MASSIVE flaw in the autosave system can ruin the game *SPOILERS*...
I was playing through the game and thoroughly enjoying it too. I forget which episode I was on, I was on the boat looking for the transmitter, so I was a fair distance into the game, had a healthy stock of items and had helped about ten citizens. I encountered the first armoured enemy while on the boat, the kind where you have to use manual aim to defeat them. I obviously made a huge mess of killing him the first time, so I decided to have another go. I paused the game and selected 'Reset to a previous episode', something I've done a few times when screwing something up near the start of an episode (it's better than unnecessarily using retries while playing on Survival difficulty). However, because the game always highlights the first episode in the list instead of the episode you're currently on, I accidentally selected Episode 1 - Return. I didn't think that was a problem though because I could simply skip the opening cinematic and then 'Reset to a previous episode' again and choose the right one. But, thanks to the game's stupid autosave, I no longer have any episodes to choose from beyond Episode 1 - Return. So everything I had done up to the boat - all the exploring, collecting, helping, a good four hours of gameplay - has been completely wiped. I've checked the save, it's all gone, there's no backup.
THIS SERIOUSLY SUCKS AND NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED
Yes, it's my fault that I accidentally chose the wrong chapter (even though the current episode should be highlighted when entering that menu, not the first), but a mistake like that should never have such dire consequences. This flaw in the autosave system has completely ruined the game for me and the thought of having to do everything again, despite the fact I've enjoyed every last moment so far, is a galling prospect quite frankly.
Sounds like that was a little too easy to do then. Maybe add this to the thread on potential patches so we can get a big list if fixes ready for the developers.
I've just this minute played through the game again - to completion this time - and while I still think it's brilliant, the save system is terrible. The problem I mentioned in my OP happens no matter where you are in the game. If you're at episode 19 and you choose to replay any other episode before that, your progress is completely overwritten and there's no way of getting back to episode 19 without replaying episodes.
Not only that though, now I've completed it I've discovered that everything has been overwritten in totality, I now only have a New Game option at the title screen. It's acting as though I'd never played it before. I've never seen a save system so bizarre, you can't replay sections at random to fill in the gaps of your overall progress, like replaying a certain episode to find a particular missing citizen, because the game instantly overwrites any progress you've made beyond that point. I don't know what logic the devs were working to when they decided that overall progress should be constantly overwritten and that the game can only technically be played from beginning to end in one go if you want 100%. Now that I'm faced with having to replay the whole game just to find the three citizens I missed (along with the other seventeen because, as far as the game's concerned, I haven't saved them either), I'm put off to be honest.
A brilliant game that, to me, has really been undermined by a save system which makes no sense whatsoever. And to add insult to injury, after being forced to restart the game, I finish on Survivor difficulty and the achievement for it didn't pop. I'm gonna start another thread about that to see if anyone else has had the problem.
Wow, that sucks! Playing through all over again might have made sense to the devs based on the settings for the survivor difficulty, but it shouldn't apply to the default difficulty.
I'm not sure it does suck. This game has set itself apart from the pack largely because of it's demanding and unforgiving nature. The fact that the autosave feature prevents players from editing their playthroughs to perfection really adds some credibility to leaderboard play. Who is the best survivor?
Of course accidental losses suck but I think there is more to this than an oversight on the devs part. It is a short game and the math strategy of using resources and maintaining your own well being allows for a greater number of rescues. So a single uneditable play through imo makes this a more appealing challenge.
It is a new breed of game for sure, I have to devote more time to it before I can verify wether I agree with some of the complaints or not.
I can just...just about swallow the autosave system working the way it does to underline the theme of survival the game promotes (although I'd like to hear that from the dev to be sure). But being left with nothing when you complete the game? Having to do absolutely everything again, as well as searching for things you missed previously? That is ridiculous to me. There are a raft of story-driven games out there that are in a similar vein to I Am Alive and none of them have such a brutal save system which renders your progress as completely inconsequential. Why would I want to play the game again when I know any progress I make ultimately matters not one bit because the save will be destroyed?
