Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Two Weeks of Forgotten Games

The Original Chainsaw Sword

Starting tonight and going on for a couple weeks I'm going to be all by myself for a bit, as my wife and son are travelling with his grandma (my mother-in-law) to visit relatives stretching from Texas to Oklahoma. It's in the middle of a particularly vicious work cycle for me, so my attendance isn't possible.

What this means, of course, is Free Time, which also means lots of gaming. In preparation for this I looked through my bountiful Steam collection and picked out a few ignored gems, games I picked up either because a) they were on stupid cheap sale (i.e. $5 or less), b) was interested but on actual initial play-through couldn't get into at that time, or c) game was one of those titles which no one seemed to like but which I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt because of option a.

So over the next few days I plan to see how many of these titles are worthy of my attention* (hint: some of them are very worthy, I've just been saving them for a rainy day; others.....not so much):

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine
I have played a bit of this. It's a pretty solid game, but I've never been that into the Warhammer mythos. This is one of those games with a robust multiplayer component, and I'll be curious to see if there's any community left playing it.

Meet generic hero, wait! Darius Mason

Red Faction: Armageddon
Same thing here. This game suffered (in my opinion) for a bad opening level (because after you get past that it gets into more space-marine vs. aliens shootery fun) and for being inappropriately wedded to the Red Faction franchise, which irrevocably harmed that franchise despite the fact that this game is pretty solid (if unremarkable) on its own merits as a GoW-like.

Kane & Lynch; Dead Men
There's an early bank robbery level I'd always get stuck at. Going to try and get past that point for the umpteenth try.

Kane & Lynch 2
I tried the opening level briefly. This game like its predecessor is kind controversial but its distinct in that while many reviewers hated it a few really were impressed with how utterly dark and miserable it is. I'm willing to retry it in the wake of my Spec Ops: The Line experience as well as the new-found love I have for all things Max Payne 3.

I reloaded this one; would still like to finish it. It's a game that suffers because id tried to make it more sandbox-y/theme park-like, when all they really needed was a good hardcore classic shooter (the parts that do that in this game are fantastic). The driving is fun in this game, but I remain continually amazed that they didn't build it with proper multiplayer.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
I tried this one for a couple hours when it first came out and couldn't get into it...the game felt "off" to me. Will give it another shot.

I really would like to meet Moxi and finish this game

I actually played a lot of this and got all the DLC back when it was newer. It's sequel is due soon and i never completed the game, going to see if I can attempt to now. The problem is I really didn't like the core conceit of this game, it's Diabloesque leveling mechanic and gear swaps. Also, it starts off with the promise of exotic and interesting stories and rapidly descends into easily one of the shallowest narrative experiences I've ever seen in a game that could have offered so much more. But I'll give it another try.

WIll try this one again. I got a couple hours in (which if reports are true is like halfway through the game) before the odd feel of the shooter mechanics began to irritate me, plus the fact that it just wasn't as good as the two prior games. The multiplayer seemed strong though, wonder if its still got any life in it. I could do a whole topic on "forgotten multiplayer experiences."

Homefront wanted to be "Call of Duty: The Future" so desperately. It feels very solid except where it doesn't; being such a close imitator forces one to draw comparisons while playing. I got tired of it before because it was so on-rails (much as CoD) but just not as interesting. We'll see if I can finish it. Also curious to see how alive the multiplayer is, there were quite a few dedicated fans on the last time I checked.

I only recently got this but I'm including it because I haven't tried it yet except for a brief multiplayer game that felt like I was playing Gears of War with a reskin, and was also not too fun because a single player, either by means of skill or cheats, was dominating the play experience. That said, it being another GoW-like means I ought to enjoy it since I love GoW-likes.

I could do an entire article on the specialized genre of GoW-likes and why most of them fail miserably, especially when they draw too many close comparisons to their parent game. Good example: Spec Ops: The Line is a GoW-like that works well and doesn't draw comparisons. By contrast there is Quantum Theory, which was a horrible game, and played like a badly hacked version of the Gears of War code with pathetic low-rez reskins. So I'll be curious to see where Inversion falls in this range.

My name is Alex wait, different game. If this guy ends up being names Marcus, Alex or Mason I will ragequit I swear!

*One might ask why I don't take two-weeks' worth of free time and dedicate it to some decidedly decent games, or even games which I frequent regularly anyway. The answer is easy: much as with films there is an entire fanbase who love B movies and all the glorious badness they offer. The same can be said of games, although with the caveat that I don't generally enjoy games which aren't at least playable. Nonetheless, there's something really amusing about playing....say....Red Faction: Armageddon and noticing the painfully bad dialogue moments or incredibly gaping plot holes. As an example, toward the end of the prequel mission, (spoiler alert not that anyone cares) you end up losing the last great terraformer after Darius learns that the wounded soldier he talks to earlier wasn't really the wounded soldier at all, his boss informs him, while reminding him that they are the only two good guys around. It was pretty amusing because near as I could tell someone writing this must have thought it was quite clever to throw this bit in, despite the fact that it really made the hero look like a knuckle head (an impression that sticks from there on out) and also lead to the fascinating question of how the lead bad guy, by context, must have gone through some interesting efforts to fake being a wounded soldier just so he could punk Darius. I mean, when we see him next, he's in his evil bad guy garb blowing up the terraformer....which means he had to take off his soldier uniform, which he probably wouldn't have been wearing anyway, right, since the base was swarming with goons who would shoot someone in such a uniform, right?

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure why the hell they were all in there fighting each other anyway. Or who the guys with the extremely inflexible spiked armor were, or why they all knew Darius by name and on sight (and even when he wasn't yet directly visible). Talk about living down a family legacy....!

So yeah. The introduction of an alien invasion from Mars's Core (did I mention RF:A is another GoW-like?) is probably a good turn for this game.

No comments:

Post a Comment