The Quiet Man Articles RSS Feed | The Quiet Man RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Top 10 Worst Dumpster Fire Games of 2018 Sat, 29 Dec 2018 11:00:03 -0500 ElConquistadork


So that's it. And as clear-cut as many of the games on this list are to me, I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who would disagree with me on every single one of them (well, maybe not The Quiet Man).


And I'm good with that. Because my dislike of a game shouldn't take away your enjoyment of one. I have fun with lists like these, and then I move on. You should, too. Because the dirty little not-so-secret is this: none of us play games we hate for very long. I had so much damn fun with games this year, that I decided to have a little fun in the negatives, too. And I'd love to see what's on your list of refunds! Drop us a comment below, and have a great time with the new year! May 2019 bring us joy and pixels!


Fight me.


Here is the only advice you need when it comes to the art of seduction:

  1. Don't learn to seduce from video games.
  2. \n
  3. Don't learn to seduce from guys who go by nicknames that they clearly came up with in the 5th grade (aka, "Gambler")
  4. \n
  5. Don't learn to seduce at all.
  6. \n

Women don't want to be seduced: they want respect and clothes with pockets built in. Offer both and you should get by just fine.


I've heard many people suggest that this game is meant to be silly or understood as a joke. And if that's the case, then the creator of this game's long career as a pickup artist must be such deep satire that it's virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.


Otherwise, I'd have to assume he follows the path of plausible deniability espoused by 20th century philosopher Nelly:


"I'm just kiddin'... Unless you're gonna do it."


And even if that were the case, the gameplay is awful, and the humor is as cringy as the time your father drunkenly wet his pants during the "drunken pants wetting" scene in A Star Is Born.


Don't learn to seduce from video games: I'm pretty sure there was a GI Joe "knowing is half the battle" scene written about that.


The hype surrounding Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery was so great that even jaded old grognards like myself allowed ourselves a moment for excitement. Create your own Hogwarts student, join your favorite House, and have magical adventures of your own? Where do I sign up??


No, not for the microtransactions. For the game itself.


...Oh, they're one and the same, huh? 




Let me be clear: I don't mind microtransactions in a free-to-play game. I think most of us recognized that that's the entire point of free-to-play. But there's a difference between "pay for a heightened experience" or "pay to play some extra turns" and "pay up every fifteen minutes or so if you want this to last longer than your average YouTube commercial."


And even if the transactions were justified, the game is just dull, dull, dull. I swear to god, I had to wake the Sorting Hat up from a boredom-induced nap before he would assign me to my House. 


"Hey guys: remember that terrible video game from the nineties that's basically become a meme? Wouldn't it be funny and ironic if we made a new version of it that's also bad?"


No. It would be neither of those things. 


It might, however, be an incredibly shitty game.


Oh, who am I kidding? It would most definitely be an incredibly shitty game. Enter Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn.


Remember your high school friend who always took the joke a little too far? The one who thought South Park was the height of satire and had no ability to read between the lines? The one who thought the only funny jokes were dead baby jokes? 


Agony is what would happen if that kid played 2016's DOOM and decided he needed to make his own version of it. Even if the repetitive gameplay, terrible save system, and clunky stealth mechanics were fun, you're still left with a game that seems to believe that the only way to be frightening is to disgust and sicken. It's horror without mystery, fear without the fun, and disgust without the meaning. It's a 100,000 word novel, but it's just the same word written over and over again. 


That word is probably "agony", by the way.


(Editor's Note: this final joke has been put here by the recent law stating that a game review about Agony must contain some variation of said joke.)


Do you remember the scene in Addams Family Values where murderous psychopath Debbie explains why she's killed every one of her husbands (and parents)?


"Don't I deserve love," she asks, "And jewelry?"


The Culling 2 feels like the digital embodiment of that cynical, ugly attitude. The original Culling, while flawed, at least had a level of uniqueness that drew some attention. Unfortunately, it just couldn't compete with the vicious, skyscraper-sized monster that was PUBG


So when The Culling 2 was released this year, the ire of most gamers didn't come from a single source. It came from everything about this game. It really is simple math: 


Buggy mess + cynical attempt to cash in on what's how right now = nobody wantsta play.


