Escapist Editorials: A Bug By Any Other Name

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rod_hynes:

Trishbot:

rod_hynes:
I don't hold games up as perfect. I enjoy them until I don't anymore. Bethesda makes games that I enjoy for YEARS... not hours, or months. but YEARS. For that I can forgive a few minor problems with the coding. I havn't had another game give me that in a long time. Not even DA: Origins, but it was really good too, just not as much replay value as ES games. Point is, Yes, I can forgive glitches or bugs or whatever you want to call them. But just because something doesn't work the way you want, or think it should does it mean that your game is broken. I never once saw a problem with red dead like the videos showed, or new vegas. So is it that wided spread or just a few videos going around that make people laugh.

Reports, so far, are that nearly all PS3 owners that play around 50-60 hours of Skyrim will encounter unplayable lag, like "ZERO frames per second" levels.

360 users are starting to report the same game-breaking lag around 120-140 hours into the game.

Apparently the problem is very wide-spread and, according to someone who worked on New Vegas, may not be possible to fully fix.

...And according to Bethesda, he doesn't know what he is talking about.

Hines also said that they had fixed that particular issue a while ago. Which they never did.

I apologize to Susan for going on an off topic rant on a particular game.

I can forgive Bethesda for the most part, because Skyrim is a pretty damn good game, but it's very much the same thing as their others, bugs and all. That said, it's still better than their others. They improve, no doubt about it, but they don't change much, bugs and all. Maybe they should try to approach their next game differently. Take out a little more freedom and apparent vastness (because that's what people say causes these for the most part) for a little more stability. My issues with Bethesda games are more their design choices than bugs, though the bugs are annoying.

Honestly, I didn't have any issues with Alpha Protocol when I played it. Even as I used the lower-tier and ultimately crappier weapons (everything besides pistol), it wasn't so bad that I couldn't do any mission with them. I LOVED the fact that weapons had their own critical styles and ways to activate them, especially the shotgun and its chargeable knockdown crit.

The only thing that made me stop, in all honestly, was a certain mission in Moscow (I believe). Mission info told me it was going to be a slip in and out, not much of a firefight and had to secure a certain important individual. What WAS a simple infiltration turned into a full-on firefight at the end, one I wasn't exactly equipped for. Now, that wasn't what stopped me though. What did was the sheer idiocy of the man I was supposed to protect. He had the horrible habit of running towards thrown grenades, not away. I watched, with quite some regularity, as he did this time and time again. He'd actually run through crossfire TOWARDS the grenades to let them blow up right under him.
At no point in the mission was I losing because I died, I was actually carving through them with what pistol ammo I had and some CQC combat magic. I lost again and again, because this man just kept running into his death instead of staying back behind the cover he was safe in.

I have to agree with some others though. The fact that the some of these bugs in Skyrim are actually quite similar, if not the same, as bugs in prior games built on a supposedly now discontinued engine for them. Something that makes it sound more like the "Radiant" is just a paint of gold paint on the old girl. Specially since I haven't really seen much of the talked about "reactive" elements in the game that they went on and on about.
It REALLY doesn't help when a mod for an old game fixes the exact same issue on a game that should be running under some very different things since it should be two different engines.

Susan Arendt:
A Bug By Any Other Name

We forgive some buggy games while shunning others. Why?

Read Full Article

If the focus is on a central narrative, gamebreaking bugs can ruin that. They disrupt the pacing, they force restarts/retreads, they take you out of the setting... a story driven game lives or dies on its ability to pull you into the story and keep you there. Basically, story driven games must, to a degree, be continuous. And bugs disrupt that continuity.

But Skyrim doesn't focus on story. Lore? Sure -- but that's in the books, conversations, and other discrete snippets littered throughout the world (not a continuous narrative flow). The focus is on your character, and the ability to build and play him/her in each situation or encounter as you please. In a sense, it's the "modularity" of your personal story that allows bugs not to disrupt quite as much. And Dead Island, the focus is on the moment-to-moment experience of combat. Once again, discrete events filled with enjoyment.

Maybe it's the difference between a beaded ('modular') necklace and a braided ('contiguous') necklace. If a single bead breaks, you can look at the others until that bead is replaced. If a section of the braided necklace breaks, the whole necklace is useless until it's fixed -- and it's much harder to fix.

The contiguous nature of some games works against them, because it allows even small disruptions to have far-reaching influence over the experience. When it pays off, it pays off big (your BioShock and your Mass Effect type stuff), but when it doesn't, it's near-catastropic.

