The Let's Play Archive

Bureau 13

by Bacter

Part 16: Bonus 3: The inventory

Alright, there's a lot of bonus material flying in your guys' general direction coming up soon.

First: I want to talk about an element of the game I've briefly mentioned in the thread, but never really given the attention that it deserves.


The way the inventory works, you have to enter the menu by clicking the top of the screen to access it. Then you can see seven items, like this.

The game arranges them for you, and not in any order I can fathom. Not by when you pick them up, not by when they're useful in the game, not by item type... I can't figure it out.

Additionally, you have to scroll through the inventory by clicking those left and right arrow keys, one item at a time. No clicking and holding. Which would be fine, except that you get... well take a look.

SIXTY EIGHT ITEMS. This is not items that are in the game total. There are some items that you have to discard as you play through (the talisman, which you give to the shopkeeper), and I'm not counting those. We'll pick up I think three more items in the game, all essential ones, and I didn't count those.

This is what it is possible for an agent to have all at once at this point in the game. That means if you're on the far end of your inventory screen, as in, you can see items 1-7, it would take you at most SIXTY ONE CLICKS to get to the other end of the inventory. And if you mess up and click outside the small detection boxes? The item goes away and it's back to your inventory! Now to be fair, it doesn't reset you to items 1-7, your place is saved, but still it's a hassle.

Now: a few caveats. Yes, this is me getting as many items as possible in my inventory. It's quite likely that on a playthrough, a character would have... let's say ten fewer items than this. And that's being generous. Adventure games train you to pick up EVERYTHING, so honestly it's more likely that you'll have missed two or three of the black items and have used a few of the yellows, so we'll say five fewer.

NO item requires you to go particularly out of your way to get, and I didn't have to do any fancy tricks to get these 68. I just picked up everything that I found.

This wouldn't be so bad, except there's no way to drop or store ANY of this stuff. The best you can do, and what I normally do, is make one agent the pack mule for the useless crap (any files or items I've already used), and have one agent carry the useful stuff.

I THINK this is a record. I know of no game that allows you to carry sixty-eight custom-tooled items.

By that I mean, obviously in Skyrim, Diablo, or MMOs, you can get 68 items without breaking a sweat. But items are handled very differently in those games. They're part of the economy, and a recognized mechanic is getting boat loads of them and selling them for cash.

In Skyrim, if you are ever carrying sixty eight QUEST items, you're doing it wrong. I don't even know if that's possible. Same goes for MMOs, assuming we count stacks of items as one item.

Also, notice a little about the item proportion. There are basically NO useful items in our inventory for later in the game (and two of these are gonna get used back to back, so that leaves only two for the last chapter).

There are SLIGHTLY more team-specific items, and honestly most of those are only there for a hacker/witch pair up.

There are a TON of items we used in the past that can now safely be discarded from the inventory (either with or without comment by the character - we won't mind!).

And theeeeen the useless items. At least the ones with a P give you some insight into the storyline. These are commonly collected into one item in other games, like "files" or "notebook" or something like that, that you can scroll through. A FAR superior tactic.

And notice, the single largest group of items in your inventory at any time are the items for which there is never any use. None. The garlic can't be used on anybody, nor the flashlight. I included items that certain characters can use but never have to, like the foil which the hacker can make into a new fuse, but there's a fuse he can just pick up, so it's redundant.

I... can't help but think there could have been some way to handle this.