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Other PC Games Thread.
So with the film and music threads still going and being discussed... why don't we get some discussion going on something on topic to the board? What other games are you playing now?
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After trying to place a bucket on Barney's head, peeking at Alyx' butt and getting driven over by a train with my fat bbox, I just have been levitated against a ceiling and crushed from the weight of the world. Well, one bug in the 10 maps I played in these 45 minutes is not too bad.

I played this far several times already so it was very boring and annoying not to be able to skip the damn scripted sequences. So my grumpyness is over the top. I am looking forward to playing more.

Is it me or is the "action music" not really fitting the theme? 
You never played HL2? 
He Isnt The Only One 
meant to play it over christmas but computer broke down. Pushed back to Easter now. 
What DaZ Said 
I just wonder why Steam doesn't add a proper age verification system to allow people to buy such games. Probably a gray area still, but then again, it's not so much different from imports (which are legal). Hell, they're losing so much money as they now can't charge exaggerated Euro prices from a not-so-small

I think a gifted copy will still work (like L4D2). Though a few people mentioned that, in the case of Saint's Row 2, it actually didn't.

Spirit: Cut back on the Steam/Valve hater attitude and you'll be able to appreciate the game more. ;) Well, and once you're through the canal section... The Ravenholm and the uprising bits are pretty cool. 
In This Case. 
+1 vote for piracy.

+2 votes for trying to change the stupid german rules, but that's a bit harder for the average gamer. 
Woflmaostein was a really cool game. 
for control mechanisms like steam :) 
It's A Good Service 
If they've figured out how to sell good games for a measly $2 US then they're awesome.

That we have to put up with bullshit enforced upon them by whatever country we happen to be then the blame isn't difficult to direct.

For example a friend bought Psychonaughts but the credit card charge was more than the cost of the game.

I remember when they brought Steam to the Russian market (link please) and basically said 'there's only alot of piracy there because they can't get hold of the game legally'. 
That boatcarwhatever sequence was painful. Please tell me there are no more vehicle sections or at least none as stupid as this one. The physics puzzles feel very forced, out of place in a "realistic" game. Grenades love to bounce from corners that are not in their way.

Gorgeous textures and brushwork. 
Spirit: Agreed. Especially about the physics puzzles. But do remember: in 2004 physics was a "new" thing. 
There's an equally long car sequence later on, but it's slightly better than the hovercraft one.
See here for reference: 
Have To Say 
I just played the boat part again and I thought it was awesome.
what was it that bothered you so much ( other than the lame floating barrel puzzle)? 
i like the boat section, especially how the sun slowly goes down as you play so that it's nighttime when you reach the base.

also, the section half way through where you escape into these leaky tunnels and the chopper flies away. the whole chopper chase is very loud but that one section with the physics puzzle is really really quite and moody. very cool audio contrast.
it's not a subtle effect, but i love it every time it's done in a game. 
Bioshock 2 
Hacked Rochelle:

"Tank!!!! Tank!!!! TatatatataTank! Tank Tank Tank Tank TANK!!!!" 
In That Situation. 
I would shoot the gas canister *clever* 
Achievement Unlocked 
More Hl2 
Finally got through the whole awful car stuff. Reminded me of the bad things in GTA:SA. The locked animation when exiting the car is ugly, consoleritis for crosshair centering?

Zombies and the other stuff in Ravenholm were utterly disgusting. The parts with the shaking rain gutters somewhat comedic. Felt like Painkiller there.

Oh, another broken road tanker! Oh, more broken cars! Oh, another abandoned building with enemies in it! Oh, I am on a bridge and pressing a button. Oh, another gunship. I was expecting it earlier because there was that rocket chest.

I died out of nowhere after avoiding the train on the bridge by simply driving backwards into safety. Before I managed to get the car sideways between railing and train, I had 6hp left but the game killed me. Fuck it! I also died once because I was adventurous enough to attempt a dive into the water, well, midair fade to black.

So far HL2 seems like a Halo to me. Is it really the age or is it just a not-so-great game after all. I found it extremely boring and without any immersion so far. Super random encounters with enemies in a big empty landscape. Oh, tunnel, "loading"!