Games like Skyrim present content that represents a sprawling world with a continuous, interwoven historical narrative... but it presents the content in pieces, relying on the player to connect the dots. And that player-made "connective tissue" is harder to disrupt, even by fairly major bugs.

Add: I'm very with you on the feeling something idea, though. It's something I exploit with my students all the time: If you can't enjoy the music or the learning today, then get mad at it, so at least you're really "in it." The greatest sin is to feel nothing about what you're doing.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Honestly? Brand loyalty.

(snipped, but I did read the whole post)

This one can work against a game just as often, though. Loyalty can bring with it forgiveness, but it can also bring very specific expectations (read: demands). That can make disappointment both easy and powerful.

As for Skyrim, I've never played a single Elder Scrolls game, yet I find myself with the same feeling of loving forgiveness toward any bugs or glitches or crashes (just about to beat a dragon, and BOOM desktop!)

I just feel there has to be something beyond brand loyalty. As mentioned in my reply to Susan above, I think it has to do with how contiguous the experience is supposed to be, or how many connections are left for the player to make. If the game is supposed to connect all the dots, any interruption cripples the whole experience... but if the player is supposed to connect the dots themselves (in the meta-game), disruptions aren't nearly as destructive.

What bugs were in Alpha Protocol? I've played through it twice and haven't found a single bug.

See, the "big game" thing doesn't cut it for me with Bethesda anymore. The problem is the crappy engine they keep using. And what do they do about it? They just keep using it and making the games even bigger, meaning the games will eventually run even worse. They simply don't seem to give a shit that they keep releasing broken game after broken game. Even I can forgive that a few times, but there comes a point where you expect them to sit down and get their shit together for the next game. Skyrim was their chance to fix it, what with all that talk of a new engine. But instead, they just slapped a new coat of paint on the same shitty engine Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Fallout New Vegas used and released yet another game with the same issues. So screw the Elder Scrolls, screw any future Fallout games they make on this "new" Skyrim engine, and screw Bethesda.

Bethesda is an abusive significant other who keeps beating you and promises to treat you right this time if you just give them one more chance. Some people are still willing to believe that things really will change this time and come back, and others have realized that things will never change and have given up.

I've seen you guys use this picture on like 3 different articles.

Skyrim is a big game, can we please get anything other than that mammoth picture uploaded?

I appreciate the dev who would make a game world so Epic, and yet so intricate like skyrim, with so many things to do, and so many ways to have fun, JUST FOR ME! unlike the MMOs, I don't have to share anything, I am the hero, I am the chosen one, I am what makes this game tick, I am free to do what I please (Great Beard can wait his ass on the tip of the world for me to learn my Fus Ro Dah AFTER I FINISH MY PHD in destruction, and get my skelleton key), AND I can PK ANY NPC I FREAKING PLEASE!~ (bucket, LOTS of bucket...) yeh, I forgive them, it's a big ass game, it's like finding a hair in your bow of beef noodle, it's so insignificant, why let it bother you, the overall experience is still good, they ARE getting those patches out, aren't they? and this game have less bugs than vegas!

"I'm speaking of my reactions as a regular player, by the way, not as a reviewer. Two very different mindsets."

I'd be much more interested in this article if you'd spoken about the difference(s) when you're reviewing a game, but anyway...

Personally I find nothing is more annoying than a buggy game. Having been burned by Oblivion, I have no intention of playing Skyrim until Bethesda has finished patching it and the inevitably huge unofficial modder patch starts to look like it's (more or less) finished. I don't understand how people can forgive (let alone love) a broken product, but then I suppose most RPG players tend to be suckers for punishment. Grind, anyone?

I think it's bug per hour thing for me. I have several games that I would have sent into deepest depths of game hell because of their bugs if they were been shorter and smaller. Fallout 3 and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. SoC come to mind right away, both games were buggy as hell but still playable for me because the bug per hour thing didn't exceed my tolerance limit. And they both had sequel that were shorter and smaller but with more bugs, go figure, in case of NV I said fuck it gave the game away I would have done the same with CS but my brother mods S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games and he fixed it for me, well at least made it playable, NV I recently bought again and while it's mostly bug free now the graphical glitches are still there and horrible as ever like the rad scorpions that can move under the game world and surprise attack you and kill you before you know what the fuck.

I simply take into account how much fun I had with the game. Did the bug break the game? Did I still enjoy playing it?

