I’ve decided to use this opportunity to show you a neat video:

Haha, just kidding; the real clip’s just a little bit further down.

The clip below is the latest promotional video for EA Canada’s upcoming boxing game, Fight Night Champion.

While I bashed the game’s roster of real-life boxers in a previous article, as a long time player of the Fight Night series; I have high hopes for this one.

Supposedly the game has been tweaked to shit, hopefully for the better; not to mention the game is also the first in the series to receive an “M for Mature” rating.

Here’s hoping the rating has more to do with the blood-letting and atmosphere than it does nudity and gratuitous dropping of F-Bombs.

Seriously man, few things can cripple a products legitimacy in the mainstream than excessive and childish swearing.

Case in point: Kane and Lynch. I suppose it doesn't help either that it wasn't very good, but whatever...

Anyway, the clip below does little to showcase any updates or changes to the gameplay formula, however despite this; it’s pretty to look at, in an ugly sort of way, so please enjoy:

In the interest of using this article to actually, y’know; say something, I’d like to point out that it seems like punches are more difficult to land than in previous Fight Nights.

Previous games in the series featured a fairly generous amount of “auto-aim” for one’s punches, a factor that was directly associated with one’s “Punch Accuracy” stat in Fight Night 4.

While this probably remains unchanged in Fight Night Champion, I couldn’t help but notice in this clip, and indeed other clips as well; that instances of punches winging around their intended target, or missing outright, occurred quite frequently.

I can’t say how I feel about this, but if the gameplay is on par with Fight Night 4, I’ll most likely cough up the money to own this one.3

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Thoughts On The Fight Night Champion Roster

Last night I visited the wikipedia entry for EA’s upcoming Fight Night Champion boxing videogame.

As an avid follower (and critic) of the series since it’s inception, I found myself looking through the page taking in all the little tidbits of anticipated gameplay features.

While the “darker” (translations from gamerspeak: bloodier, more profane, and possible T&A) tone of the game does little to peak my interest, in fact if they push it too far I might view it as a detriment to the sport and my enjoyment of the game; my greatest hope is that EA takes the time to improve their character creation system, as it was truly ass in Fight Night 4.

Unfortunately, most of the gameplay and features of Champion are still very hush hush at the moment; so there’s not a whole lot to be said about it.

One thing that I noticed though, was that most of, if not the entire roster of real life fighters included in the game has already been released.

Boxing enthusiast/fan/walking encyclopedia that I am, I feel it is my duty to go through this list, fighter by fighter; and scrutinize the fuck out of it.

Below are my thoughts on some of the fighters that stuck out to me as being weak additions:

Tommy Morrison:

"YOU AND ME TOMMY, WE WAS LIKE THIS! AND YOU BLEW IT TOMMY! YOU BLEW IT!!!"

Though he was featured in the previous Fight Night, I’m still puzzled as to why he was selected to be in the game.

Honestly, as far as accomplishments go, the coolest thing Tommy Morrison ever did in my book was almost get decapitated by Ray Mercer in one of the nastiest knockouts I can recall.

Other than that, he was white heavyweight with a good punch and poor stamina, he came a few rounds away from getting steamrolled by George Foreman, he was in Rocky V, and oh yeah, he was a white heavyweight.

If we’re gonna’ play the race card, personally I’d have rather seen Baby Joe Mesi get thrown in there…

At least that would’ve made me laugh.

Seriously, Tommy Gunn or not, Morrison just doesn’t cut it for me.

Cristobal Arreola and Eddie Chambers:

Man, heavyweights are fat these days...

I list both of these guys together, because they’re on my naughty list for the same reason.

That reason being the Klitschko brothers.

Not long ago, both of these guys were quickly climbing the ranks and looking good doing it.

Then they each met a Klitschko, and each had a big fat Ukranian dump squatted out on their reputation.

Of the 2, I feel that Chambers has fared better since then, largely because he hasn’t lost since then, (truth be told he hasn’t fought, but it’s better than going on to mangled by Tomasz Adamek like Arreola was) and because he conditioning has actually showed improvement over the years, unlike Arreola who just seems to keep getting fatter.