No clue why I am driving around there, I think I am trying to find someone. Or I am running away. 
"No clue why I am driving around there, I think I am trying to find someone. Or I am running away."

Maybe you're not enjoying it because you're not paying attention? 
Ah, I forgot that the game crashed hard right after the Ravenholm church and that I had to use a cheat to unlock the next chapter. Savegames were corrupt and the alternative was to replay Ravenholm. So I missed why I am in the car. Now that I come to think about it, well, that's why I have no clue. 
Overall I felt HL2 was a decent game but I thought it was incredibly over hyped and over rated. My main complaint was the very gimmicky and often-copied Gravity Gun. I did not find it very appealing tbh - all the driving stuff was sort of meh to me too.

Loved Ravenholm though, that bit was awesome. 
On A Separate Note 
StarCraft 2 beta supposedly launches towards the end of the month. Anyone else excited?? Even remotely in the niblets? 
Isn't There An HL2 Thread? :) 
I thought it was a fun, gimmicky FPS. Every chapter featured some gameplay gimmick, several of these built on previous ones (e.g. hovercraft -> dune buggy.) I thought this was nice, kept things interesting. I also liked most of the locales, especially the prison level and some of the industrial stuff.

The game has flaws and some maps are kind of weak, but overall i never got bored. 
Only Thing That Annoyed Me 
Was the super gravity gun and all the levels featured.

Big anticlimax. 
super gravity gun as the end to hl2: let down
super gravity gun as the into to ep1: surprisingly fun.

not sure if it's just because i already understood how it worked by that point in ep1, but it seemed more satisfying to progress from the super gravity gun to normal weapons than the other way around. 
Going from complex gameplay to simple felt wrong - from simple to complex much better.