I forgive games that I still enjoy, I dont forgive games that I dont enjoy, simple but it works.

If bugs are not game breaking (skyrim, fallout 3) then i can forgive them. If they are game-breaking (fallout 1, Stalker) i will not forgive them.
there is an exception, i forgave civilization 4 for making a game that wont run in fullscreen every second time it gets installed. (windowed mode works fine)

My favourite bugs so far is when it rains Mammoth and flying giants. Or when I start flying. (My character glitched mid-jump so she hovered and flapped her arms. Crazy bitch)

isometry:

Machocruz:

I really hope you're not suggesting Skyrim is pushing all-time boundaries of anything. Unless you just started gaming this year or something.

I really hope you don't mean you can't see how Skyrim is an ambitious boundary-breaking game. Unless you just started gaming this year or something.

Skyrim is a brilliantly crafted game with a rich world (which, unlike most open-world games, is actually fun to explore by itself, rather than resorting to collect-athons) and a good story, but it really doesn't do anything that's particularly new or novel, or that hasn't been seen in numerous other games. That's not a bad thing, though, not every game needs to be Portal, you can still have the ride of your life even if the wheels you're on weren't totally reinvented.

SL33TBL1ND:
What bugs were in Alpha Protocol? I've played through it twice and haven't found a single bug.

Only bug I've come across is that in the Moscow Embassy, if you enter the building any way other than through the front door, then in the credits

SirCannonFodder:

SL33TBL1ND:
What bugs were in Alpha Protocol? I've played through it twice and haven't found a single bug.

Only bug I've come across is that in the Moscow Embassy, if you enter the building any way other than through the front door, then in the credits

Well, that actually makes sense. If you go around on the roof all of the marines are hostile, so if one of them died it would count it as a hostile being killed. I don't know why you'd go that way though, you get way better perks from bluffing your way in.

as other games have said, some games are forgiven based on the severity of the bug, each bug measured on an individual level.

Small bugs that give the player a "Well, that was strange" moment get a pass since the game will continue, even if their character were to die. You just continue on in the game. Look at Halo: Reach. There is a very common bug that multiple players have encountered; it is when your vehicle just decides it wants to go at light speed and sends the player off the map. The game doesn't stop because of his bug and the player character just respawns: game on.

If there is a bug where a particular door doesn't open and it is easy to trigger the code that causes the bug and this door is required to pass through to continue the story and you cannot go backwards because it is a scripted scene then the player will rage.

Bugs that cause RAGE is bad and will not be forgiven.
Bugs that cause WTF are okay.

100 WTF bugs will never be as bad as a single RAGE bug.

Sometimes the WTF bugs become promoted to being features in later titles.

SL33TBL1ND:

SirCannonFodder:

SL33TBL1ND:
What bugs were in Alpha Protocol? I've played through it twice and haven't found a single bug.

Only bug I've come across is that in the Moscow Embassy, if you enter the building any way other than through the front door, then in the credits

Well, that actually makes sense. If you go around on the roof all of the marines are hostile, so if one of them died it would count it as a hostile being killed. I don't know why you'd go that way though, you get way better perks from bluffing your way in.

I actually did bluff my way in, but thinking about it I remember the guards turning hostile when I went outside through the roof door to explore, so I reloaded and didn't go through there (I also otherwise didn't make the guards hostile whatsoever). Still ended up saying I killed them all, which *is* a documented bug.

Susan Arendt:
Skyrim is a buggy game, but it's also enormous. It seems unrealistic to expect something with as many moving parts as the fifth Elder Scrolls, with thousands of NPCs, monsters, locations, and bits of environmental detritus to be absolutely perfect out of the gate.

Unreasonable to expect a game like that totally bug-free? Absolutely. Unreasonable to expect it to not have some seriously critical flaws? Emphatic no.

A little bit of random things not dropping as they should or someone unimportant stuck in a wall or clipping on a doorway for infinity is one thing, but I've seen dragon fights(the main draw of the game), completely ruined and impossible to play. Things that people have invested in disappearing, apparently the smithing and crafting minigames have their own problems... Not to mention things that are fucked in the game design that actually work just fine, they're just poorly thought out. Like horses and talking dogs being completely OP and how the saves can fuck you and leave you trapped in an area you can't fight your way out of if you aren't very careful with your saves.

If they'd scaled everything down just a little bit, it would still be one of the most sprawling games anyone has ever played, and maybe they could've avoided things like companions disappearing, Dragon Fights getting all screwed up, game-breaking lag.

