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Everybody's Gone To The Rapture Refuels An Ongoing War

"It's not a game."

We've heard the accusation countless times before. We started hearing it the instant non-interactive cut-scenes began to filter into the industry. We hear it whenever a game focuses on linear storytelling as opposed to player-driven freedom.

And it has to be the most mind-numbingly stupid argument in the history of gaming.

Let me make this abundantly clear: There is no video game where you "watch more than you play." That has never happened. It was ridiculous to hear such accusations leveled at any Metal Gear Solid game back in the day, and even more ludicrous when leveled at RPGs like Final Fantasy and Xenosaga. The ratio of interactive to non-interactive content in such games was probably about 20:1 at a bare minimum.

And yet, the accusations persist. When Heavy Rain came out, it was more of the same; a bunch of morons trying to say it wasn't a video game. Well of course it's a game. It's not a movie. The instant you perform some sort of input command, that piece of entertainment immediately becomes interactive. How much you do it, how much you have to think before you do it, how many buttons you press throughout the game; all of that is completely irrelevant. It's a game.

But it just never ends. I guarantee you'll hear the accusations again concerning Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. The critics are already split; the scores run the gamut from very low (a 4 is the lowest I've seen) to perfect. Even major sources are all over the place; GameSpot and GamesBeat gave it a 9 while IGN and PSU gave it a 6.5. And when you read the reviews, you know what's going to happen: You're going to get a bunch of people crawling out of the woodworks saying it "isn't a game."

And these are the very people who are halting the progress of storytelling in games. Yes, you require a linear progression to tell the best stories. You just do. It's the nature of the medium. Now, if you have no interest in that, no problem. Play whatever you enjoy. But don't stand up - partially because you may not have the requisite attention span or intelligence - and proclaim "Everybody's Gone to the Rapture" is just a movie." Just don't. It's embarrassing.

Tags: everybodys gone to the rapture, the chinese room, video game storytelling

8/11/2015 9:47:58 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (22 posts)


bigrailer19
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 10:13:31 PM
Reply

It's funny how when a game like this has split scores it's not justifiable despite the reasoning. But when Knack had the same type of scores, it was just a bad game.

Anyways this was my point a few days ago about this game. These types of games will always struggle. The lack of input is a constant reminder just what made people like games to begin with. The stories, characters, graphics are all necessities in one way or another. But input is what drives gameplay.

I'm not sure people mean it's not a game. It is. I don't think the amount or lack of input decides that. But what people expect from games after growing up with them is the ability for the user to control necessary aspects to get the most out of it. Unfortunately this game among many others has failed to give that satisfaction.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 12:38:39 PM

The game doesn't have split scores though. It evenly ranges itself from the lows to the highs. I think Metacritic mislisted IGN. Who actually gave it an 8.5, not the Metacritic's 8.

I liked Gametrailers 8.2 myself. Their review told me all I needed to know.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/12/2015 12:41:10 PM

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 6:14:46 PM

"Evenly ranges" is a better term for what I meant. I said split but that suggests 50/50 and your right, that's not correct.

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FM23
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 10:33:28 PM
Reply

All games don't need to be linear to have a good story. Let's not forget that games are first gameplay mechanics with a story second to tie it all together. Great example of this is Batman Arkham Knight. When you make a game with the story first, then try to work a game into it...well you get games like Heavy Rain and The Order.

This isn't a bad thing, but this is where some games that focus too much on story go overboard. I feel like Naughty goes story first with Uncharted and Last of Us and they succeed at making a great game to play as well. The Witcher/Bioware's offerings seem to follow this too and still turned out to be a game. Although Mass Effect 3 tried to been too much game and not enough story, but that's another story.

The thing is, with the amount of games coming out and the price, people want to purchase games they can play, not just interactive movies. I would never purchase The Order (at full price), but Metal Gear Solid is a different story and those who play know why. I bought and played the crap out of Heavy Rain back when it released, but I don't think I would ever buy a game like that ever again at this age. If I wanna watch a movie and experience that, I will watch a film. If I can play a game with an excellent story...GREAT.

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Draguss
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 11:20:33 PM
Reply

A slight preface to my comment. I love linear, narrative driven games. They do TEND to have the better stories. And as with every other genre, it would be a tragedy if they were to die because someone arbitrarily decided they didn't qualify as games.

Now then, "you require a linear progression to tell the best stories." Sorry, this...annoyed me a bit. No, you don't require it. It makes it easier, limits the issues involved and the variables you have to account for. A story can remain the same, but the way the characters face it can change massively from small variables. Or a instead the cast can be static in their personalities, with only the player's input forcing them to face different scenarios with them not changing. We can use gameplay mechanics as narrative elements to convey messages no non-interactive medium would ever be able to. These are all harder than just writing a good linear story, and are just a few examples, so we don't see them much. But that doesn't mean they're not possible.

Now on to the actual topic. I think part of the problem is honestly in the name. 'Video games', the name implies it's some form of game. Isn't a game (not specifically video game) defined by having a set of rules or objectives that require you to not just interact with it, but interact properly with it to achieve? "The instant you perform some sort of input command, that piece of entertainment immediately becomes interactive," but does interactive automatically mean it's a game? Isn't that name essentially a holdover from when the medium was a lot more limited in what it could do? It gets confusing, because while we lump in all forms of digital interactive entertainment in the same category, video games are extremely varied. Everybody's Gone To The Rapture and say, Devil May Cry, are entirely different beasts and have to be judged on very different aspects. Is it right to categorize them as the same thing? Is it unexpected that a reviewer focusing mostly on one be somewhat confused by having to review something so different? Would you ask a film critic to review a music album as a film?