Simple as in the range of options available. 
More Hl2 
~~~ for megaman ~~~

I managed to get through the car sequence and to some buddies. Right there we got ambushed by dropships. Are those invincible? I shot 3 rockets in one and it did not crash. Then I got killed by some clipping bug on the lighthouse (where I had to rocket down a gunship for the 3rd(?) time in the last 30 game minutes.

Then came the part where I must not touch the sand because antlions will spawn (with screen shake and a grumbling sound!). I got through the first part alright but then felt down in that little area where the houses are. A fuckton of antlions spawned and hit me from everywhere while I was trying to cover my ass and run into a building. These things feel like slowdown-mechanisms more than anything (right now). I then hit the button and that stomping thing was enabled. Ok, that is kinda cool, earlier I thought those things were generators. I assumed the beach was safe now and was killed by antlions that spawned as soon as I stepped onto the sand.

That uber-antlion fight was stupid. I ran from it, got bumped into the back, then realised someone else was shooting at it. So I ran closer to the gunner and the thing followed me. Then it got stuck and did not attack me anymore, sheepishly loosing health and finally dying (its animations reminded me of the Droles in Quoth, no way to tell if it is dying right now or not).

Ok, so now I can attract and "command" antlions. Ooook, that's gonna show the enemy. I guess there will be some puzzle where I have to use them. Might be that I played too many "next gen" shooters in the meantime, but those enemies with their glowing headlights and no faces feel really stupid and clichee.

One thing I have to mention is that the cliffside and also that part on the bridge earlier really impressed my vertigo sense (?). That rarely happens in games but always feels kinda cool. Like "Oh my god, I'm gonna fall down!!" I am not sure how much of it is plain uneasyness and unfamiliarity with the controls/movement. Or even dreading loading times (which seems a good thing as it makes me dive into the game some more).

Now I am at that Nova Prospect beach where the enemy built silly short-range bunkers. I mean wtf, are they there as antlion shooting range or what. The guns are very uneffective (or the enemy guys have 5 layers of fat...) so what are they doing there. The antlions proved to be very useless and more of a distraction here. It felt like there were new ones randomly spawned for me. I approached the next loading trigger (I can smell those) and let it rest for now.

The crossbow is a lot less fun than the one in HL1. (The arrow looks like a lava stick?) The projectile is affected by gravity like a czg, you cannot even shoot straight for 100m and it flies very slow too.

Weapon changing takes ages. I should see if there is at least a cvar to make switching instant. Oh, kudos to Valve to keep the good id order of "mouse up -> previous and mouse down -> next". 
Today's session was much more fun. Feels like a FPS now. Open and a bit like Titan Quest though (tree, hill, grass, enemy horde, crates, goto 10). I hope there will be good old close combat, restricted indoors short-story driven gaming later. 
I Absolutely Fucking Loved HL2 
all of it. there wasn't a single part that didn't work for me. but then that probably had something to do with it being the only fps of last decade i actually played so i don't really have anything to compare it with :)

if i HAD to pick one criticism i'd share with you spirit it would be the sand generator type machines. they seemed to have no purpose; i too assumed they would activate some sort of electricity current that would stop any nearby antlions from rising; felt quite miffed when they didn't.

but i get the feeling the crashing/random death bugs you've experienced have dented your enjoyment of it to the point where every negative aspect seems worse than what it would have been :P 
Haha yes. I've been super negative about the game right from the damn speedboat sequence onwards.

Yesterday I went through Nova Prospect. Used godmode at the "defend 4 entrances with 3 turrets that get constantly knocked over" moment after dying 10 times.

A lot of the gameplay was waiting for a shitload of antlions to run and die. I took a turret with me as long as I could, that was kinda nice.

Could someone fill me in on the story. Why was the black guy in that combine thing?

That "plot twist" with the woman in white was totally unpredictable... I expected her to betray "us" right after her first sentences in the game. Bah, silly clichee.

Got crushed by the moving castle... err citadel because I got stuck in debris. And then I spent a long time to stack crates in the high elevator shaft (where dog falls down later) just to fall into the loading screen and not damaging me at all.
Puzzles feel awfully gimmicky, just out of place in a world that tries to hard to seem realistic.

Also the "that old puzzle but this time with this marginal difference" parts (disabling the force fields by taking out the plug, shooting the plug, throwing a grenade around (fucking stupid physics btw)) are bleh.

It crashed again (corrupting the savegame) so I need to build up some motivation. How much of the game is left, I just got the squad?

PS: The one death I described earlie (being levitated and crushed) actually was one of those things that hang on ceilings. There is no visual hint that it grabbed you nor a sound, pfff. 