And it felt like it came from a place of childish foot stomping, where the decision makers were convinced that they'd somehow been cheated out of a piece of the pie. So instead of making something that gamers could get excited about, it went with that age old question: "What's hot right now?"


It's a real shame that the developers felt the need to recreate the game from the ground up instead of just improving and sharpening the original to make it more competitive. But this is the games industry: where no one seems interested in learning from the mistakes of the past.


Zombies have become the Portlandia-style answer to anything gaming related. 


"Need help making that game more interesting and fun? PUT A ZOMBIE ON IT!"


I've grown sort of used to the over-saturation of the walking dead that's taken an active role in everything pop culture related over the past decade or so. But if there's one franchise that I never expected to be tainted by boring, endless hordes of zombie-style antagonists, it would have to be Metal Gear (a few years ago I would have said the work of Jane Austen, but we fucked that up good and proper.)


Like many AAA games, Metal Gear Survive takes that gloriously unfortunate tradition of stitching together pieces of everything that was popular a few years back without truly understanding what made those things popular in the first place.


So instead of a tight, exciting, soap-opera blended smoothie of stealth action like we're used to, we got a survival-horror-base-builder-hide-and-seek mish mash that was, at its best, underwhelming and dull. At its worst, however, it's a physical symbol of what happens when a soulless games corporation attempts to emulate the work of an artist who they truly don't understand.


Don't let the recent oh-so-meta-uber-hip trailers that just came out fool you into thinking that Square Enix was in on the joke from the beginning. The Quiet Man was an unironically buggy, janky, pretentious piece of drek that takes a truly interesting detail (a deaf protagonist) and proceeds to do almost nothing with it. 


No pats on the back should be allowed when a developer realizes their art is bad and decides to milk that angle. It's what I told you guys about Tommy-fucking-Wiseau, and would any of you listen?? NOOOOO and now I gotta listen to everyone's take on that trash dance fandango as if ineptitude is celebration-worthy and (Editor's Note: it was at this point that the author of this piece was found throwing his keyboard into a crowd of concerned onlookers while rambling about Michael Bay. He has been sedated and fed. We apologize for the inconvenience.)


I'm not mad, We Happy Few: I'm disappointed.


You took what was a genuinely intriguing and exciting level of stylization and satire, and somehow came up with the idea of adding in tired, never-were-really-all-that-good-in-the-first-place survival mechanics. The decision was sort of flabbergasting: so odd, in fact, that if it weren't based on the notion of emulating the popular Twitch games of days gone by, then I would truly have to believe in mystical coincidences from beyond the mortal coil.


But what it feels like, unfortunately, is a great-looking game made sterile and ineffective in the face of too much attention too early and possibly the intervention of an overwhelming games publisher that got caught in the creation process needlessly and abusively. 


Is Bethesda okay, you guys? Does it need to talk to someone? 


Because this shallow Petri dish of an online experiment isn't merely unworthy of the Fallout franchise, it almost feels like a cry for help. As if the Fallout 76 designers were being held against their will in a Saw-style murder basement, and the only way they could inform the outside world of their plight was to develop a game so unfinished, so buggy, so cynically jaded, and so contrary to everything that we had been hyped up for, that we would have no choice but to assume that someone over at Bethesda is in trouble.


But based on the insane number of microtransactions and the belittling lack of any real meat on this post-apocalyptic bone, I'd say that the only people in any real amount of trouble are the players themselves.


Y'know, we run into bad games all the time. We've been coping with them since one caveman suggested an early form of charades to another caveman. But now that 2018 is drawing to a close, I have to say: there's something special about the way games are getting bad lately. 


It isn't enough that a game is broken on release or buggy as hell (although we all know there's plenty of that). The massive army of indie games released on Steam every day alone is enough to inform you that, like the games we really admire, the games we truly hate have to stab us in just the right part of our loathing gland to truly receive the appropriate level of ire.