 

Aw... I made the fattie cry.

While both guys are decent fighters, this is just a case of bad timing for EA.

Butterbean:

On the strength of this photo alone, Butterbean is now officially "awesome."

Outside of the novelty, name recognition, and an opportunity to show off realistic fat jiggle physics, why the fuck does Butterbean deserve to be in this game?

Oh well, chances are I’ll end up beating his ass to relieve stress, kind of like I used to do with Ricky Hatton in the previous Fight Nights…

Joe Calzaghe and Chad Dawson:

Let’s get one thing straight, both of these guys deserve to be in this game.

As much as I hate Calzaghe as a person, and as a home-turf fighter; the man has a laundry list of accomplishments in the sport, and I tip my hat to him.

The only problem is, all of those accomplishments were achieved in the Super Middleweight class, not Light Heavyweight.

It may not be that big a deal to the people over at EA, but I feel that including the intermediary weight classes (the supers and juniors) is necessary both to pay the proper respect to the various real-life fighters in the game, as well as to balance out the roster.

That being said, having just 2 guys that never even came close to fighting each other listed for a weight class is just plain stupid.

Not only that, as with the case of Arreola and Chambers, Dawson recently went from being regarded as the guy at 175 lbs., to becoming somewhat of enigma overnight.

Truth be told, I’d rather see a legend like Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, or hell, Michael fucking Spinks featured at Light Heavy, but if EA wanted to “please” us with a contemporary fighter (nobody gives a shit about Light Heavy since the glory days of Roy Jones) then I guess they got their wish.

Carlos Monzon:


Another fighter featured in the previous game, Carlos Monzon is somewhat of an oddity in the cast.

Most likely unknown to most casual boxing fans, especially younger ones, Carlos Monzon was one of the greatest, and longest reigning Middleweight champs of all time, however there’s a catch to that accomplishment.

Monzon was a champion that really didn’t fight that many truly great fighters.

Sure, he bested Nino Benvenuti, Emile Griffith, and Jose Napoles; but who the fuck other than myself and the old guys down at the barbershop knows 2 out of 3 of those guys?

Other than the opportunity to put Monzon head to head with his successor, Marvelous Marvin Hagler; I don’t really see why Monzon is in the game.

I’d have put Tony Zale and Rocky Graziano in instead, but that’s just me…

Jermain Taylor and Danny Jacobs:


Let’s just call this bad timing and call it a day, shall we?

Seriously, Jermain = Damaged Goods.  Danny Jacobs = Overrated.  ‘Nuff said.

Anthony Mundine:

"And next week I'm gonna' fight a paraplegic cancer patient! That'll put the naysayers to rest!"

Anthony Mundine was in the previous Fight Night, and my reaction to his presence hasn’t changed since.

Mundine is a decent fighter, but he’s been fighting tomato cans for too long now, and he’s barely relevant outside of his native Australia anymore.

“Wow, Fight Night must sell well in Australia, ’cause other than that, I absolutely cannot justify why anyone would ever want to put Anthony Mundine in a videogame.”

That’s what I feel on the matter, and I’m sticking to my guns.

The problem with that, is the fact there are so many great Australian fighters out there to choose from.

While I’m aware of the inherent licensing difficulties that come with dealing with real-life sports figures, I would’ve loved to have seen Jeff Fenech, or Lionel Rose, or hell, if they wanted another fairly contemporary fighter, I would’ve been happy to have seen Paul Briggs or Kostya Tszyu in there.

But no, instead we get Anthony fucking Mundine…

Peter Manfredo Jr. and Sergio Mora:


Okay, I am officially getting tired of seeing Contender alum in the sport of boxing.

Jesse Brinkley had a decent run, until being dismantled by Lucian Bute recently that is, Cornelius Bundrage recently snagged himself a world title strap from an aging Cory Spinks , and, uh, Alfonso Gomez bleeds a lot… And, fuck it, y’know what?

I’m done trying to talk up the Contender guys!

Bottom line:

Sergio Mora was a poor addition to the previous game, and Peter Manfredo is an even worse one to this one.