"Could someone fill me in on the story. Why was the black guy in that combine thing? "

I ... don't want to be insulting here but you've asked several highly obvious questions about the story so far in this thread. Are you watching the cut scenes and listening to what people say? I get the impression that while they're talking, you're over in the corner jumping around or something. 
Pack It Up Pack It In 
C'mon it's a great song, can't blame anyone. 
spirit, you seem to be experiencing an inordinate amount of bugs and crashes... my first play through, i think the game crashed once after a particularly long play session (probably due to memory fragmentation, i didn't have much ram in those days) and maybe got stuck once or twice (and then i just noclipped quickly to get unstuck).
it's hard for me to take your posts seriously because it seems like you're just making shit up. :P 
I am using Wine (Windows "emulation" on Linux). So it's not Valve's fault I guess. 
Spirit. You got pwnd by a barnacle. You really suck. 
Uhm Spirit 
The barnacle has a clearly visible tentacle and it does sucking sounds when it grabs you. If you didn't see/hear them, you probably might want to consider not playing HL2 through Wine. 
Stop wining ;) 
i played it on windows and agree with a lot of spirit's comments. 
Command And Conquer 
After C&C 1 and 2, EA has now released Tiberian Sun as freeware. Nice move. 
No StarCraft 2 Beta for me -.- 
thanks negke 
UT3 Linux 
recent thread from Gentoo forums:

So it's been a couple of years after Epic promised a Linux port. They still maintain one is coming.

My question is, why TF are they lying? It's not coming and hasn't been coming.

The natives are getting restless. 
All 12 of them? :) 
Yeah, the others are busy playing ETQW.

I think the moaning is because it's seen as vapourware. When id says there will be a Linux port, there usually is one, otherwise they don't say so. 
Avp3 SP - how is it? Worth the 27 bucks or wait a few months? 
GG Ubisoft for heralding a new era of fucking with regular customers for zero gain. Ass ass in screed indeed. What's next? requiring people who bought the game to go to the nearest game store to be able to play it there...? 
Finished HL2 the other day. Can't be arsed to write much more. The NPCs were stupid and annoying, saying "sorry" and blocking you all the time. The zickzacking part before that fancy house with the generators felt oh so artificial. Striders seemed only to go down if I shot them, not the NPCs. Elevator up the citadel was kinda cool. Long train ride inside not. Nor the "wait for the elevator and defend that place" sequence. Beardy guy's omnipresence such a silly 1984/THX1138/etc clichee.

Ending is a kick in the balls.

The best moment was when Judith and Eli sat there (after the Doctor escaped, again, what a fucking bad clichee scene...) giving each other bedroom eyes until Eli looked at me with an apologethic "fuck off, i know she is desperate but i am too" face.

Anyways, thanks to Friction for gifting me the game. If anyone wants the Steam account just raise your hand.

The episodes are just more of the like, is that correct? 
Forgot My Verdict 
You ain't missing anything if you never played HL2. Unless you like b-stories, 5 enemy types, lots of ingame "cutscenes", boats, cars, boats, scripted sequences and an anti-climax ending. 
"Striders seemed only to go down if I shot them, not the NPCs."

That's kind of the point. You're playing the game, not watching it. :) 
You were the only person who had never played HL2, and probably the only person who didn't like it ;). 
For me works the same as a great film, whenever I play it, it still after all this time holds my interest and is still fun. Quake is the only other game that has been able to do this for me, so that is my 2p =) 
Yeah, Half-Life 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. People who don't like it confuse me. 
... was very innovative at its time... and for sure it a very good game...
However, like "old" games, it is deprecated compared to new ones... though... aren't we playing/mapping/discussing a very old game here ? 
never played it. 
Is a good game. You can only even describe it as 'average' if you only play excellent, top notch games.

Ones graded on a real 0-100 scale and not a games journalism one of 60-100. 
I think the criticism of B movie storyline is a bit problematic.

I mean, I feel like it's pretty difficult to have a very popular, 3d ACTION SHOOTER without incorporating ACTION movie style aspects. Which shooter games can you think of with stories that are NOT heavily influenced by the stereotypical action/sci fi cliches? I actually feel like the HL universe is giving into many of these in the later episodes to a greater degree than previously, but I also think that most of that has to do with the fact that a resolution is actually being formulated. I think I've said before that I just hope it doesn't end up like Xfiles/Lost etc. - shows that kept things very intersting using tension and ambiguity and open endedness, but kind of turned brittle and ridiculous by the end, IMHO.

Even if the series does give in to sci fi stereotypes, I think that those cliches have worth. Many things that seem cliche or corny etc started off as cocnepts original and effective to inspire way too many imitators, which kill the idea by regurgitating it without enough new being added.
