No One Lives Forever 2

Wumpus’ description of the AI certainly doesn’t match what we were seeing in multiplayer, where the difficulty level shifts with the number of players joined.

(Note that I haven’t tried the single player game).

 -Tom

Also in co-op you start with minimal stats. Refer to previous statements on RPG skill buildup.

Time to get out the garden hose and rig something up!

Whoa. No “beef” at all, just wanted to know where you’re coming from. I always start a game on normal and scale it up or down depending on how hard of a time I’m having, but some people review games and complain about how easy it is without upping the difficulty level to see if it changes things. It’s a challenge for the developers of a game like NOLF, since they’ve got to try and accomodate a range of players from the casual consumer to the hardcore FPS gamer. I take it from your followup that you think they failed the challenge. Okay.

I agree with a lot of the things you mentioned. Especially about the rpg elements overbalancing as the game progresses; a high Stealth rating really limits the AI’s ability to pursue, which can make it seem dumber than it actually is.

I would have liked more open-ended, “environment-based” levels, because those parts of the game were the most satisfying and exhilirating for me. I loved all of the Siberia missions, because they had a real sense of possibility and “anything can happen” about them, and played out very differently each time. Plus I love the drunken pilot.

In the end, for me, the thing I appreciate most is the variety the game offers. From the stealth/action mix of the Siberian missions to the crazy Akron trailer park to the spooky and even poignant Arctic level, I don’t know of any other shooter with this kind of range. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that that it doesn’t all come together perfectly.

In the end, for me, the thing I appreciate most is the variety the game offers. From the stealth/action mix of the Siberian missions to the crazy Akron trailer park to the spooky and even poignant Arctic level, I don’t know of any other shooter with this kind of range.

I agree with you. I was really enjoying the game until right around that Arctic level-- which was one of the best in the game. I also found it strangely moving and extremely effective. I’d say it was the high point of the game for me. The trailer park shootout was PLENTY difficult on normal, and also very exciting.

Unfortunately it was kinda all downhill from there. The difficulty just disappeared (unbalanced RPG stats levelling?) and the levels got more annoying (put out these fires).

Replaying the last level with only 50 health and 50 armor is more difficult (obviously, I hope, compared to 150/150), but I swear I am not seeing any difference between superspy and normal in terms of the AI behaviors. I tried entering the level a couple of different ways-- setting the difficulty to superspy at the main menu, then selecting single mission… starting the mission, then changing the difficulty via the in-game menu… etc. I can’t make it happen. The enemies big weakness is that they all charge you sooner or later, so just leaning around a corner and waiting for it to happen will guarantee victory with minimal risk.

Some interesting opinions, glad to see I completely disagree with wumpus on yet another issue.

I found NOLF2 to be plenty challeging. You’re supposed to be a spy, after all. I had loads of fun dodging enemies, hiding bodies, and ducking cameras.

The boss fights varied in difficulty, but I had a blast in them and they had character. Heck, the whole game had character. A few specific squences were extremely tough (the mime escape, the ninja death run). Overall, I thought the difficulty balance was good.

Don’t have that kind of time to dedicate to a game? What the hell does that even mean? Must… finish… pendulum… swinging… closer…

I found the AI very effective at combat (including use of cover and fire and movement). Jason is right, though, high Stealth can make escaping almost comically easy, but hey, you are a superspy. Much of the game is comical, really, a bananna? Heck, read the memos.

I think played from the viewpoint of a 60’s spy movie spoof, it’s brilliant. Played expecting some kind of Quake bot challenge may leave you wanting tougher direct combat. I thought it was fine, and would rate NOLF2 as one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played this year.

Having finished it now its one of the best I’ve played this year.

With this games, NOLF, and AVP2, Monolith has come along way from their Shogo/Blood 2 days.

I’m on chapter 15 and hope to finish it today.

I found the game growing considerably better as it progressed. I’ve found that I don’t really like the onslaught/boss levels like the ninja attack in Akron or that idiotic whack-em game with the mime boss (guess I better not play Serious Sam, eh.) I also found the sneak through the Indian HQ to get employment to be hugely annoying for some reason, though I don’t think anyone else has complained about it. I’m not a big FPS fan, so I don’t have the motor skills trained for snap-shot mouse-based head targeting, which obviously makes a big difference in the more frenetic fights. But I like sneaking around on those levels in which you get the sense that you are in control of the situation as opposed to being a hunted rat in the middle of infinite swarming guards.