Put ’em together, and you get 2 piles of ass occupying 2 slots in historically one of the most prestigious weight classes in the sport.

Good job EA, way to take the money and run…

Diego Corrales:


Let me just start off by saying, Diego; rest in peace.

Corrales was always amazing to watch, but his ever-present status in the Fight Night roster has always felt odd to me.

While the man was indeed talented, it was the fights in his career, not his skills; that carved his place in history.

The man will forever be remembered as the man that made Floyd Mayweather’s reputation, the man that gave Joel Casamayor fits, and the man that ultimately gave everything he had to defeat Juan Luis Castillo in one of history’s greatest bouts.

That being said, while I would never say that including Corrales is a bad thing, I feel it’s foolish if none of the aforementioned fighters are included in the roster as well.

Seriously man, it should be a rule of thumb to include at least 1 real-life former opponent for every fighter in the roster.

Maybe it’s just me, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing out real-life matchups in my boxing games.

Vinnie Pazienza:


First things first, I refuse to call him “Vinnie Paz.”

His name is Vinnie Pazienza in my book, and that it shall remain.

Moving on, I know he’s got one hell of a devoted fan club, but what the fuck man?

Sure, he beat a bloated and washed up Roberto Duran, and he got flattened by Roy Jones, but other than the appeal of getting a chance to reverse/replay those matchups, who the fuck gives a shit about Vinnie Paz anymore.

EA could’ve at least included Greg Haugen or Ray Mancini, y’know; good fighters that fought Vinnie Pazienza at a point in his career when it mattered, but oh well, he was in the previous one, and now he’s back again.

Whoop-dee-fuckin’-doo…

Closing Thoughts:

I’ve got other complaints with the roster, but I’m tired so I’m gonna’ call it quits here.

The only other thing I feel I need to say, is that I object to the inclusion of the Junior Welterweight and Flyweight classes.

The former because it’s a random weight class to include, being as there’s so much real-life talent in it at the moment, but only 2 fighters in the game for it, and the latter because there’s only 1 fighter to represent the weight.

Why is Junior Welter the only intermediary weight class included besides Light Heavy?

It just doesn’t make sense to include those 2, but none of the others.

Not only that, but of all the fighters to include at that weight, why Emmanuel Augustus and Victor Ortiz?

Sure, both guys are fairly popular, but they’re not at all connected to one another, nor are they all that good compared to some of the other talents floating around out there.

On the same note, Timothy Bradley should be moved down to Junior Welter, as that’s definitely his proper weight.

As I mentioned earlier, no fighter should ever be listed without at least 1 other fighter that has fought/will fight them, and to have only 1 guy for a weight is just plain ludicrous, especially when Fernando Montiel and Nonito Donaire are so close to having their superfight… At Bantamweight.

Good job placing Nonito in the right weight class EA, really shows you’re paying attention.

Oh yeah, it’s dumb, but I feel it needs to be said that now that Fernando Vargas is in the roster, we really need to get Felix Trinidad in there.

Jus’ sayin’ is all…


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My Idea For An AWESOME Videogame

Today I was asked by a my friend of mine, “If you could make any videogame, what would you make?”

Well, I couldn’t really answer him all that well when I was put on the spot, but remember I typed up this idea for a game about a year ago.

It’s not quite finished, but please look it over and enjoy!

Tag Line:

“A simple mission with epic possibilities”

Concept:

Third-Person, Military action game with RPG elements, a robust one-on-one melee fighting mechanic, and a compact, but hugely malleable storyline in which a “game over” is almost impossible to attain outside of being killed.

Inspiration:

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Basic movement and shooting mechanics.

Mass Effect – Branching story structure based on player’s actions. Third-person shooter mechanics mixed with RPG elements.

The Bourne Conspiracy – Integration of seamless shooting-to-melee gameplay mechanic.

Setup:

The player initially begins the game by creating a character.

Facial structure, sex, voice, age, build, and initial outfitting are among the customizable criteria, though the equipment available upon first starting up the game is somewhat limited due to unlockable content awarded to the player as they progress through the single-player campaign.