Mass Effect games for example manage to structure an entire fluid continuity that can have lord knows how many variables for each individual players tailored ME experience, and all talk of personal taste to the side, one cannot argue that they work.

And in response to the article, no I don't give games a free ride for being shipped in a awful quality, that just makes absolutely no sense to me. If you bought any other kind of good and you took it home and realised it was bad quality, or read on the internet that your thing has quite good odds of just fucking up on you, you'd take it back and get a new one or just demand your money back. And as for letting some go and others not, that just makes even less sense to me. A broken ass game is a broken ass game. If publishers are shipping things with the kind of strong ass flaws Skyrim does, not just little foibles, and people are lapping it up and STILL calling it the cream of Jesus, then something is a bit wrong.

isometry:

If game A is a unambitious uninspired genre clone with a 10 hour campaign, and game B pushes the all-time boundaries of game development, I'm willing to tolerate more bugs / flaws in game B.

Crumbs, we have ourselves a fanboy! The ONLY boundary that Skyrim pushes is sheer size, and that is both the easiest to push and the silliest. Because as all the talk about its problems are showing, that is the only boundary that will push back...

But yeah, Skyrim, massive and impressive as it admittedly is, isn't changing a damn thing, and isn't some unique masterpiece. It's a refinement of the game that came before it, and little else.

Someone mentioned brand loyalty being a basis for forgiveness of glitches and bugs. That was a very insightful and astute observation. I'd like to add some additional thoughts to that from the perspective of someone that spent the bulk of their career in management.

One of the things I learned early on is that it's hard work to earn a customers loyaly. Once earned it can be lost by just one bad experience with a product or service. In that situation the company has to respond quickly to "make it right" for the person. Done the right way resolving a problem will earn a company even greater good will and loyalty from their customer. It boils down to building a ongoing relationship between business and customer. Further, it's all about trust.

Additionally I think that many people give bethesda a pass on bugs, glitches and the like because they are viewing both the new games and the older ones with rose tinted glasses. Overlooking the flaws because of all of the good times they've had with other games by Bethesda. It's really just a matter of past experience influencing a present one.

It's highly ironic really. Most of us wouldn't give a pass to other industries we deal with in our lives for giving us broken, flawed or incomplete products. Yet we do it all the time with games. It's actually kind of a really damning statement about the state of the gaming industry.

SirCannonFodder:

SL33TBL1ND:

SirCannonFodder:
Only bug I've come across is that in the Moscow Embassy, if you enter the building any way other than through the front door, then in the credits

Well, that actually makes sense. If you go around on the roof all of the marines are hostile, so if one of them died it would count it as a hostile being killed. I don't know why you'd go that way though, you get way better perks from bluffing your way in.

I actually did bluff my way in, but thinking about it I remember the guards turning hostile when I went outside through the roof door to explore, so I reloaded and didn't go through there (I also otherwise didn't make the guards hostile whatsoever). Still ended up saying I killed them all, which *is* a documented bug.

Ah, I see. Well thankfully I never encountered that.

Susan Arendt:
A Bug By Any Other Name

We forgive some buggy games while shunning others. Why?

Read Full Article

Oh gods, thank you for that flying, bouncing companion video. I was having a rather poor night, then I saw that, and my night improved.

Quite right, too, about how some games we forgive their offenses, but others offend to the point of anger. I'm willing to forgive bouncing tanks in Saints Row the Third, because the psychotic way the tank bounced was just hilarious. Anything in Just Cause 2 is forgiven, because that game is improved by the chaotic glitches causing all kinds of incidental humor. Even glitches in Fallout 3 were forgivable, because they only happened every so often.

But, there are those that have offended too much. The copy of Heavy Rain I had was bugged to the extent of unplayable. I would try to play it a certain way, and it would freeze up for up to forty five minutes at a time, only to unfreeze for about two seconds, then freeze again for another thirty minutes. This wasn't a one-time thing, it happened every time I played, at quite a few spots. I had to intentionally fail certain QTEs, something absolutely against my nature, just to progress. I couldn't play the game the way I wanted to. Beyond that, at one point, every choice available ended in a frozen scene--this isn't just a bug, this rendered the game unplayable past the half way point. That, no matter how many other discs I'd be offered, will be the last time I play that game. I was loving it, too, and now, I can't even remain civil when it's brought up.

rod_hynes:
I don't hold games up as perfect. I enjoy them until I don't anymore.

