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Old 05-17-2007, 02:46 AM   #1
Rekrul
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Default Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

I loved the original Elite Force and all the reviews I read said that the second game was even better, so I went into it with high hopes. I finished it yesterday and although I did mostly have fun with it, I was disappointed by several aspects of it.

Voice acting: In the first EF, the entire cast of the series voiced their characters, making you feel as if you were in the show. In the second one we only get Tuvok, Picard and Barclay. Also, I don't expect the anonymous voice actors to be oscar winners, but most of the other characters did a better job of sounding un-emotional than the Vulcans.

Interaction with NPCs: In EF1, you could talk to your teammates between missions and they'd usually have something interesting to say. Here you mostly get to talk to "extras" who only occasionally have something to say. Most of the time it's "Don't bother me, I'm busy!" Then they continue on their way, following an infinite loop. Make them get in a turbolift or enter one of the rooms occasionally. The conversations you can listen in on were interesting, but ultimately pointless. Why not include some that are relavent to the game?

Weapons: Maybe it's just me, but I didn't like the weapon selection very much. I liked the compression rifle, but it was hardly ever available. The enhanced compression rifle felt like a pea shooter. The assault rifle had terrible range. I liked the Romulan disupter better than the default phaser since you could charge the shots for an instant kill, but you only get to use it in a single mission. The staff hardly ever froze enemies like the FAQs said it would even though I was close enough to smell their breath. Mostly I got killed whenever I tried to use it.

Enemies: As soon as I got more powerful weapons, all of the weaker enemies disappeared to be replaced with much tougher ones. I suppose this is considered keeping the game balanced, but it feels artificial. It also makes the weaker weapons usless. It would have been nice to have a couple levels where you still encountered some of the smaller enemies and could easily wipe them out. As it is, the more powerful weapons feel as weak as the ones you start with because you (with a couple exceptions) only get to use them against much tougher enemies.

Secrets: I know this was done to encourage people to re-play the game in the hopes of finding more secrets, but to be honest, I found this just plain annoying. It very quickly got to the point where I was worrying more about finding those stupid golden starships in order to unlock the secret maps than I was just playing the game. It wouldn't be so bad if the levels weren't full of one-way areas preventing you from going back to search the areas you'd already been to. While playing, you have no idea how close you are to a load zone and by the time it warns you that you're leaving an area, you can only search at most, one or two rooms. For example, in one of the Dallas levels, a starship spawns right behind you as you descend a ladder. There's nothing to indicate that this has happened and once you drop into the room below, there's no going back. Who in their right mind would go partway down the ladder, then back up to an area they left just a few seconds ago? Am I expected to go through the levels trying every locked door multiple times in case I somehow unlocked it by doing something else? Am I expected to shoot every marking on every wall of every level? In the end, I just used a walkthrough to find them all, since I knew I wouldn't be able to find most of them. And what did I get for my trouble? A set of seven secret maps that quite frankly suck. I finished the swamp map in less than a minute my first time. Some of them aren't even playable, just rooms with things to look at. Not to mention one level that is played Resident Evil style, which has to be the most annoying thing I've encountered in a long time! To be fair, I feel this way about most games that use secrets to unlock extra content, however it's much less frustrating if you're able to re-trace your steps and search previous areas. At least then you're not constantly thinking "Should I go through this door, knowing that it might lock behind me, or should I spend another half hour searching the three rooms behind me because maybe I didn't stand on the right spot while shooting the decorative spot on the wall, which will make one of the dozens of locked doors open when I use the tricorder on one of the dozens of panels that doesn't indicate that it can be interacted with?"

One way areas/One use items: I know that all games have these, but in EF2 it just felt more forced than usual. Why can I take the elevator down, but not up? Why can I extend the bridge but not retract it? Why do half the doors lock behind me? Rather than feel like I'm actually interacting with my envroment, I felt like a trained monkey pressing whatever button lights up.

Cutscenes: I don't have a problem with the content, or the way they were rendered, but I do have a problem with a game using too many in-level cutscenes. Why does it need to show me a cutscene when I talk to someone? Is it really that important to show Munroe's face? If the game had left you in control of your character, it would be much more immersive. To be fair, EF1, JK2:JO, JA and others have this same problem. Look at Half-Life; It's considered to be one of the best games around and it has no cutscenes at all. How much more immersive is the intro to HL where you ride the train into work, than watching a non-interactive cutscene? When playing EF1 and the borg beamed in to abduct Foster, I couldn't help thinking how much cooler it would have been if you were still in the game and could try to stop them. Note that I have no problem with cutscenes that preceed a mission, or to show you things happening in other locations, but why do I have to watch a cutscene of something that my character is supposed to be doing? Also, whose bright idea was it to put cutscenes in the middle of the boss fights? Every single one of them resulted in my becoming briefly disoriented and taking some damage because I was moving at the time the cutscene kicked in and I lost track of where the boss was by the time the cutscene was over.