Attribute Criteria:

These are the basic Attribute Criteria available to the player to assign to their character at the outset, as well as (in some cases) build upon later in the game.

Strength – Determines the character’s carrying weight and melee damage.

Speed – Determines the character’s movement and melee attack speed.

Stamina – Determines the character’s capacity for prolonged physical exertion, as well as serves to determine the steadiness of their targeting reticule when aiming with a low or empty Stamina gauge. Additional examples of Stamina draining activities include, sprinting, and any action performed while in Melee combat.

Toughness – Determines the character’s capacity to endure superficial damage from both weapon and melee damage.

Skill Criteria:

These are the basic Skill Criteria available to the player to assign to their character at the outset, as well as (in some cases) build upon later in the game.

Precision Shooting – Determines the steadiness and recovery rate of the targeting reticule when aiming down the sights of the weapon.

Assault – Determines the steadiness and recovery rate of the targeting reticule when firing while in motion or shooting from the hip.

Equipment Maintenance – Determines the efficiency by which the character is able to maintain their equipment, I.E. how quickly equipment is repaired during downtime and the rate at which said equipment declines while in battle. Also serves as a positive bonus to the character’s Critical Failure rate.

Explosives – Determines the character’s accuracy with grenades and the speed by which they are able to set or disarm explosive devices.

Melee – Determines the expanse of the character’s move set when engaging in melee combat. Also determines the ease by which the character is able to execute counter maneuvers and adds a bonus to their Melee damage rating.

Medical Skills – Determines the efficiency by which the character is able to perform emergency medical treatment on himself and others, I.E. the amount of health recovered and the speed at which treatment is administered from one session.

Age System:

A character’s age affects the game in two major ways:

It determines the attribute and skill points available to the player from the beginning, as well as the rate in which they accumulate them as the game progresses.

In addition to this, the characters’ age determines their demeanor and behavior during the various cut scenes.

This system works by separating the possible ages of the character (20 to 45 years) into two base categories of “young” (age 20-32) and “old” (ages 33-45).

A character belonging to the “young” age group is given access to a greater amount of attribute points from the beginning and onward, while at once starting off the game with few, if any available skills or skill points.

Conversely, a character belonging to the “old” age group begins the game with fewer attribute points to allocate, while at once being awarded with a greater number of skill points, as well as a number of pre-unlocked and upgraded skills.

In the case of both character types, aging a character further to either end of the age spectrum results in their corresponding bonuses and handicaps being applied, I.E. a 20 year old character will have almost no skills, but will begin with the maximum of attribute points assignable from the beginning, while a 45 year old character will begin with the opposite.

In regards to the progression of the story, the age system takes the endless branching points of a well thought out single player campaign, and effectively doubles it.

As a “young” character, the player is initially portrayed as a green horn on the battlefield, with privileges such as issuing squad commands being restricted from the player until later in the game.

In contrast, an “old” player character begins the game as a combat veteran and squad leader.

Damage System:

Damage is inflicted on the player in one of two ways:

Either by directly receiving hits that result in instantaneous critical or fatal damage, or by receiving overwhelming fire directed at them that results in gradual, superficial damage.

The damage system closely mirrors that of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas while being somewhat more forgiving.

Direct hits on the player result in region specific damage, meaning a bullet to the thigh affects the player differently that a shot square in the chest.

When being selected, all Armors and Clothing display a semi-transparent view over the character model displaying the defensive capabilities of every region of the characters’ body using the selected armor load out.

As a result, taking direct hits to well armored regions typically results in less than fatal damage, though the player’s armor will break down after taking a few direct hits.

Direct hits to unarmored regions of the character can result in Wounds, which, until properly attended to, will cause the player’s controls to become sluggish. Examples of this include:

Leg Shots – The player receives a limp, greatly reducing mobility, though physically strong and fast characters are still capable of hobbling quickly.

Arm Shots – The player receives damage to one of their limbs, resulting in heavily reduced accuracy and stability of the targeting reticule while aiming.  An ambidextrous character can counter this effect somewhat, though the lack of a second arm for use in stabilizing the players’ weapon still results in a reduction in accuracy, though the effect is less pronounced upon switching to the characters’ “good” arm.