And 2018 had plenty of that. Shall we?

The Quiet Man: Uninspired and Boundlessly Baffling Tue, 06 Nov 2018 14:56:45 -0500 William R. Parks

In a time where vast open worlds offer increasingly boundless opportunities for exploration, VR experiences transplant players into new bodies, and elaborate role-playing games facilitate playthroughs that are custom tailored to the individual, "immersion" is a buzz-word frequently used when discussing the latest and greatest of video game art.

Each year, it seems we come ever closer to the holy grail of fully immersive gaming, and titles like The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Red Dead Redemption 2 give us the chance to truly lose ourselves in the characters and universes that are so meticulously constructed for us.

However, the scale present in these games is not requisite to creating an immersive experience. A focused, small-scale approach can serve just fine when attempting to put players into someone else's shoes.

Enter The Quiet Man, a new interactive movie co-developed by Square Enix and Human Head Studios (the developers behind Rune and Prey) with a high concept: silence.

The Quiet Man is a game without audible dialogue, and I can only assume that this emphasis on soundlessness is an attempt to allow players to inhabit the reality of the game's deaf protagonist, Dane. Unfortunately, The Quiet Man's execution is so painfully muddled that any of the developers' lofty goals have been completely obscured.

The Quiet Man is filled start-to-finish with scenes of characters talking, and while our protagonist is able to read lips and communicate using American Sign Language, the information he is privy to is never translated to the player. There are no subtitles or visual indicators making sure we are on the same page as Dane. Instead, we are left only to glean the broad strokes of the game's narrative while watching extended sequences of muted dialogue.

If a gross understanding is all we are intended to extract from these scenes, there are endless possibilities for conveying that information without requiring players to stare confusedly at unhearable talking heads. For a game so focused on storytelling, this misstep is a major failing.

Ultimately, The Quiet Man puts us in the position of a deaf spectator trying to make sense of dialogue-centric narrative. The protagonist also happens to be deaf, but there is no immersion here, only confusion and alienation. This is not to suggest that The Quiet Man's narrative need to be made crystal-clear. Rather, we should enter the game through Dane's perspective, unraveling the game's mysteries alongside him.

There are plenty of opportunities for Dane's deafness to impede an immediate and comprehensive understanding of the game's plot. However, that should not be achieved by making it impossible for players to decipher what is being communicated to him on screen.

That said, while increased clarity may make The Quiet Man more comprehensible, I am not certain that the game's narrative is salvageable even if the information Dane receives was being transmitted through an amplifier turned up to 11.

Note: A plot description and heavy spoilers follow.

The Story

The Quiet Man is an FMV game with heavy emphasis on its live-action narrative passages. However, from what I can piece together, the story of The Quiet Man is tenuous at best.

Here is my attempt to outline the game's action:

When Dane was a child, his mother was shot by a boy that is trying to get a pair of shoes back from a bully -- the perfect setup for an accidental homicide.

Dane-as-child seems to be friendly with the boy that fired the gun, and there is the indication that Dane believes that the bully was actually the one to pull the trigger (and that he was affiliated with a gang called "33").

It is hard to imagine why he would think that, as he seems to have been a direct witness to the shooting, but it is easiest to assume that Dane is confused about who killed his mother as, years later, he is still close with the boy responsible for her death.

After the shooting, Dane is understandably devastated, and a police officer (who is either his father or a concerned citizen) takes him to a psychiatrist where young Dane draws a picture of birdman standing (atop a pile of bones) next to a woman.

Flash forward to where the action of the game begins.

Dane is a young man now, and his first task is to infiltrate the 33 gang's hideout, recover a briefcase filled with cocaine, and promptly deliver it to the now grown executioner of his mother (Taye).

Taye hands Dane a letter that suggests a woman (very much resembling Dane's dead mother) is being targeted by someone, and, sure enough, the woman is taken captive by a man with a bird mask that evening.

Now it is time to lay waste to everyone standing between you and that woman.

This takes you through the ranks of the 33 gang, to the bully that you believe shot your mother, to Taye (who apparently has his hands in the kidnapping as well).