Uneven levels: Why is it that in some missions there are invisible walls preventing you from walking off platforms (or in the case of Starfleet Academy, off the walkway), but in others you can easily fall to your death? Why can you sometimes kill civilians with stray fire, but other times they don't even react. Why do some panels modulate automatically with the tricorder, but others require you to solve a puzzle? Frankly, I liked the puzzle solving because it made it feel like you were taking an active part in fixing something and the ones that modulated automatically, felt like a cop-out.

The mission on the hull: I really liked this mission, but it was way too short. I wanted to be able to explore more of the hull and have more targets to disable. Unfortunately, it's the shortest level in the game. I was looking forward to it since reading about it in a review and it was over in just a couple minutes.

Getting stuck on the scenery: Some games do well in this area, others do worse. EF2 is in the latter category. You can't enter a jeffries tube unless you're perfectly centered, same with openings in a railing. I can't count the number of times that I died during a boss fight because I bumped into some little part of the scenery and got stuck. In most games, if you bump into a wall on an angle, you'll slide along it. In EF2, you seem to come to a dead stop. At least that's what it seemed like to me. I had the same problem in Heavy Metal FAKK2. Several times I missed a jump because I'd bump into the scenery and then fall to my death. Note: I don't remember EF1 well enough to say if it had this same problem or not.

Unexplained deaths: I'm not sure if this is a weird bug or not, but some sloped surfaces in the game are deadly. In the outdoor levels, I'd try climbing the hills to see if I could find any secret places or get to any place that you weren't intended to and several times I encountered this weird incident where Munroe would start to descend the slope very slowly and then die for no apparent reason. This kind of discourages exploration.

Stealth: This is an area where many games fail. As soon as you enter a room, all of the enemies know that you're there and where you are, even if the room is pitch-black. In EF1, it was possible to sneak up on some enemies, at least in the mission on the station. I only encountered one such moment in EF2, in the room where the two Romulans are talking about your captured teammate. Of course as soon as they finish talking, they instantly attack you and sound the alarm. I get the impression that the only reason they ignore you for so long is because that's the way they're scripted. In fact you can practically stand right behind them and they won't notice you until the conversation is done.

Holomatches: I've never really gotten into playing online. I suppose I should, but for whatever reason I never have. I do sometimes play solo bot matches when the game allows it. EF1 had one of the best bot match setups I've ever seen. It was easy to set up a game with any number of bots and give them whatever character skins you wanted. EF2 limits bot matches to deathmatch only. No team deathmatch, no capture the flag, etc. In order to play with less than the default number of bots, you have to select Custom Game. This is just a nit-pick, but why isn't the custom game interface the default interface instead of requiring you to take an extra step to select it? Finally, the AI of the bots is pretty lacking. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong, but in EF1, they seemed fairly intelligent. In EF2 they seem to zip around like crazy, following a couple preset patterns while picking weapons at random. I've seen them follow the same 2-3 patterns over and over again, while firing at me from the other side of the map with the phaser. Actually, it looks like they're swinging a lightsaber. I don't expect them to be as intelligent as real people, but a little more randomness in the path-finding would have been great. In one of the maps (I forget the name, the Romulan training platform in space with all the jump pads) the NPC just kept circling the same two areas while ignoring the other 3/4 of the level.


All of this might sound like I hated the game, but I didn't. I just had greater expectations for it since I enjoyed the first game so much and this one kind of fell short. Some of my complaints are things that were different from the original and some are things that many games today do wrong (in my opinion).


EDIT: I was incorrect in stating that the only game available to be played with bots was deathmatch. I missed the option to change the game type. Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are also available. Unfortunately, at least one of the maps, (Delta Station something) screws up if you select Team Deathmatch. The game seems to be running, but instead of seeing the map, your character seems to be floating in a void with a hall of mirrors effect. I tried a couple other maps and they seemed to work, but I didn't test them all, or all game types. I also didn't try changing the number of players.