The difference is that first person video games can allow you to experience those moments in a more direct and intimate fashion than many movies. I think this is the kernel that makes them more involving...
someone finish that thought for me - I have to go...

Also the game came out a pretty long time ago. SO some of the things that it "redid" first have been made into cliches all over again. I have to say that I've been replaying it myself, and DOOM 3, as well. And I think HL2 has aged WAY better! 
Spirit / other Linux users, how well does Steam / HL2 / L4D etc run under Wine? I have had mixed experiences... so I haven't really been eager to install that. I'm probably not a very avid gamer these days. I try to manage my time, too :-P

Besides, I'm in Germany, and I hear Steam is very cooperative with the German ministry of censorship. 
Apparently there's a good number of people who successfully play L4D with Wine. At least according to some statements I've read. Then again, considering how many glitches Spirit seems to have had in HL2, which is the same engine, it might be tricky on some machines.

As for the censorship. A large number of games aren't available to German users in the Steam store (IP block) and some that are, like L4D for example, only come in cut versions (no gore etc) if bought over Steam. However, in most cases games or keys bought in other regions can be gifted/registered at a German account and give you a fully functional uncut version. So if you know someone from abroad or simply buy a retail from amazon uk, everything's fine.

For me HL2 crashed almost as often as I was killed if you count kaputte savegames that crash too. Apart from that it was alright. Severe slowdowns sometimes.
Using Steam is a huge pain in the ass. 
Probably Redudant Question 
Steam did install all the game updates, didn't it? 
Shit is going down.
"Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations"

Started people going crazy on the forums, recap :
-Portal gets surprise update yesterday afternoon
-People see new mystery achievement
-People play and see the radio in the beginning room now has a green light
-Carry it around and notice it makes strange broadcast interference noises in certain places
-Locate and place all 26 of these mystery radios for achievement
-Smart people yank wav files out of game content folders and run them through steganography programs
-Produces 26 weird cryptic image files in a numbered sequence
-Some dude runs the number string through an md5 hash translator and gets a landline number
-Internet traces it to Kirkland, WA (near Valve HQ)
-People find out its not a phone/fax line but a data line hosting a BBS and telnet it
-Use a clue from one of the files to figure out the BBS user/password login info
-End up with a bunch of weird ASCII artwork
-We're trying to figure out wtf it means

I love Valve. 
Mirror's Edge 
Cool game with some fantastic level design in places and mediocre in others, the main problem being that some areas just didn't seem 'up to snuff' compared to others. Some of the jumping puzzles just didn't work the way I thought and I had to try them again and again to get the right spacing/timing while others that seemed really tough were very easy.

Story was wonky, not very exciting, cliche, didn't feel like I did anything and not really sure what happened at the end. Did the bad guy get his or what? Still unclear to me, but it's my understanding Mirror's Edge was planned as a trilogy - correct? Also the cartoon cutscenes were balls, didn't really fit in imo. Dante's Inferno also had bad cartoon cutscenes but much worse. Why do they these things to games?

Gameplay was fun for the most part. Running and jumping on stuff is fun. The combat was sparse thankfully but got really tedious when they introduced the all-melee fights. Not sure exactly why, though, it didn't seem to fit. Also felt like they straddled the fence on the actual shooting - felt too light that they probably shouldn't have included it imo, just added more running away/disarming type stuff. Faith doesn't seem the shooty type.

Visuals were great - awesome 'impression' of a city instead of it being an actual city. I don't care what dictator is running things, a city is not going to be all bright color-coded sterile hallways and rooftops. Still though, fucking amazing style that I'm sure would've been great to play with had there been a level editor (is there one?) Also some of the layouts were top notch and very Quakey imo. Having a sterile metropolis means you can do all kinds of weird spirey things and twisty layouts and still be believable to a degree. Top notch for the most part.

Good length too - I felt it was a bit short but only by about maybe half an hour. The story progression kind of went limp after a while (you rescue your sister, watch a cut scene, then whoa she's kidnapped again (WHAT THE EFF?) so a longer length maybe would've meant another impotent rescue plot and ANOTHER kidnapping plot afterward, sooooooo I'll let it slide.

Cool game, worth the $6 I paid for it during the Steam sale. 
Actually looking into it you can hack the UT3 editor to work with Mirror's Edge, but I'm unsure what's all involved. Might give it a spin. 
Mirror's Edge 
Yeah I think it's still one of the best looking games around.
I really don't understand why they had those shitty 2D cartoons spread throughout the game, the 3D is so gorgeous, they should have just stuck to that. 
What Bal Said 
the 2d is seriously balls, the 3d is beautiful. 
More Portal 
