Did WP see / play Astral Chain?

Just finished all of WP’s e3 coverage, and I was surprised to hear no mention at all of Astral Chain?

It seems like a pretty big part of Nintendo’s 2019 portfolio, and I was under the impression that WP had a fondness for Platinum.

I was especially hoping to hear WP ask Platinum / Nintendo some pointed questions about the game’s theme / depiction of law enforcement. The Treehouse presentation in particular appeared to have the player arrest or otherwise forcibly placate various human NPC’s, and I got the impression that the developers did not think these actions in and of themselves were controversial.

However, the presenters did imply that the morality of law enforcement in that universe will become (more) complicated as the plot progresses.

(I assume they envision the controversy explored in the game lies with how the cops treat the supernatural creatures, not the people)

Either way, I have no doubt that WP will engage with the game and its politics when it releases (which is very soon) . I was just surprised it didn’t show up in their discussions.

There’s some talk of the game on the Nintendo thread. Danika also mentioned she thought it looked fun during her momentary podcast invasion.

The cop theming is kinda whack, even if the art style is solid. Platinum isn’t known for it’s nuanced storytelling, so they will probably mess it up deeply, but here’s hoping they don’t???

On the pod, they talked a lot about the games they actually got hands on demos with at appointments, so my assumption was that there weren’t really any appointments for that game, or they didn’t take any.

Platinum makes really fun, frenetic action games. Astral Chain will probably be that, and probably be very fun. I don’t expect any commentary on police. ¯\ _ (ツ) _ /¯

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I seriously doubt a game by people who made Revengance and is directed/written by people who did Nier Automata and the Bayonetta games is going to turn out to be pro cop.

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Hell yeah Astral Chain looks sweet. Playing as a cop seems really weird? But I think Platinum Games will probably make it fine.

From what I remember, last year I thought the trailer graphics looked rough, so the trailer this year looked so much better. The mechanic where you can chain enemies (or whatever it’s called) looks real sweet and I’m really looking forward to seeing more about the combat

Why do you say this? I don’t think the game is going to necessarily be pro-cop, but like… have you seen some of these games? They’re hardly what I would call progressive.

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Good point. Honestly? I don’t really know what to make of it. The gameplay and concept looks sweet, but I guess we’ll need to wait to see what kind of take the game has on cops.

If you’re referring to Platinum games in general I’ve played them all. And while I’m not going to waste anyone’s time pretending there’s anything relevant to like, Vanquish or Anarchy Reigns, I would say that the three games I listed have more going on in them than people give them credit for if you’re just looking at them in general terms of “is it progressive.” So unlike something like Cyberpunk 2077 I don’t think it’d be naive to give Platinum the benefit of the doubt until the game drops. Just because, like, what mid to high budget games I think the bar is already so low it’s basically on the ground anyway, so those three games really stood out to me.

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To clarify, I’m not saying those games don’t have more complex themes going on, but I’m questioning that they show significant evidence of being politically or socially conscious. I haven’t known them to have a history of that kind of thing. Though, Metal Gear Rising is overtly political.

Vanquish is literally a game about America using the pretense of war to maintain a global hegemony and madworld comments on how privatised healthcare profits from perpetuating disease. for gods sake astral chain’s trailers overtly point out that the cops are not the good guys

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for gods sake astral chain’s trailers overtly point out that the cops are not the good guys

where? I haven’t seen any trailers that touch on anything about policing at all.

okay, fine, i’m wrong. maybe I’m just eager to dismiss because of the objectification of women so common in these games. and how I’ve noticed a tendency for folks in circles (this forum included) to be far more forgiving of bullshit if it’s got an anime veneer.

if the game comes out and is a damning critique of the police, consider my hat eaten. I just don’t see those themes coming through right now

once again: ¯\ _ (ツ) _ /¯

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I’m not even going to entertain this notion that “people give anime games an easy pass” considering the fact i have had to tell multiple people on this forum to stop being straight up racist about japanese media and people constantly dismiss games as being “too anime” regardless of their content. stop using anime as a negative modifier

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If anything “eager to dismiss” is this forums MO. I often wonder if anyone on here actually even likes games.