After being initially stymied by that Akron ninja attack level, my game improved after I restarted and switched much of my stealth orientation to combat. Though I like the stealth part of the game, I found that Cate’s actual stealth skill doesn’t seem to matter all that much so long as the enemies don’t detect her in the first place, whereas weapons, armor, and searching clearly all made a big difference to gameplay.

I think my favorite level so far is the Unity HQ mission (the level has wonderful design in the sense of evoking 60s public architecture.)

Someone buy wumpus a Playstation 2 - it’s full of great twitch games. Timesplitters 2 should be right up his alley.

Yeah, FPS games with a gamepad. You can count me right the hell out of that.

I hope NOLF2 isn’t becoming another Sacrifice-esque sacred cow around here. There are things I liked a lot about the game, and it directly addresses many flaws in the original-- but they should have left that RPG skill building stuff out. How else can you explain how challenging fighting the ninjas in Akron was, while the endgame is pathetically easy, to the point of boredom? The difficulty is seriously out of whack, and it’s directly attributable to the skill points.

Anyway, games should get better, not more annoying, as they go along. It’s hard to tolerate the putting out of fires and the collecting of wanted posters as valid gameplay models. I’d rate the first half of NOLF2 a 9/10, and the last half a 6/10.

Wumpus…

i’ve noticed that you don’t like many games. Are you a jaded gamer?

Just yesterday someone on a mailing list I subscribed to complained how difficult the Akron ninja fight was on “hard” difficulty; he said he was switching to “normal”. Now he’s got a whole different set of problems. I guess you should stay on normal until that halfway point, then switch to hard. Still-- it’s bad design.

Anybody else having slowdown problems?
I’m on the Akron level, and when several ninjas come out, it slows down to 1 fps! Any ideas?
AThlon 800
Geforce 3
640 megs RAM
WIn 98

I didn’t fall to 1 FPS. But the ninja attack in Akron did slow down my machine. Poor thing is calculating all those tornado particles, then clipping them all cause they’re behind me, then calculating pathing for a jillion ninjas it is materializing in front of me, then doing all the particles for the smoke they leave when they die… The graphics test the system does of that scene (which shows the developers understood it was the most demanding) probably doesn’t take into account the stress of combat, all the interrupts and crap for user activity, and enemy AI.

Anyhow, I finished NOLF 2 last night. Sure, the end game is easier than the ninja attack or some other bits of the game. Big deal. I thought it was fun and satisfying to play, and also humorous, intelligent, and even touching (“Abigail… Abigail…”) I was expecting some prolonged and agonizing boss fight with some infinitely long boss health bar I would slowly have to chip away. Thank god there was no such thing. The fights with the Mime boss and with Dmitri are bad enough; IMO the final fight from NOLF 1 was just painful, and I’m happy that the final fight in NOLF 2 was more conventional. That being said, the final level was indeed a bit too easy, but it really didn’t detract all that much from the game for me.

I thought it was a little short.

I’m still just in the Siberia level, just trying to get into the main records building. I’m finding it fairly challenging–but only because I refuse to use any noisy weapons. I’m out of regular ammo for the .32 handgun (only 4 cyanide bullets left), so I’m pretty much just sneaking around. If I get spotted, I re-load my last save. I think Ill probably end up just blasting my way through this level, though, as the alarms always seem to go off (while I tranquilize one guy, someone behind me sees me). I mean, I’m a spy, damnit… I should have more ammo. And more silenced weapons. I love the game, though–best one I’ve played in a couple years.

I found the final boss in NOLF1 pretty easy. The Scottish guy was much harder. Even the Viking chick was harder.

You’re right, when I consider it, the final fight in NOLF 1 wasn’t actually all that hard; as you say a few of the other bosses were tougher. It’s just that it went on forever, and as a game experience was just excruciating, all that dodging and pecking away at his ridiculous health bar. That kind of thing doesn’t thrill me in a game in which otherwise a single accurate shot can kill. I realize this is just a fun and not terribly realistic game, but I want to be able to shoot someone with a gun and have the fall down, not have to shoot them a hundred times and watch their health bar gradually diminish as I dodge their programmed dancing-back-and-forth moves…

In contrast, while there were unfortunately a few huge-health-bar bosses in NOLF 2, at least I could put the final guy away in a few shots with explosive (!!!) rounds of combat shotgun ammo…

The scott guy was definatly the toughest in NOLF 1. The Viking chick was easy after finding out how you got her.

Actually I thought the scott guy was the easiest boss. You could defeat him on “superspy” without taking any (or just a little) damage.