Exactly. All the fanboys and haters, unsurprisingly, completely miss the point. The vast majority of people really don't give a damn about who made a game, what they've done in the past, or what reviews say. All that matters is whether a game is fun or not. A game that is bugged to hell can still be fun despite the bugs, while a completely bug-free game can suck ass even though it's technically perfect.

For my part, I've been quite frustrated with Skyrim. Aside from the interface being pretty much the worst I've ever seen, which isn't really a bug rather than just plain stupidity, I'm currently struggling to play for as long as an hour without at least one crash to desktop. Plus I've been affected by many of the other major bugs like backwards dragons, mammoths dropping out of the sky, and so on. Yet despite all that, it's still probably the best game I've played this year (although admittedly I haven't played Saints Row yet). Half an hour of fun followed by a crash is still better than half an hour not having fun.

Some bugs are funny as long as they're random and not game breaking.
Example I was playing Saints Row 3 and I don't know if it was because too much was going on or what but at one point my car was pointed straight up in the air on its nose and was just twirling about, bouncing off buildings. Something like that is funny.

I know in Assassin's Creed Revelations there were instances where assassins would be stuck in buildings, and an instance where I had to restart a recruitment mission because I was pickpocketing people and the meter stayed at zero.

Then there's glitches like in Battlefield Bad Company 2 where I couldn't finish the game because of a rare glitch that had you instakilled in a chopper on the 3rd to last mission.
After some research it turns out usually if you start all over it'll fix itself. That's no bueno in my book. Not even considering getting the 3rd installment because the 2nd one left a shit taste in my mouth.

For huge games like Skyrim I can give a pass. Games like AC and Battlefield, worry more on testing your games and less about DLC and pass code bullshit.

I think I'm very forgiving about bugs. As long as they aren't game breaking and I enjoy the game, bugs doesn't matter. Sometimes strong community support can even make game breaking bugs bearable by hacking save games or other technical fixes. I guess it comes with the territory of playing ancient games on unsupported platforms.

I'm much less forgiving about design flaws. Skyrim is not particularly buggy, and I never noticed any bugs in AP, but both are haunted by some quite severe design issues.

I think the reason some people love games in spite of, or because of, the glitches depends on what the glitch does.

If even one glitch makes a game unplayable at any point with no means of avoiding or easily fixing it, then gamers would rightly feel like the game is a waste. I don't know about the gaming community as a whole, but I would HATE to have to backtrack through an hour of work to find one missed passageway or one botched conversation or worse... Starting the whole game over again and hopefully finding everything the next time around.

Glitches that don't halt or erase progress can be more tolerable if they aren't too distracting or can be easily fixed. Faces randomly going into screwy expressions? That's hilarious from time to time and doesn't usually crash the game right away, but it can fall into the BAD category if it can't be fixed quickly and easily without having to use a previous save file.

I have not had one single bug in Skyrim.

Ontopic though, it depends on the bug.

Very subjective, and sometimes not.

I loved Alpha Protocol. I bought it in a bargain bin and went in expecting it to be terrible after all the reviews people had given it and it was probably one of my games of the year. Granted it doesn't have much replay value for me, but it was still absolutely fantastic while I was playing it.

I think I tend to be quite forgiving of bugs, because I played a lot of terribly broken games back in the old PS1 days. While everyone else was chilling with Metal Gear Solid and Crash Bandicoot I was playing Bugs Bunny Lost in Time or the old and broken Spiderman game. I grew up thinking that bugs were the norm for games, rather than the exception, so when I started playing games where there were so few bugs that you could sometimes get all the way from beginning to end without experiencing a single glitch it was like heaven on earth.

Also, I sometimes think I get very lucky with most of my games, because I haven't experienced even a tenth of the issues some gamers talk about. Like Tomb Raider: Underworld. No one would stop going on about how the buggy camera made it impossible to control her, or how certain enemies got glitched into walls, or certain puzzles didn't work because the right key didn't spawn. I never got any of that, I got a game that I have been able to replay ten times at least, and not once have I experienced a glitch. Of course, some of this might also be to the above. I'm used to games where the camera every so often just goes wacky, and I'm able to counter a lot faster than some of my gaming friends.

I watched one of my friends playing Mass Effect once, and the camera did some sort of skewed thing where you couldn't actually see the left side of the screen, but you could still see the HUD and the aiming reticule. I've had that glitch, and I compensated with two shots, whereas he ended up getting killed by some low level mercenaries because he just couldn't deal with it.