Valve has changed the ending to Portal, mega spoiler ahead :

Not that great an ending imo. 
it's disappointing they resorted to ret-conning the ending. 
I don't really see the trouble, it's not like they changed anything, they just added a bit on.
They could have as easily just added it to the start of whatever comes next and it wouldn't have bothered anyone, but this works nicely as a teaser. I think it's smart. 
Aliens Vs Predator 
Oh well, it's quite an okay game (SP) - I enjoyed it. Needless to say, it suffers from the obvious flaws most modern FPS have: MSD. Visually great, even though I could 'only' play it on DirectX 9. Cool finishing moves.
A game like this would benefit from at least some nonlinearity in its map design. After all, what's more scary than seemingly being lost in a dark base while chased by aliens? There are six maps in total which you play through in different ways and directions, and with slight changes, depending on the species. While it was done well, they could have done more here. I wished the campaigns were longer, especially the Alien campaign which was very cool. Considering this fact and the overall playtime, I wonder why it has such a huge filesize.
Good controls, although the melee combat takes some practice. I thought the Predator weapons are a bit of a let-down: I hardly every used the proximity mines; the spear feels silly because it doesn't have to be picked up again after a throw.
Story-wise it was nothing special and the way it was told, the audio diary collectables in particular, was kind of lame for the most part. I'm tired of being guided through a game over a radio. Also, ffs why Tenenbaum again..?
The marine AI is stupid and poorly done. You can kill one unnoticed while others stand right next to him. They don't even become alerted when they discover fallen buddies.

I haven't tried MP yet. Have to mentally prepare for being smashed by Bal. 
Mirror's Edge Editor And Mapping 
The thing about mapping for Mirror's Edge is that the lighting utility used on the maps to give them the distinctive HDR look is not shipped with the game, so you CAN map for it, but you will have real trouble matching the style of the original game.

Apparently though, some people have managed to cook up some custom shaders that make custom maps look very close to how they are supposed to look when processed by the proprietary lighting tool.

Another gotcha is actually playing custom content in Mirror's Edge. There is no actual menu to select and play any custom usermade content, so what actually has to be done is this:

1) Backup a timetrial map of your chosing
2) Save your map under the same name as the timetrial map, essentially replacing it
3) Launch the game and load the timetrial map via the menu, which now will obviously launch your map instead. 
it's like doom mapping all over again :) 
Cool game, worth the $6 I paid for it during the Steam sale.
you're awesome, thank you. 
OK, I was looking forwards to this game since pretty much when it was announced (although I actually got very worried for a while because I figured it meant that they had scrapped Colonial Marines).

I agree with all of Negkes observations pretty much. I have only played through the Marine episode, and I did that in two sittings (!).

I must admit though that the marine episode was great fun, mainly because of the quality of the maps and overall immersion, and the A.I. of the aliens, which was very good indeed, you could tell it was the sme crew that made the original AvP PC game about 10 years ago (fuck has it really been that long!?). Aliens use the darkness to there advantage, even when it is the AI, they will scirt across dark patches on the cieling and then come up behind you. They dont make much noise, only deep growling, the weird elephant-pig sound they make when they get shot in Aliens, the other sounds being very subtle. So yeah - make sure you have a clean pair of trousers handy! There are also parts when you get attacked by many aliens at once which is very retro-doom style gameplay, you really get a cool sense of awesomeness as they are closing in on you from all angles........

Scripted sequences worked well for me, and although the voice acting could possibly have been better (I read someone complaining about that somewhere) I felt that it was very engaging nonetheless. The weapons felt good - just like the movie Aliens.
I also like the hive environment because of the way the aliens would hide in the walls and you wouldnt see them until they began to move - some walls had so much detail on that you wouldnt spot them until they had spotted you. Also there are some parts in the walls which look like an alien is sitting there, and when you get closer you see it is just a part of the hive. Very gigeresque :)

But yeah - im a bit of an aliens fanboi..... 
sort of rig do oyu need for this game?

I've been hanging out for a new aliens game. 
Crisis 2

Definitely time so start saving for that pc upgrade =) 
Daz, Crysis 2 
Maybe not, as they are aiming for a console release this time. The PC version will probably still be quite scalable, but it should run on most modern machines. 
nitin: Min specs: 3.4 ghz, 1 gb ram, 256mb DX9 card.

Ricky: I thought the Aliens were too slow. Unlike in the other games, they didn't really dash towards you, but rather circle you, attack, then retreat a few steps. Much like a cat toying with a mouse (in this sense, the remark by the scientist in the Alien tutorial fits). A clear concession to the console players. Another one is the facehugger grab if you have more than 1/3 health. In the game's predecessors, once a facehugger jumped at you, you were done for; here, they aren't much of a threat.