Gut Shots – The player is forced to cup their wound with one hand while moving, resulting in one-handed and thusly largely inaccurate firing while moving. The player is still able to aim normally while stable or in cover. In addition to this, the player also receives gradual superficial damage until they are healed or die from the damage.

Neck Shots – The player is forced to cup their wound with one hand at all times, forcing the player to carry their weapon one-handed. In addition to this, the player rapidly receives superficial damage until they are healed by a squad mate (the player cannot heal themselves of a Neck Shot) or die from the damage.

All Wounds remain until healed, however superficial damage from incoming fire (not Wounds) will automatically fade away upon taking cover from enemy fire for a few moments.

Armor System:

Armors are divided up into sectional pieces that defend one of the 10 damage quadrants of the character.

These quadrants include the: head, neck, upper arms, forearms, chest, stomach, thighs and shins.

Each individual piece of armor worn by the player is assigned a specific weight statistic, which, when totaled together with the weight of their weapons and equipment, results in a degree of encumbrance that scales directly to their character’s Strength and Stamina statistics.

Despite this, characters lacking in these attributes can learn or develop certain Skills to allow them to handle heftier Armor load outs.

Armor serves the dual purpose of preventing fatal or critical damage from direct hits to the player, as well as increasing the volume of incoming fire necessary to damage or kill the player through superficial damage.

When hit directly, the player’s Armor is damaged in the process, and can eventually break down when specific damage quadrants are struck one too many times.

Direct hits to well Armored damage quadrants results in critical to mild damage, which then in turn translates to superficial damage, I.E. the player can be killed by too many consecutive direct hits to well armored regions of their character, even if their armor is never broken or pierced.

Skill System:

Though the basic mechanics of the game are based on typical third-person tactical shooters, RPG elements in regards to character customization serve to enhance the experience by giving the player noticeable feedback upon upgrading their character.

For instance, upgrading a characters’ marksmanship skill will result in noticeable changes to the steadiness of their targeting reticule.

Not only that, but unlocking other skills, such as Awareness, which provides the player with visual or auditory clues regarding enemy positions just before ambush situations, with the clarity and timeliness of these cues being more pronounced with every upgrade until enemies are permanently visible to the player at almost any range.

Downtime:

Downtime is an option available to the player upon fulfilling one of two very specific conditions: either by reaching certain safe zones/checkpoints during the campaign, or while prepping for defensive missions.

Downtime represents the only time the player is capable of assigning newly acquired Skill and Attribute points.

Downtime also affords the player with a number of options, any one of which can be enacted or omitted to varying degrees.

The actions available to the player during Downtime consist of:

Equipment Maintenance – Restores the quality of weapons to prevent Critical Failures such as jams and overheats. Not only this, the squad’s armor will be repaired to varying degrees.

Resting – Restores the Fatigue and health of squad members to a degree.

Searching For Ammo/Supplies – Potentially awards the player with extra ammo and equipment.

Scouting Ahead – Provides varying degrees of intel regarding the upcoming battle zones, including enemy locations and equipment load outs. Can potentially result in triggering combat, thusly canceling Downtime.

Downtime lasts the duration of a 10-15 minute period, allowing the player to divide the time among the above listed actions between individual squad members as they see fit.

Every action available affects squad member morale either positively or negatively.

For instance, ordering fatigued squad members to Scout Ahead is irresponsible, and thusly will irritate said squad members.

The best tactic in selecting Downtime actions is to be sensible.

Fatigued squad mates need rest, fresh ones need to be made useful, and squad mates that have high morale are most likely better suited to Scout Ahead.

During the single player campaign, the player will encounter several formal checkpoints in the form of road blocks or camps populated by friendly units.

Upon reaching these areas, the player is awarded with an extended Downtime session during which the player and his squad are fully resupplied and rested, as well as receive a fair amount of intel.

In addition to this, the player is also given the option to change their outfitting and weapon load out as well as suggest load outs to their squad mates.