Susan Arendt:
A Bug By Any Other Name

We forgive some buggy games while shunning others. Why?

Read Full Article

Could those 2 pages have been summarised as fanboyism? I love Bethesda so terrible bugs and glitches can be ignored?

I enjoy a good RPG but Ill wait for the GOTY edition of skyrim hoping the bugs will be ironed out.

Susan Arendt:
A Bug By Any Other Name

We forgive some buggy games while shunning others. Why?

Read Full Article

That's a very good question, one I've wanted to a lot of people writing for this site more than once.
I don't think you actually answered that question in the article.

As far as I've been able to tell, critics are just willing to give some developers way more slack than others for no real reason. From where I'm standing, the bugs in Skyrim and Dead Island were much less forgivable than the one's in Alpha Protocol, which tried a lot more new things than either of those games, or something like Drakan, which didn't have anywhere near the same amount of resources or publicity behind it.

Honestly, I don't think this article really does anything beyond asking the initial question. I think it's the first one of your articles I've seen that didn't bring any kind of meaningful argument to the table.

OtherSideofSky:

Susan Arendt:
A Bug By Any Other Name

We forgive some buggy games while shunning others. Why?

Read Full Article

That's a very good question, one I've wanted to a lot of people writing for this site more than once.
I don't think you actually answered that question in the article.

As far as I've been able to tell, critics are just willing to give some developers way more slack than others for no real reason. From where I'm standing, the bugs in Skyrim and Dead Island were much less forgivable than the one's in Alpha Protocol, which tried a lot more new things than either of those games, or something like Drakan, which didn't have anywhere near the same amount of resources or publicity behind it.

Honestly, I don't think this article really does anything beyond asking the initial question. I think it's the first one of your articles I've seen that didn't bring any kind of meaningful argument to the table.

I'm not talking about critics. I'm talking about regular, ordinary players. Why do we, as an audience, let some games slide, but crucify others? Based on the discussion that's arisen, it seems like there was some meaningful discussion to be had.

I think the main reason we forgive some bugs while getting pissed off at others depends entirely on just how big the bug is. Peronslly I've had very few bugs while playing Skyrim (though I have seen the Giant Space Launch as seen in the video linked at the end of the article...I about died from laughing cause the guy who got launched was an orc chief who thought himself a bad-ass but who was really quite worthless to his clan). The bugs that I've had mainly consist of wrag-doll dragon corpses (fully flesh-and-scale dragons, not skeletons) just faling from the sky and flopping onto the ground when I fast-travel into a city. Another one was when entering a home, apparently all the objects loaded in before any of the furniture, so all my plats, books, food and what-not were all over the floor. Also every now and then when I fast-travel to the world there'll just be a dead horse laying beside me.

But in general I've encountered no bugs that actually ruin the gameplay for me other than the rare game freeze every now and then. As such I'm able to happily play Skyrim and declare it the best game I've played literally in years. Conversely, however, I can see how players on the PS3 must be pulling their hair out and saying the game sucks. Backwards-flying dragons, resistances not working, and the imfamous "you've been playing for too long so here comes a tsunami of lag". Were I playing it on the PS3, I'd probably think very differently about Skyrim than I do now.

So it's not entirely about just liking the game so much that you give it a pass. A game can be absolutely amazing but if it's bugs are just so overwhelmingly bad that you can't even play it then it's really like being in an abusive relationship...you love the game but every time you meet you end up having to tell people you got the black eye by falling down the stairs and not from headbutting a doorknob in frustration.

MelasZepheos:
I loved Alpha Protocol. I bought it in a bargain bin and went in expecting it to be terrible after all the reviews people had given it and it was probably one of my games of the year. Granted it doesn't have much replay value for me, but it was still absolutely fantastic while I was playing it.

This is closest to how I felt about AP. The only serious bug I had was when my PS3 crashed at the end of one of the Rome missions, and apparently corrupted my save file. Luckily, I always use multiple save files so I just had to go back to an earlier one. I had to replay the mission, but only lost an hour or so of gameplay because of it.

Really didn't care for the boss fights and never got the hang of most of the gadgets, but the conversation and RPing were great.

Pimppeter2:
I've seen you guys use this picture on like 3 different articles.

Skyrim is a big game, can we please get anything other than that mammoth picture uploaded?

Ok, fair enough. We just really like the mammoths here in the office, but we'll be mindful of that in future. :)

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