This doesn't mean there were no difficult situations, though. 
Out Of My League 
if thats min specs. Although I have a 9800GTX, might cover for lack of cpu power somewhat. 
Nitin / AvP3 Sysreqs 
Intel Processor - Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz
AMD Processor - Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+
Nvidia Graphics Card - Geforce 8800 GTS
ATI Graphics Card - Radeon HD 2900 XT 512MB
RAM Memory - 2 GB
Hard Disk Space - 10 GB
Direct X - 9

Blindly staring at a CPU clockrate doesn't work these days, as a modern 2,66 Ghz i5 CPU or similar will be more than twice as fast as an old 3 Ghz Pentium 4. 
Just Cause 2 Demo 
Its on steam.

It does suffer from some consolitis in the control scheme, but really that is the only downer I can think of right now. This game is *FUN*

Its been a very long time since I laughed with glee as I caused absolutely ridiculous amounts of destruction in a game... I guess this is kinda like gta3 on steroids mixed with far cry & Indiana Jones (!?), if that makes any sense.

You are basicly a vigilante guy with lots of guns, a parachute and a high tech long range lasso that can grapple onto just about anything, helicopters, cars, buildings, people, anything. You can also use this grapple to stick objects and enemies to other objects, with hilarious results. For instance you can tether an enemy to a gas canister, then shoot the canister making it fly away with the guy still attached =)

The demo gives you a complete sandbox area of the game a few miles wide and has a 30 minute time limit before you have to start from the beginning again, but what a fun 30 minutes it is!

The demo, and the game, require directx 10 so its Vista/Windows 7 only, no XP support. It looks gorgeous but requires a fairly decent pc to run it with everything on.

Give it a try! 
Some student game, apparently a few of the guys were picked up by Valve to work on Portal2, not so surprising considering the gameplay they have. Fun little FPS puzzle game. 
Still No Deus Ex Successor In The Works 
Human Revolution runs on a proprietary engine and is played from a first-person perspective, though it pops into third-person for certain attacks and taking cover. 
aww that looks awesome.

I've been loving their in-game videos too - they really look to have made a lot of original decisions with the gameplay, and completely thought through every aspect of the game.

I was reading a feature on the sound design in Brink, and the lead audio dude was talking about the shotgun sound, and how he'd been tweaking it his whole career - 10 years or so. He was talking about using samples of lions roaring for the blast sound, because the animalistic quality gave an innate fear response. Just an example - I just love it when people take things that seriously. 
Nice Ruse, #3265 
Speaking of R.U.S.E (or Ruse), open beta is available on Steam. World War II RTS game with... ruses, a focus on strategy instead of tactics, and plenty of factions. Even lets you play as Italians and French. 
Mass Effect 2 
(Trying to avoid spoilers as best as I can!)

I completed this late last week, but held off
posting about it until now to try and be a little more objective about the game. With that said though, I'm going to start off by saying that this is easily the best game I have played in the last 3 years or so!

Where to start... The most important part of any rpg game for me are the characters and the story, and ME2 nails both of these things perfectly. It is engaging from the very first moment you start the game, and only gets better the further in you progress. The game revolves around you being hired by some shady characters to stop a new threat to the galaxy that no-one else appears to be lifting a finger to stop. You spend most of the game searching the galaxy for a crack team of people to lead on a suicide mission to stop this new threat. Finding these people, persuading them to join you and then gaining their trust forms most of the game content.

The missions you undertake with these characters are the highlight of the game, every single one has a deep and rounded story surrounding them, and your actions can make or break them in very real ways.

Combat is handled much better than the original game also, it feels more like gears of war than elder scrolls, with an over the shoulder camera, cover system and gratuitous violence. Different enemies have different defences that require different tactics to take down, some enemies have shielding while others simply have heavy armour, some have both, and your squads abilities may not work against enemies who have a certain type of defence active.

Some things are a bit annoying though, for example the planet scanning minigame (scan planets to find minerals that you can use to research new tech) gets boring very fast, and must be done to fully upgrade your equipment.

I suppose I should mention that the game is gorgeous to look at =) I can't be sure but it feels like a heavily modified UE3. Special mention must go to the cinematic effects for conversations and cutscenes, things like depth of field and film grain are used excellently to give everything a cinematic quality. The character models and especially the animations are fantastic in every regard. Even the lens flares are the best I have ever seen in a game =)