I hear you, I too would like to have my completed run gear, for another playthrough. It would be nice to save up ammo, and start with the grappling hook and gas mask. I just don't think the game would play as well if we had the advantages early on, I think a lot of the pieces are built around the characters weaknesses, so overpowering him in the beggining would drastically alter the feel of the game. That said, I would love there to be more and more of the world they have envisioned for us, and be able to roam through it more.
As far as why bother playing again, well it depends on your personal motivations. I have friends playing it too and I want to beat their scores on the leaderboard (just did actually) so that motivates me. I've been retrying check points when things didn't go well, so I guess there is the opportunity to kind of edit your runs, as long as you've been loading up on the retries. My goal is to get as close to a perfect run on Normal, saving all survivors. That of course means I need to get much better at the combat so I can use my resources to help otheres. It's not as easy as they make out, I have a hard time goading most AI into a suprise kill, and then kicking them into fire or off an edge takes so much time to maneuver themthqt they call my bluff before I get there. And don't get me started on the body armor guys and the gun toting fools. It's amde to sound like you can easily determine who to kill first but it all happens so fast that I rarely get into an encounter with more than one guy and get away without having to shoot my gun or take some damage.
I gots to get better and faster, that's why I want to play it again, I can't settle for average.
That's actually a really good point. How do you determine who is the strongest guy in a pack? So far, I haven't seen any differences in the way they behave. The only thing I can think is they're the ones wearing berets. Though, I tried killing a beret goon and the others kept coming. Am I missing something?
Originally Posted by SolidSage
Not that it appeals to me, but I get the sense the leaderboards were an afterthought, something tacked on to fulfil the XBLA obligation of carrying that aspect no matter what the game. I personally don't think the competitive element suits I Am Alive at all, even though it's completely superficial. I didn't play it better the people on my friends list, the game to me is about the solitary experience. But, that's not to say I don't want to better my own progress, and I feel I can't do that in the traditional way because the game utterly fails to keep that progress the moment I replay an old episode or complete the game. I was full of excited thoughts when I first finished I Am Alive, I knew I'd not found everyone and I was looking forwards to being able to concentrate my efforts on finding them in a subsequent replay. But the realisation that all my hard work had been erased ruined that excitement, to the point that it put a total halt to the immediate replay I had planned. I haven't touched the game since, the thought that I have to do everything else again - finding the seventeen survivors I'd already found - was like being told to redo a paper round in its entirety because I'd missed a couple of houses.
Originally Posted by SolidSage
I still maintain that overall progress should've been kept separate from a current save. People should be allowed to replay any old episode for whatever reason they want, be it searching for things they missed or just because they like that episode. It's not an arcade game where you pay your money, have your fun and walk away, it's not a shoot 'em up or a beat 'em up.
Also, by keeping the save for subsequent playthroughs, I didn't mean it in the sense that you'd have access to all the equipment from the very beginning. I was just talking about a player's overall progress with regards to citizens you'd saved, so that they wouldn't appear a second time.
Last edited by TheSpong; 03-13-2012 at 03:33 AM.
Not sure, I thought it was a size thing at first but now I just have to wait to see which one is showing more attitude. It's a pain that the machete dudes get in the LOS of the gun wielders, I hate wasting ammo.
I can't give advice on this really cuz I generally get me arze handed to me if there's 3 or 4. I waste an effort trying to conserve ammo then on the retry I waste bullets!
That makes more sense as far as survivors vice gear. I haven't finished it yet but I assume that I will recollect locations of things better the second time through and be able to do everything a lot quicker...especially if I can master the combat. I agree that the experience is the primary thing, but some games that I really enjoy can get a bit of extra life from friendly competition. Anyway, I see that as part of the challenge, how well you can survive. I don't want to just scrape by, I want to save all the good guys, kill all the bad guys and never have to replenish my stamina....ever! Fat chance! I'm leaning in your direction though, replaying episodes at will wouldn't really detract from anything.
Okay, OffTopic real quick; So far, my favorite thing is when you are threatening some dudes with a LOADED gun, and one dude gets all bawlsy, and starts getting the gumption to try something. I like to wait right until they say something like "I don't think you have the guts" or "I don't think you want to waste
the bullet" before I drop the hammer. Something so satisfying about getting called and having the hand. Now if only we could get a Dirty Harry voice over..."well...do ya....punk?"
Last edited by SolidSage; 03-13-2012 at 04:37 AM.