Let's call these growing pains of a medium that may-or-may-not be inappropriately named at this point. Perhaps one day we'll think of a better term for this medium, and reviewers may understand that different forms of it require different expertise to judge.

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Jalex
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 @ 11:53:22 PM
Reply

It's a tactic people use when they don't like something so much that they want to be able to take pleasure in seeing it fail. If they can delegitimize whatever it is they don't like, then they don't have to argue that it isn't quality. Substance doesn't have to be examined, because they can just handwave it away as unworthy of examination.
I'm so sick of this, and not just because 'Everybody's Gone To The Rapture' is absolutely my type of game. There are plenty of genres I don't care for, and I get annoyed when people assume I play games on my @!?#ing phone because I call myself a gamer, but I don't try to make the argument that those aren't games. Beyond the pale.

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juliagirl
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 4:25:03 PM

Exactly.

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PS4_Mom
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 2:42:24 AM
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I have spent a good portion of the last 24 hours playing this game. It is very hard to put down. I admit that it takes absolutely no talent or skill. You don't die and you don't fail. But it is very entertaining. You do have to think. I realize it won't be for everyone, but I think a lot of people will enjoy it. It's a nice break from all the run and gun games.

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frostface
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 6:20:07 AM
Reply

If this is not a game but a movie, it's got to be one of the most boring of all time. As it turns out, it's not a movie, it's just the most boring game of all time. But if walking simulators are your thing, good for you. Have fun. But don't equate everyone who doesn't like your style of game and expresses it as lacking in attention span and intelligence. You just make yourself look like an idiot.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 10:46:16 AM

It actually has a run button R2. The devs forgot to tell you in the game though.
So those complaining that the game moves too slow are right if they hadn't stumbled upon the run button.
I noticed Polygon already adjusted their review to reflect the change. It went from a 7 to a 7.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/12/2015 10:48:01 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 4:35:00 PM

The laughable part is you probably believe that post didn't make you look like an idiot.

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frostface
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 5:06:47 PM

Obviously everyone who doesn't like the game, proper reputable journalists and probably most of this sites readership (who are used to listening to your brand of comedy) are lacking intelligence and attentions spans then. Good to know.

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Jalex
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 7:56:44 PM

Nice of you to speak for "proper(,) reputable journalists" (who have given it an average of 78/100 on Metacritic) and all the users on this site, Frostface.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 9:01:59 PM

You didn't even read the article. Not once did I say people had to like it. All I said was that the game in question was indeed a video game.

You're the one who called anyone who doesn't deem this a "walking simulator" an idiot.

Not my fault you have the EQ of a gerbil.

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frostface
Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 1:37:02 AM

The EQ of a gerbil? I think you meant IQ. Thought you'd appreciate the help. I guess even you don't read your own BS.

Last edited by frostface on 8/13/2015 1:40:17 AM

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Gordo
Friday, August 14, 2015 @ 8:43:34 PM

err EQ is about emotion not intelligence. Hard luck mate.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 10:14:09 AM
Reply

Looks like a fairly evenly distributed score range at first glance. Meaning it's likely not a bi-modal distribution. It just has high variance from what I can tell.

Is a game. Not a game. Reminds me of the whole Gran Tursimo isn't a game. It's a simulator argument.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 8/12/2015 10:14:57 AM

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slow and smart
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 3:09:39 PM
Reply

great that also this kind of games comes to the ps4,i like it.

Off topic:seems that Capcom has decided to make an Resident evil 2 remake!!!see eurogamer[.net],
hohoho feels like christmas.

Last edited by slow and smart on 8/12/2015 3:11:02 PM

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slow and smart
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 3:23:36 PM

Great that games like this also come to the ps4,i like it.


hmmm let me try again,off topic:
seems that Capcom has decided to make an Resident Evil 2 remake!!!see eurogamer/gamespot,
fantastic news man,many fans will be happy.

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Squirreleatsman
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 8:04:25 PM
Reply

Ben's argument is sound, and for those still whining what Ben is saying is that these linear story driven narratives are for a specific audience, just as sports games are for some but not others.
Games like the Order or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture are attacked for "lack of Freedom" or "input" by players and critics that simply don't enjoy that genre, so my advice don't play it. I don't play sports games, but there is a large group that does. I don't like first person shooters, but there is a large audience that does. So should I tell everyone these "games" are bad because I don't like them, no that would be immature. Gamer's need to grow up and realize that not every games is intended for them, the gaming community is large and diverse as are the creators of these products. If someone enjoys a certain type of game that doesn't mean they're hardcore or casual, it simply means they enjoy a particular type of game. If you're one of those pathetic people that uses games and your "hardcoreness" as a measure of your manhood then you should consider some professional help.
Being a critic means you review a product for what it is and the audience who its is intended, not what you happened to be in the mood for at the moment.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 9:38:00 PM
Reply

well isn't that the same as the tale tale games but noboy seems to critize them so is there a double standard here if so i don't like it.

happy gaming

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Deadman
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 10:28:35 PM

The Tell Tale games have a mechanic where your dialog and choices affects the outcome of the story. This game looks like it falls more inline with something like Gone Home, in where how little or how much you explore dictates how much of the story you get.

That being said I loved Gone Home and am seriously considering picking this up.

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