My understanding of this The Crow-esque revenge spree is hazy, but, at some point, the police officer from your past assists you in reaching Taye and provides you with a bird mask that seems to give you supernatural strength and the ability to resurrect.

What happens after your confrontation with Taye I cannot say, as The Quiet Man broke irreparably, refusing to trigger a cut-scene that would advance the plot further. I am simply unwilling to replay the section leading up to the encounter in order to see the game's conclusion, but I do not believe I would be remiss in assuming that the finale is just as nonsensical and uninspired as the story leading up to it.

I also tell you all of this because I seriously doubt you will make past the first few minutes of the game anyway. 

The Gameplay

On the topic of The Quiet Man breaking, the gameplay is simply a void -- a barebones and glitchy experience with the minimum amount of features required to call it a game. No tutorials, no UI, no interactive objects, no moveable camera.

The fixed camera has to be the game's worst offense. The Quiet Man plays like a beat 'em up, but attempting to kick, punch, and dodge enemies in 3D space without being able to adjust your viewpoint is, plainly, painful.

Combined with an unresponsive combat system, some of the later encounters feel excruciatingly challenging on the harder difficulty setting. Actually timing a dodge properly in The Quiet Man felt so uncommon that I expected a statue to be erected in my honor every time I managed to land one.

Fortunately, one of the game's few strengths is that the loading time after you are defeated is quite short, getting you back to the action quickly.

The only moments when combat feels passable are when you are fighting a single opponent, which minimizes the need to alter your focal point, or the game's playspace flattens into a side-scroller. While the combat would still feel wooden, The Quiet Man could be a serviceable brawler just by eliminating its third dimension.

Due to these immense shortcomings, I could never find a combat strategy that felt effective. There was no sense that I was ever improving, and I relegated myself to spamming a special move that made me temporarily invulnerable, clicking buttons, and praying that I would come out the other side alive.

The problem with this approach, beyond its obvious failings as a compelling combat system, is that it was the cause of the game's critical failure.

As I neared my encounter with Taye, The Quiet Man's camera was no longer able to handle my power-up move. When it was active, the camera would float in some liminal first-person space, never focusing on the action until I performed a finishing move that would end my invulnerability.

However, after fighting Taye, I put on my bird mask and went full Super Saiyan. The camera never recovered, and I was forced to quit out of the game.

All of these elements felt on the level of PlayStation 1-era shovelware, and this blankness translated to the drab and detailless environments and enemies I engaged with.

If so little effort was going to be made outside of the live-action sequences, I wonder why the developers would not just let the action occur within the live video in the way of Quick Time Events.

This would have kept The Quiet Man out of the realm of filmic dialogue, which it certainly does not want to be part of, and saved players from its inadequate gameplay experience.

The Verdict

The Quiet Man is an opportunity squandered.

A game that puts you in the place of someone with a hearing impairment could potentially be compelling in the right hands, giving players opportunities to problem solve in ways they may never have before, but these developers lost their way.

Was the original idea to make a game with a deaf protagonist, and, in a misguided attempt at immersion, all communication was extracted? Or did they want to make a soundless game and used deafness as a half-baked justification for doing so?

In either case, there is no cohesion between concept and execution in The Quiet Man, and the complete lack of attention to creating an acceptable gameplay experience pushes it over the line.

This is not a game to be enjoyed for how bafflingly incompetent it is in almost every category. It is simply bad, and you should stay away from it.

[Note: The developers provided a copy of The Quiet Man for review.]

New Game Releases: Week of October 28, 2018 Mon, 29 Oct 2018 09:39:35 -0400 William R. Parks

While Red Dead Redemption 2 may not be leaving many consoles any time soon, this week features a batch of exciting games for those that are looking for something different.

On Tuesday, October 30, Cyanide Studios brings Chaosium's 1981 table-top RPG to life with Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Assuming the role of a private investigator, this survival RPG will immerse players in a "terrifying world of conspiracies, cultists, and cosmic horrors" where they must uncover the truth behind a series of mysterious deaths.