Morale System:

The squad assigned to the player from the outset of the single player campaign maintains a persistent Morale system that is responsible for gauging the trust and respect they hold in regards to the player character.

This system is affected by numerous factors, including the efficiency of the orders issued by the player during combat and downtime, as well as more specific actions the player takes, such as assisting squad mates individually during combat.

Battlefield maneuvers that can embolden the trust between the player and his squad mates include:

Lending Ammo

Giving Medical Attention

Moving the Squad from Cover to Cover

Defeating Enemies Via Melee

Performing Well in General (Not taking too many hits)

Properly managing Downtime activities for each individual squad member is one of the most important factors in maintaining Morale.

As detailed in the above Downtime section, properly ordering mutinous and loyal squad members during Downtime can be responsible for making or breaking the chain of command of a squad.

Morale/Mutiny:

Mutiny is a possibility throughout the duration of the single player campaign.

Mutiny results in one of two events transpiring:

Either the player is forced to battle the mutinous squad members, or the player can relinquish their command of the squad.

Upon initiating a Mutiny, all squad members receive a minor penalty to their Morale, though only those whose Morale ratings bottom out will join in on the Mutiny, all others will remain loyal.

Upon relinquishing their command, the player will resume play as normal, but without the ability to issue concrete squad orders.

The player can still issue orders, but only squad members whose Morale rating is over 50% will follow them.

During this time, the player also receives orders from their new leader, though they are not obligated to follow them.

Move orders issued by the AI squad leader are represented by columns of light on the battlefield.

The above listed positive Morale boosting methods all apply to the AI squad leader during his time in charge, and thusly, if the player is able to raise the formerly mutinous squad mate/mates’ Morale rating from 0% to at least 50%, the player’s command will be restored.

It is entirely possible to play through the entire campaign while following the orders of an AI squad leader.

Skills:

Awareness – The player is given visual and auditory hints at oncoming enemies prior to their engagement with said enemies. Can be substantially upgraded from its initial capacity of being like a momentary “Spider-Sense” prior to an ambush, to a permanent radar system of sorts.

Muscle Memory – The player’s reloading speed is increased. Initially, this skill comes with a slight handicap tagged onto the player’s reloading skill in the form of a negative bonus to their critical failure rate for full reloads, (reloading from an empty magazine position) however, this handicap quickly diminishes as the skill is upgraded until it is no longer apparent.

Quick-Draw – The speed at which the player is able to change equipment or weapons is increased. In addition to this, as this skill is upgraded, an added feature is awarded to the player in the form of causing the player to automatically draw their sidearm upon being disarmed.

Battle Cry – Upon discharging their weapon for an extended period of time, or charging the enemy, the player lets loose a chilling battle cry, greatly increasing the potential for suppressing the enemy and/or negatively affecting their accuracy.

“Walk it off” – The player’s capacity to absorb damage is increased by allowing the player to psyche themselves up and fight through the pain. Essentially, the character’s total hit points and durability are unaffected by this skill, rather, the player is simply given the ability to refill their life gauge slightly when near death, but only every so often. This skill is represented by various animations detailing the character slapping themselves in the head, cracking their neck, or breathing heavily in exasperation.

Range Finder – The player is granted the ability to lock-on to enemies at short range when equipped with grenades. This skill only becomes active when throwing grenades when in cover. The skill is activated when the player peeks out from cover with a grenade equipped and places their targeting reticule over their desired target. At this point, a lock-on is acquired and the player becomes capable of throwing grenades, both blindly and while popping out of cover, with pinpoint accuracy.

Blood Thirst – Upon eliminating an enemy with a knife or melee weapon, the player and their squad briefly gain a slight bonus to their suppression capability and weapon accuracy. This bonus stacks for every successive kill in this manner during any engagement. Adrenaline – When critically injured or near death, the player’s targeting reticule will not be jostled when firing for a brief period or until the player recovers. Also, unless the character has sustained damage to their legs or neck, their movement speed will be slightly increased during this period.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for right now.

Please don’t steal my ideas, and feel free to chip in with ideas of your own!

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