Edit: This post is a bit more inflammatory than I’d have liked, tbh. I know y’all like games. This is a forum for discussing them. It just seems to me that lately, especially during E3, a lot of us (myself included) were quick to pick up the torches and pitchforks for games that aren’t even going to be out for a while (even if some of them deserve it).

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I mean, this person’s just about a game and saying what they think about Platinum’s other games, I wouldn’t really call that eager to dismiss…

I love PlatinumGames’ stuff and can post at length about why here but folks seriously losing sleep here because someone wasn’t crazy about the amount of T&A in Bayonetta? Whether it’s handled well in context (which I personally think it was) or not let people enjoy or not enjoy things.

What on earth are you talking about?

I’m not using anime as a negative modifier at all, and the fact that you’re accusing me of doing such is communicating a whole lot to me.

Literally all I was saying is that I am frustrated by people I’ve talked to being more accepting of bigotry when it does appear in anime or Japanese games. This is something I have personally seen, mostly elsewhere, but occasionally on this forum.

Let me be perfectly explicit: I am saying that is a bias of mine, specifically towards PlatinumGames (whose games I like a lot, for the record), that I am acknowledging exists and admitting led to comments that are not productive to the conversation. Particularly recent times I noticed it caused it to be fresh on my mind, and I was eager to dismiss such readings of Astral Chain’s promotional material due to this. I am acknowledging that this is baggage from past interactions I am carrying and that it was obfuscating my ability to engage with readings of these games and the promotional material for this game. Okay?

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I sometimes wish the pre-release promo cycle did not exist.

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I’m confused about why people are so confused about playing as a cop in a game. Since the beginning of games there have been games where you play as cops. Sometimes you are a cop because the developers are pushing some reactionary politics, but usually it’s because it complements or justifies the gameplay narratively. We play as military adjacent authority figures all the time in games, even in Destiny and Psychonauts, because it gives a simple justification for gun and power having persons to use common videogame verbs.

It seems like people think that because Astral Chain has characters with “Police” written on their chests that this game will be making, or needs to make, some kind of definitive statement about the nature of law enforcement. In a game where big red hands pop out of portals and snatch people up. And where some mad scientist figured out how to capture some interdimensional demons so people living in a space city could stop being taken by big red hands. I’m not saying we shouldn’t question the the framework of games, just that this seems like a particularly weird one for all the pre-release discussion to be about it’s politics. We’ll see what it does with the premise soon.

As far as gameplay goes, I’m super curious how well basically controlling to characters at once will work. It seems like you’ll be relying a lot on the AI which could go either way

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Yeah, the police are super prevalent in games, and yeah Astral chain has big red hands, but I do feel the response makes sense.

I mean, you’re a cop in a police station in Resident Evil 2 and I never was asking what it politics re: police were since the game was about shooting zombies. But if the game was about throwing the zombies in magic handcuffs because the only way to deal with zombies is technology that turns the zombies against one another I would be a lil curious as to what it’s politics were.

Also, the chaining and whatnot is the core mechanic so even if it turns out to be a you-were-the-bad-guy-all-along game, it seems like you’re probably just going to keep doing it throughout? Maybe it’ll go Frog Fractions on us but that seems unlikely.

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I see what you’re saying, but in the Resident Evil example I don’t think there would be much interesting to say with that premise if you’ve established zombies as simple irredeemable monsters. Sometimes big ideas can be snuggled into a work through allegory or abstraction, and sometimes things are just pulpy. This seems to lean hard into pulp and I would not be shocked if it turns out that, yes there are troubling aspects to fighting space demons with space demons you’ve harnessed with a glowing chain. But I really doubt that that twist is going to lead to a deeper story about enslavement, community policing, or structural power dynamics. Unless there is a lot of work done to make the monsters three dimensional characters in and of themselves there probably isn’t much room for social commentary. And I’m not really convinced that there needs to be.

Oh! I didn’t know there was already discussion about this game going on. Still getting used to these forums!

for gods sake astral chain’s trailers overtly point out that the cops are not the good guys

I think there’s the typical “power hungry higher-ups” narrative in the trailers, but not much more.