Edit 2: Delta Station 2 does not work with any number of bots in Team Deathmatch. It does however work in Capture the Flag. Unfortunately, my original assessment of the bot intelligence stands. In the original EF, the bots could play a decent game of CtF, but in EF2 you might as well be playing Team Deathmatch as none of the bots ever attempt to get anywhere near the flag. They follow the exact same patterns that they do in Deathmatch, which is to say that they stick to one small area and ignore about 3/4 of the map. The one thing that the bots do well, is hit you while moving. In fact, I'd say their aim is too good. If there's a sniper rifle on the map, a bot will get it and kill you before you even see them. I seem to recall EF1 being a little more fair in this respect.

Last edited by Rekrul : 05-20-2007 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

Good post.

You're not the only one who was disappointed with EF2 (mostly due to the initial multiplayer part), especially when you compare it to its predecessor . . .

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Old 05-18-2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

Kinda late, let's say about 3 years...
Why don't you gona Mod for the game ?
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

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Originally Posted by Chriss View Post
Kinda late, let's say about 3 years...
Why don't you gona Mod for the game ?
It's late because I just got the game. Unlike some, I don't have the money to go out and buy every new game as soon as it hits the stores.
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

Don't get rude!
I also don't call my self rich!

This game was the only game I owned and played in Multiplayer for a few Years. But you come here post about the game, while Ritual Entertaiment is turning into something like a Handy Game Company...

You just picked a bad time, it's okay to say what you think, it's also okay to be honest. But it's just a bad time now...
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Old 05-19-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

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Don't get rude!
I also don't call my self rich!
Sorry, it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way to be told that I should have posted three years ago.

I figured that I can't be the only one who didn't get this game right away, so I thought I'd post a review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriss View Post
This game was the only game I owned and played in Multiplayer for a few Years. But you come here post about the game, while Ritual Entertaiment is turning into something like a Handy Game Company...

You just picked a bad time, it's okay to say what you think, it's also okay to be honest. But it's just a bad time now...
I know. I hate to say it, but this is a perfect example of why people shouldn't put too much trust in companies. This is why I oppose Steam so much.

Admittedly, Ritual didn't have the reputation that Valve does, but it shows how quickly things can change. People had their hopes up for SiN: Episodes and then Ritual gets bought out by another company and any plans for more installments go down the drain. (Yes, I know the official word is that they're on hold, but let's face it, SiN: Episodes is dead)
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Old 05-20-2007, 06:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

Maybe you are right with all of that but we all are disapointed what happend here over the last 3 years. We are no Dreamrs we see what is happening but we try to see that as a new beginning not as an end.
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

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Maybe you are right with all of that but we all are disapointed what happend here over the last 3 years. We are no Dreamrs we see what is happening but we try to see that as a new beginning not as an end.
Well, seeing as how I have no real interest in "casual" games, I only see it as an end to Ritual Games. SiN was great, Heavy Metal FAKK2 was also great, EF2 was good even if it didn't meet my expectations, and I plan to get Wages of SiN soon. After such games, it's hard to look at Ritual's switch to games like Mahjong and Tetris ripoffs as anything other than a step down.

I mean, look at the games developed by Ritual. There are indepth reviews of them on all the game sites, fan sites devoted to them, modding communities, etc. What do games like Luxor and Super Collapse have? A 1-2 paragraph review on a couple sites, no major fan sites, no modding, etc.

Ritual made games that people still talk about years later. Mumbo Jumbo makes the kinds of games that people buy off those $9 and under bargain racks at Staples, play a few times and then forget about. It's the kind of stuff that you can find for free in PD software collections and Flash games. Unless I come back here and re-read this thread again, I won't even remember the names Luxor and Super Collapse a day or two from now.

Be honest, when was the last time you and some friends went online for a marathon Luxor session? Or traded strategies for that level that you just can't seem to get past? Or bragged to your friends when you finally beat level 15?

I know there's a market for casual games, but it's hard to believe that Ritual is happy going from games that get a lot of press and that many people talk about, to games that are played by people who are just killing time.

Last edited by Rekrul : 05-20-2007 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 05-23-2007, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Somewhat disappointed in EF2...

Well, it is like it is...
Many ritualisticers did wnet to id software or else where, so it was epected to happen some time...

We just can do the best with the things we have, like i di i'm working on a ef2 co-op (co-operations Mod for EliteForce 2)...
...and i coud use help for that...
http://www.darkmatter-clan.com/dzcp/...on=show&id=106
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