Explore a world set within H.P. Lovecraft's classic mythology; Call of Cthulhu lets the player decide how they will investigate. 

Square Enix and Human Head Studios give The Quiet Man a voice on Thursday, November 1.

Coming to PC and PlayStation 4, this interactive movie asks players to navigate a world that they cannot hear. And, by navigate, I mean beat it into a bloody pulp as you brawl your way through The Quiet Man.

Running around three hours, a play-through may only be a short distraction, but, if The Quiet Man can match its developers' ambitions, it could be something great.

To round out the week, Diablo III: Eternal Collection finds its way to Switch on Friday, November 2.

Six years after its initial release, new players and seasoned vets alike can dungeon crawl in Nintendo's port of the action RPG sensation. And, even better, they can do so on the go.

This version will let fans play as The Legend of Zelda's Ganondorf, and, for those especially committed to Sanctuary, a Diablo-themed Switch bundle will be available at GameStop on release day.

Here's a list of what's coming out this week:

Tuesday, October 30
  • Call of Cthulhu (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • Dream Daddy: Dadrector's Cut (PS4)
  • Gal Metal (Switch)
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)
  • LEGO Harry Potter Collection (Switch, Xbox One)
  • Mutant Football League: Dynasty Edition (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Switch)
Wednesday, October 31
  • Death Mark (PS4, Switch, Vita)
  • Orphan (PC)
Thursday, November 1
  • The Quiet Man (PC, PS4)
Friday, November 2
  • Diablo 3: Eternal Collection (Switch)
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun (Switch)
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session (PS4)
Developers Give Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Quiet Man Fri, 26 Oct 2018 16:05:08 -0400 William R. Parks

Announced at E3, many have been scratching their heads about The Quiet Man, and, in a video released this morning, the developers have shed some more light on what we can expect from it (and how it was made).

The Quiet Man is a hybrid; an interactive movie that can be completed in a single sitting.

"We are not interested in vanilla," writer Joe Kelly says. "This is a very unique flavor, and the people who want that flavor... I think are going to find this game and really enjoy it."

There is a heavy emphasis on cinema here, and it led the developers to prioritize live-action filming and 3D scanning over CG.

"If the goal is the high quality, photo realistic CGI, why don't we just shoot it then?" the game's producer, Kensei Fujinaga, recalls asking.

In The Quiet Man, players will assume the role of Dane, "a badass guy that has gone through some trauma," and he just so happens to be a great fighter.

He is also deaf.

Initially conceived as a soundless game, though sound design is now a critical part of the experience, players will need to piece and puzzle the narrative together -- while Dane can read lips and understand American Sign Language, players will not be privy to dialogue that he cannot hear.

Further, players will engage in a combo-based combat system choreographed by martial arts expert, Tatsuro Koike. There are an array of strikes, grapples, and ways to incorporate the environment into your fighting, however, the stated goal is "accessibility."

This is not a game that asks players to memorize complex combinations to maximize damage. Combat seems to be mostly focused on indulging the numerous ways that enemies can be dispatched, not precise execution.

"There's no way that you can see all of them in one sitting. You couldn't see it in two, three, or four," Nick Taylor, the the game's Animation Director, says of the multitude of options for finishing an opponent.

The goal of seamlessly weaving movies and video games is certainly ambitious, and the developers have their sights set high for The Quiet Man.

Fujinaga muses on the power of games:

I believe a video game changed me, and if one video game can change people's minds, that means video games can change the world.

That's how I believe a video game can be much more than just fun.

Will The Quiet Man be able to attain something so grand?

Find out on November 1 when it releases for PlayStation 4 and PC.

Square Enix E3 Showcase Roundup: Kingdom Hearts 3, Tomb Raider, and More! Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:53:29 -0400 Ashley Shankle

This year's showcase from Square Enix may not have been long, but it did pack a punch. Fans of their long-running series like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Tomb Raider have plenty to look forward to based on what was shown during their showcase during E3 2018 -- but there's definitely something for everyone among the lineup.

