Saturday, May 5, 2012

If I Made It- Daredevil: Trail by Fire (Xbox 360, PS3)

Outline:  Matt Murdock tries a series of criminals by day and fights crime at night.  But there’s something strange about some of the trials, they couldn’t all be connected could they?


-You can switch to radar sense at any time.  This acts like the detective vision from Arkham City but allows you to see sounds, heartbeats, scents and sensitive touch in the form of heat signatures and writing.

-A fully realized Hell’s Kitchen, from the slums to the courthouse, including the Murdock & Nelson law offices, Matt Murdock’s apartment and the “Devil Cave”.  Every square inch.

-By day you defend the innocent as a lawyer and by night you deliver vigilante justice.

-Divided into 9 acts, each act is a series of days and nights.  Days end when court is adjourned and nights end when you return to your apartment.

-Days you try cases.

            -Read cases given to you or have them summed up by Foggy

            -Foggy gives you a choice of several cases ranging from pro bono to high priced.  Money earned from the trials can be used to upgrade you’re character and his equipment.

            -Some of the cases may be connected and if you can find the connection it will lead to a final act where you try Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin himself, which will be the hardest trial in the game and will require an airtight case.  If you don’t find the connection you just unlock an Endless Night where you can patrol Hell’s Kitchen indefinitely and keep it free from crime.  Beating Kingpin unlocks Kingpins Number 1 mode.

            -Use hyper senses in the courtroom to listen for changes in heart beat or smell fear and stress.  These are expressed as a window with a beating heart and EKG in one corner and a scrolling color coded line graph for scent which goes from calm to stressed in another.

            -L.A. Noire type interactions and Mass Effect style dialog options

-By night you are Daredevil.

            -Search for clues on the current case by visiting crime scenes and investigating like Arkham City.

            -Stop random crime in the Kitchen.

            -Patrol Hell’s Kitchen using your radar sense, agility and billy club grappling hook to get around.

            -Since we’re already stealing the Detective vision we might as well steal the basic combat system as well.  We have an unarmed mode with weak, strong, counter and dodge with quick fire batons.  We have an armed mode where Daredevil uses his billy clubs in the fight, this would feel more like the Nightwing DLC in Arkham City.  Perhaps with the billy clubs we can use an analog stick to manipulate billy clubs connected by wires.

-Researching cases gives you expanded dialog options in court and allows you to view current evidence in new light.  The more information you get the easier the case due to these expanded options.  Reading case files, investigating crime scenes, combing police files and interviewing witnesses will all lead to a smoother court experience, the less evidence you gather the harder your trial will be.  You have the option of reading the case files and getting the most information, having them simplified and read to you by Foggy or not getting any information and handicapping yourself for a more difficult case.

-If you get no case briefing you may win by listening to witnesses or court chatter, consulting with Foggy will arm you with additional questions that will throw off witnesses, reading the case files will arm you with the most info.  Even more evidence can be gathered as Daredevil by interrogating thugs, listening to witnesses outside the courtroom or investigating crime scenes.

-All the trial stuff is skipable, by choosing to skip the court room you act as Danny Rand’s Daredevil (Iron Devil?) following a series of objectives as you fight against The Kingpin taking down thugs and working your way up the ladder to Kingpin himself.  Danny has abilities unique to him that you can upgrade as well as a different fighting style.  Beating this allows you to use him in Endless Night mode as well as an alternate Iron Fist costume.

-At the end of each case you are graded on your performance, the better the performance the more you get to upgrade skills and equipment (you get renown from cases, renown equals money, for paying cases this acts as bonus cash).

-Pro bono cases unlock smaller side charity cases that will lead to a big reward to make them worthwhile; also some of the connected cases may be pro bono so skipping them all will lead to you missing the final big case.

-Bulleye’s Greatest Hits mode.

            -Relive some of Bullseye’s greatest battles or take on several hits.

            -Using Bullseye mode everything you grab and throw is a one hit kill.

            -Aiming provides ricochet lines allowing you to hit anything anywhere.

            -Greatest battles are one on one fights.

            -Hit’s are small, enclosed scenarios with designated targets surrounded by guards.

            -Everything’s a weapon, nails, rubber bands, tacks, paper clips, playing cards, staple guns, paper (which can be made into paper planes) everything you can pick up and you can pick up most anything.

            -You start with a few playing cards, a pistol with one clip, a knife, a kunai and throwing stars.

            -Dead Rising style inventory.

            -3 aiming modes: quick fire, aimed and Bullseye.

-Kingpins #1 mode.

            -Bullseye, Elektra, Typhoid Mary and Lady Bullseye fight through 49 floors of Kingpins men to be awarded the title of Kingpins #1 assassin, the final boss is a random one of the 4 player characters not chosen by the player.

            -Play as Daredevil or Iron Devil for a showdown with Kingpin.

            -Play as Kingpin to train for a showdown with Daredevil.

-A ton of unlockable costumes.

-Stick pool hustler mode because, why not?  How hard could it be to include an arcade style pool mini game?  Make it so Stick can perform awesome pool tricks.

-Stick is an unlockable character for Endless Night.

Final Thoughts:   Once again we have a character that hasn’t had any good games, in fact he’s had very few games period and as far as I know just one game where he starred solo.  But again all of those games take from the fighting aspect of Daredevil which isn’t the whole character, so you end up with repetitive beat ‘em ups with no real story because beat ‘em ups can’t really support any kind of deep, engaging story.  Here you have the introduction of the courtroom and the all the things that you can do there and you have the courtroom feeding your activity as Daredevil which allows you to use an involved and interesting story to compliment your action.

            I know the courtroom might SEEM boring but I assure you that it could be interesting, as anyone who has played a Phoenix Wright game can tell you.  Games like Dues Ex (both original and newest) and Mass Effect are proving that dialogue heavy games can be just as exciting as mindless shooters, to the right person.

            I borrow heavily from Batman: Arkham City, as I did with Punisher, because that is a damn near perfect superhero game.  The visuals are awesome, the gameplay is spectacular and you get to BE Batman.  Arkham City in particular with its introduction of side missions and crime scene investigation it encompasses EVERYTHING that’s fun about Batman rather than focusing on villains and mindless, repetitive violence against faceless thugs.  Not that that’s not fun, because it is, or can be, but it has to be framed correctly, if that’s your whole game you run into trouble however.  There are worse things than Arkham City spawning a bunch of awesome superhero game knock-offs.

            It’s probably another ambitious project, just like Punisher.  It would only work if you could really do ALL of Hell’s Kitchen accurately because that is Daredevil’s home.  You could have him train with Luke Cage and interacting with other New York based Marvel superheroes.   This could be THE Daredevil game, the game that gives you every aspect of Daredevil and his world from the lawyer, Matt Murdock side to the avenging Daredevil side.

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