Rant: Nightvision/Dark levels


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Furbs
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Why do they do it? Has anyone ever enjoyed a level where you have to use night vision? It just seems to me to be there to annoy the player and artificially raise the difficulty level since unless I'm missing something, the AI is never affected by it.

I dont mind night time levels where its just done for effect but doesnt really affect your visibility - for instance the first Co-op map on GRAW1 where you dont really need night vision, but compare that to the graveyard level in GRAW2. Why would I want to play a game where its just done as shades of green, with no other impact on the level? Gears of War had it right...it was set a night, but everything was still perfectly lit.

The trouble with (poor) night time levels is, unless your monitor/tv is in an ideal location, and properly calibrated, you end up having to change your entire seating position just to stand a chance.

So basically, if you need to use NVG's for an entire level, its crap. Thats what I say. Unless its Splinter Cell. But even thats pushing it.
#1 at 02:02:41 - 01/07/2007
TwistidChimp
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Couldn't agree more. Especially about GRAW, it just makes for a terrible, frustrating, green tinged experience. Sometimes devs can get it right though, if they understand how a night time setting can be used to improve the experience, rather than just detract from it by limiting your view.

Gears did it quite well, but Valve are the masters, first with Ravenholm, which was lit fantastically, and then with Low Light in Episode 1. Now THAT is how you do a pitch black level.
#2 at 02:37:09 - 01/07/2007
ilmaestro
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Eat more carrots.
#3 at 03:06:11 - 01/07/2007
Tomo
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I'm trying to think of some games I've played with nightvision in...

Splinter Cell is just fucking shit anyway, so that doesn't really need much more explanation. As for dark games... well, anything run using the Doom 3 engine satisfies the criteria and I enjoy all those games :P
#4 at 03:11:54 - 01/07/2007
MetalDog
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Gears did it quite well, but Valve are the masters, first with Ravenholm, which was lit fantastically, and then with Low Light in Episode 1. Now THAT is how you do a pitch black level.


/bitchslaps

Fucking Valve?!

Are you forgetting Thief? Those are games where if you can't see much, neither can the enemy. Lighting you can extinguish or light up. Hide in the shadows, run through the light, curse as you realise it's a tiled floor and the dude in the next room has just heard you...
#5 at 04:25:24 - 01/07/2007
Lutzie
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Halo 1.

All of it's parts with darkness could be done without the night vision rifle, but were much more fun if you used it.
#6 at 13:06:00 - 01/07/2007
Whizzo
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Which doesn't explain why a person in futuristic powered armour doesn't have night vision gear that is given to the average grunt in the 21st century.

"I'm sure I forgot something when I designed this suit..."

Also any game that gives you a torch that lasts less time than one from a pound shop but somehow magically recharges itself when you switch it off need a kicking.

Batteries in torches last hours not 30 seconds.
#7 at 15:34:55 - 01/07/2007
ilmaestro
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MJOLNIR doesn't have night vision gear because the MC's natural vision has been genetically enhanced so that he can basically see in the dark anyway - so bleeeuuurrrgghhh to you. :p

That's not fanwank, either.
#8 at 15:51:56 - 01/07/2007
Whizzo
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Why does he have a torch then?

It's not surprising that Earth is always getting defeated by the Covenant when it has morons running the military.

Alternatively Bungie's writers are a bit stupid.
#9 at 16:04:51 - 01/07/2007
ilmaestro
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Who knows why he has a torch, why do the players in Pro Evolution Soccer only turn in one of eight directions rather than have fully analog running?
#10 at 16:06:02 - 01/07/2007
nekotcha
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Night vision has the potential to be enormously atmospheric if used well...it's just it often isn't. I remember my first encounter with night vision in a game was in Perfect Dark (the good one) on the Datadyne tower block level - one moment I'm fighting normally, the next the entire area was plunged into darkness and I'm scrabbling about for the night vision button. Then my goggles flickered into life and suddenly I could see all the light green blobs running at me with guns...:)

Same kinda appplies to dark levels - used well they're great, used as an excuse for lazy art or a horrible difficulty spike, they're bad.
#11 at 16:32:51 - 01/07/2007
Furbs
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Oh and something I meant to put in my first post. Night time driving levels. Stop it now. Theres a reason why they dont do Formula 1 at night, and thats because its shit.
#12 at 18:27:31 - 01/07/2007
Whizzo
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F1 quite possibly goes night time next year in Singapore...
#13 at 19:32:17 - 01/07/2007
repairmanjack
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I'd actually appreciate some kind of night vision (anachronistic as it would be) in Call of Juarez. The night/mine sections make it impossible to see where the enemies are. I've even tried turning the brightness up - but that just gives the visuals a bizarre washed out look.

They, on the other hand, are bloody psychic. Their eyes are so good they can see through chuffing rock.
#14 at 20:09:32 - 01/07/2007
Trip SkyWay
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Not a big fan of night vision. Tends too make some really nice looking levels a bit plain and boring. All the beautiful lighting and effects get turned into flat boxy green.
#15 at 06:45:55 - 02/07/2007
ruttyboy
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Whizzo said:F1 quite possibly goes night time next year in Singapore...


Shit! That would be mental, they'd have to flood light it to daylight standards anyway, so what would be the point?
#16 at 11:06:25 - 02/07/2007
Tiger_Walts
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I remember some good levels in Ghost Recon on the Xbox that required NVGs. Rainbow Six Vegas' light amplification goggles were awful to use but the thermals were very handy in the smoke.

NVGs were practically essential on some Op Flash missions, I loved the one where you had to blow up some fuel trucks with det-packs.
#17 at 12:34:42 - 02/07/2007
Stevas
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ilmaestro said:Who knows why he has a torch, why do the players in Pro Evolution Soccer only turn in one of eight directions rather than have fully analog running?


Don't be daft, if they changed that they'd have to overhaul the entire game engine. Um, hang on...

FUCK YOU UBISOFT
#18 at 12:44:55 - 02/07/2007
ThreeOutsideDown
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i don't mind night vision / dark levels so much.

but water levels really piss me off!

there's nothing worse than getting used to a game's control mechanics and quite enjoying it and then the lazy designers decide to throw you into a underwater level.

more often than not, the underwater level includes unresponsive controls and a shit camera that points anywhere but where you want it to.

ugh.
#19 at 12:53:23 - 02/07/2007
p3rks
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I'd like Night Vision if it was done well, but i've never seen it. Splinter Cell must be the closest, but with SC and Vegas etc, as has been said, the thermals are better for all situations anyway...
#20 at 16:11:34 - 02/07/2007

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