Without further ado, let's get to what was shown during this year's Square Enix showcase.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay reveal

Shadow of the Tomb Raider got a brand new trailer yesterday during Microsoft's showcase, but it seems Square Enix wanted the real hype-inducing meat to be during their own presentation. It's some juicy meat.


The gameplay demo featured above shows some great gameplay footage, especially focusing on stealth combat. The developers claim Shadow of the Tomb Raider will have wall-running, grappling, underwater swimming and survival, and will feature the largest world of the series yet. Laura Croft has really come a long way from the PlayStation, that's for sure.

Final Fantasy XIV Under the Moonlight 4.3 trailer

All I wanted from FFXIV at this point was some Final Fantasy XII-related content and it looks like we're finally getting it. The trailer for patch 4.3 is sure to send FFXII fans up the wall.


The trailer features familiar music, outfits, themes, and even the Bangaa race from the Ivalice Final Fantasy games. These certainly aren't the only things Final Fantasy XIV fans have to get excited about in the above trailer, though. There's a lot going on, and it all looks great.

Final Fantasy XIV x Monster Hunter World collaboration trailer

This was my personal hype machine.


Not much to say, not much to see! But nothing in the world can get you as excited to play a game like the Monster Hunter theme. This seems to be a collaboration that will take place in FFXIV, and will be coming sometime this summer. HYPE!

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit trailer

We got a second look at Life Is Strange developer Dontnot Entertainment's new spin-off for the series called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which they promise will have an impact on the upcoming Life Is Strange 2.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age trailer

Fans of the classic Enix RPG series will be happy to find that Dragon Quest XI now has an official North American release date: September 4, 2018.


As with previous entries released overseas, Dragon Quest XI will feature voice acting not present in the original Japanese release. We may be getting it over a year after it released in Japan, but late is better than never in the case of this classic turn-based series.

Babylon's Fall trailer

A Japanese publisher needs to have at least one Platinum game in their lineup, right? Right, that's what I assume. Even if it's not really the case.

Enter Square Enix's newest game from developer Platinum Games, Babylon's Fall.


The above trailer doesn't show much, but it does show some of that signature over-the-top Platinum style. Hopefully we will hear more about this game during or soon after E3.

Octopath Traveler trailer

Octopath Traveler is looking like the first completely original classic-style JRPG on the Switch and, for all intends and purposes, it looks fantastic for what it is.


This is one game we've known about for some time but we're mere weeks away from its release. Octopath Traveler looks very much like a SaGa game, with cues from Romancing SaGa and even SaGa Frontier. How will it actually play, though? Hopefully it'll play like it looks.

Just Cause 4 trailer

In case you needed some true chaos in your Square Enix presentation, Just Cause 4's trailer is here to give you just that. The off-the-rails open world series returns with a bigger and more varied world than ever.


The new weather system looks to be the biggest introduction in this release, with full-size tornadoes, massive thunderstorms, and more. And let's not even get into the vehicles and open world. Just watch the trailer!

The Quiet Man trailer

There's not much said in the below trailer and it goes lengths to blur the lines between live-action footage and in-game footage, but it does look interesting. It's an understatement to say there are not many games with deaf protagonists.


Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer

It's been how long since we've gotten a mainline Kingdom Hearts game? It's been 12 years since Kingdom Hearts 2 was released on the PlayStation 2. The series has survived in remixes and spin-offs since then and it's gone on strong, but all anyone wanted was a third game.


This time around Sora and the game will going into both Disney and Pixar worlds, featuring Hercules, Wreck-It-Ralph, Frozen, Monsters, Inc., Tarzan, and more. Fans will be watching this trailer over and over for sure, just to get a glimpse of what might be.

That's it for what Square Enix had to offer in their showcase during E3 2018. Later today we have more from Sony, Ubisoft, and more as E3 and its nearly endless stream of reveals pushes forward.

Square Enix's showing was strong, but there is surely stronger to come! Did one of these games make your E3? I have to admit, the FFXIV patch and collab have me worked up. Let us know in the comments!