30/11/2019

Faces of Onslaught

November and with it IntPiPoMo is coming to an end, and even though I've been more prolific this month than I was during the rest of the year, I haven't quite been able to stick to my resolution of illustrating my posts with more screenshots - what can I say, I'm clearly too fond of dazzling my readers with walls of text.

So to reach my IntPiPoMo goal of at least fifty pictures, I'm going to round out the month with this one screenshot-heavy post, dedicated to facial expressions and body language in Onslaught. I always love the way characters in SWTOR manage to convey so much outside the dialogue with these.

I have no idea what creating this level of detail in cut scenes is like from a developer's point of view, but I like to imagine that there's one guy or gal at Bioware whose sole job it is to tug at limbs, mouths and eyeballs for each and every one just so to make sure that all characters have the right expressions. These screenshots might be slightly spoiler-ish.


I love the way this simple shot is set up. Malgus is towering over everyone looking ridiculously threatening, but Anri stays relaxed while chatting with you anyway. If I recall correctly she does straighten up when Malgus addresses her, but you can tell that she's not particularly scared of him. She still seemed somewhat nervous on Ossus, but Malgus has once again shown himself to be respectful of his assets and immune to the superiority complex that seems to affect so many Sith, making him not such a bad commander to have as a non-Sith. I always thought that he and Marr should have got along great if Malgus hadn't had that major lapse of judgement on Ilum... but this is turning into quite a tangent!

 

I don't recall what exactly bothered my Guardian at this point in the conversation, but you can tell from her pose that she wasn't happy.


Taking it another step further, my Commando is looking quite distressed here! I'm not 100% sure but I think this shot is from when you first enter the throne room on Onderon.

I can't remember now whether it was with the launch of KotFE or a bit later, but at some point Bioware gave their facial expressions a major upgrade. Unfortunately they then went a bit overboard with them for a while, as evidenced by many an exaggerated O-face in both "Knights of" expansions - I wasn't exactly bothered by these, but they did often seem somewhat comical when the scene was supposed to be serious. I'm glad that Bioware seems to have toned it down again since then, as my trooper's expression here is about as "strong" as it gets.


I like how your character does this slight gloating pose over Darth Savik after defeating her (might depend on chosen dialogue options).


Darth Shaar is smooth as silk and the game gives her some great shots while she introduces Imperials to Mek-Sha.

 

I mentioned in a previous post that my Sage made quite a funny face when she recognised Tharan, and this is it. This is her "Tharan, I'm so glad to see you" face. Can't you just tell how fond she is of him?


In this shot however she looks very thoughtful, which I liked. I'm not sure why her forehead came out quite so shiny though.


I do love fighting at Malgus's side on my Sith characters. They look united in their wrath. Too bad my Marauder is unlikely to feel as favourably about him next time they meet...


Darth Anathel is only a minor character in Onslaught but I love how bored and condescending he manages to look in this shot. Like a space version of Jacob Rees-Mogg, which seems quite appropriate. (Sorry, joke for my UK readers.)


One thing I didn't really notice consciously while playing but that was quite apparent when I went through my screenshots afterwards is the careful framing involving Republic flags and Imperial logos while your character talks to their faction leader at the end to discuss the Alliance's future in relation to their old home. I just thought that was a nice touch.


Finally, a simple smile! I think I mentioned before how this isn't an expression our characters or their associates get to assume often - maybe because we are often on serious business, maybe because Bioware generally wants to leave it up to the player how they think their character feels at any given moment. However, every now and then they dare to insert a simple smile as our characters (or their companions) would be unquestionably pleased with a situation, and this was one of those moments.

2 comments :

  1. Huh, funny! I didn't feel my consular being quite that indifferent when I met Theran -- if this is because the human-expression is more efficient or just because *I* was really glad to see him and projected that into her (choosing the most effusive answers as well), which ended up giving a more warm effect to the scene.
    However, the thoughtful expression is the same and I think it identifies just WHO the consular is. It's lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Well, I was happy to see Tharan too and expected a warm reunion - which is why my Sage's facial expresses was all the weirder and funnier to me. As in: Is there something about him she isn't telling me? XD

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