Saturday, September 15, 2012

Forgotten for a Reason...

Solitary Winner so far of the "Steam Pile of B-Games Backlog" Event spurred on by the fact that I have forgotten how to utilize my free time when I have it, thanks to my wife and child being on vacation!

So in a follow-up to my Wednesday blog (the "forgotten games" I re-downloaded to give a second shot) I am remembering why a lot of these are forgotten. Heh.

Kane & Lynch (both of 'em)--difficult to want even try to play when a monumentally better game in the form of Max Payne 3 exists. I got past the point I was stuck on in "Dead Men," the first one, and it just got worse from there. #2 could be better for all I know (I doubt it) but #1 makes me not want to care. The game feels like it had a crew who really cared about the story and voice acting, at odds with a design team for gameplay who couldn't be bothered to fix the game's many weird issues and poor design features. These games taught me an important lesson: don't play crap if you don't have to. Life's too short.

Warhammer 40K Space Marine--this game looks and feels like something I should like and I even found the jetpack, yet I was overwhelmed with ennui as I played and the only satisfaction I got was in once again uninstalling it. Weird.

The Haunted: Hell's Reach--I like this game, but its a hollow arcade experience solo, and in order to properly enjoy this I need other friends who own this game, which I do not. Yet again I marvelled at how clean an experience it is, and how it would be so much better if the game even offered a semblance of story or direction to keep the solo player motivated. Uninstalled once more.

Homefront--As I slogged through this marvelling at the terrible pacing, poor storytelling and ridiculous level of on-rails shooting thinly disguised as "open" by letting you walk left or right while waiting for the NPCs to do stuff for you (like, say, open doors and stuff) I realized I'm getting really tired of this sort of game. In fact, I realized I was feeling the same way about Warhammer 40K Space Marine earlier....trying to rocket jump and realize I was doomed as usual to rocket jump in the highly confined space the game would allow was a reminder that none of these games were designed by Bethesda. Uninstalled! If steam had a trash bin I'd be chucking it, if only to insure I don't try reloading in the future.

There is one winner so far, though:

Red Faction: Armageddon--if you pretend like it has Absolutely Nothing to do with the previous Red Faction titles its kinda fun, as you watch the clueless and accident-prone Darius Mason stumble blindly through an alien invasion from Mars's core. Pretending its not part of the Red Faction universe goes a long way toward ignoring the many, many confusing questions and plot holes such an association raises. If you assume that it takes place in the Space Ghost universe but with better graphics then it even seems to be kinda coherent and well reasoned. Yay! I shall keep playing this one too, until the ennui sets in, I imagine.

Okay, so I'm not totally done with rechecking discarded games in my Steam Pile, but I do think I've re-evaluated the effort I'm putting into them. Think I'd rather focus on Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3 and Max Payne 3 instead.

Darius Mason: he's a winner at being a loser

I just realized I like RF:A because it provides a distinct character, and even if I don't identify with him, he comes off as kinda fallible, like he's not really that amazing, he's just cursed with being in the wrong place at the wrong time....a lot. By contrast I wanted to like Kane & Lynch because the characters were interesting, but the game kept getting in the way. And as for Homefront, the protagonist was effectively inscrutable and appeared to have no voice or opinions whatsoever, no matter what sort of heinous atrocity was transpiring in front of him. I guess Homefront wants that character to be a cypher you can project yourself into, but the game's on-rails heavy-handed control of story direction prevents you from ever feeling like you're on anything more than some sort of acid-tripping slasher-flick adult ride version of Disneyland. And as for Warhammer 40K...I kept wondering why these dudes wouldn't wear their helmets. I mean, it's not like they're freaking Gears, amiright?!?!?

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