I find myself thinking of battlestar galactica as a good analogy, in the trailers you see all the action and space combat and the show looks cool, but you end up appreciating the character stories and plot developments so much more. For me at least I really felt attached to the characters by the end of the game, and I actually gave a shit what happened to them, they weren't some dumb game characters any more.

There is so much more to this game, but I cant be arsed to write any more, suffice to say that I recommend it to everyone that reads this post. This is a fantastic galaxy to get lost in! 
It's Very Dark 
I am playing Thief 2 now and love it. Halfway through the second mission at the moment. 
Bad Company 2 
I see a few people on steam have this, how is it? Worth getting???

Also, how scalable in the engine? Can you turn stuff off to make it run smooth on an older pc? I have a 2ghz athlon X2 with a nvidia 9600gt and I'm doubting I will be able to get a decent framerate out of it! 
Thief 2 
Finished through the third (or was it still the second) mission. So much fun to find secrets and loot. Next is the mission where I enter the city watch. Yikes! 
Jesus! Who's stupid idea was it that when you are hurt your screen is covered in blood so you cannot see to take cover and the freakin indicator of which way enemy fire is coming at you is red as well!?! grrrr >:( 
it looks awesome though. 
damage indicators that actually make it near-impossible to fight back along with "realistic headbobbing" are some of the stupidest things in games these days. I don't know about you folks, but when I run down the hall, my head isn't doing any owl-like movements. 
Mine does.

But then I am generally listening to tunes while walking... 
When you're done with Thief 2, be sure to check out the quality fan missions out there! 
The Most Retarded 
Is motion blur. 'It's more realistic' they cry. 'It's a fucking game' the rest of us say.

Engine programmers drunk on how awesome they are. 
just buy a crappy LCD... instant motion blur at no cost to framerate! 
Let's Not Forget 
Depth of field. Or... let's entirely forget how the eye works. 
Guess who's custom map reviews made me install the game in the first place. 
That's nice to know they encouraged you to do that. If you do plan to play custom maps, you'll need something like DarkLoader/GarretLoader (no unzipping the FM files) if you don't already know. TTLG forums should have all the info you need to run FMs - I plan to type up simple guides on my site one day.

I've been neglecting my site lately though... plan to get back to it. Have more Thief/Quake reviews to do afterall. 
Metro 2033 
What a disappointment! I expected something like Stalker, but it's actually just another stupid and ugly console game.

Thematically, it feels like the Fallout 3 subway tunnels + DC ruins but without the freedom. Hardly any game I've played exhibits MSD better than this one, as nothing about it stands out in any way - it felt pointless and uninteresting with mostly unspectacular and confined levels, linear and boring scripted gameplay, average graphics, and few light quicktime events. I couldn't care less about the story - a nuclear apocalypse with four types of mutants vs. communists vs. Nazis vs. bandits, and in the end everything blows up... or something. Often there aren't even smooth level transitions.
Gameplay allows for brute or stealth approaches, but it doesn't really matter in the end. Did someone say it was to have RPG elements? Sure.. if the ability to buy weapons and ammo constitutes an RPG already.
A couple of nice gimmicks, like the watch (gasmask timer) showing the actual system time :P, or a section where you have to carry a child on your shoulders which slows down your view/movement.
Apparently it's based on a novel? Lots of wasted potential then.

Bottom line: a fairly bad game and a waste of time in my view. Not recommended. 
The SDK needs to come out.

Unless all the excuses we've been seeing so far are just that, excuses and the real reason for not releasing the SDK is that the publisher would likely no longer be capable to charge stupid amounts of money for DLC. 
"Is motion blur. 'It's more realistic' they cry. 'It's a fucking game' the rest of us say.

Engine programmers drunk on how awesome they are."

"Depth of field. Or... let's entirely forget how the eye works."

Seriously, why work on graphics technology at all? You guys are fucking retarded. :) If you don't want that stuff you have an option - keep playing Quake. 
Dont To Personal Taste I Guess. 
I felt the motion blur in Crysis was awesome, its the best ive seen in a game to date.

Mass Effect 2 uses DoF to its advantage also, it really enhances the presentation of the story cutscenes and the dialogue camera angles.

Honestly, I think DoF in games is mimicking the DoF of camera lenses rather than the human eye.

Its quite exciting really, graphics technology is getting to the point where if you squint it does look real. Its things like animation and floating objects that give it away, rather than the graphics themselves being nowhere near realistic.

I remember watching a video of some game on youtube a few months ago, and as the video quality was 480 maximum, it hid some of the giveaway details and it really did look real, it was some racing game I forget which one. I think that was the first time I genuinely thought to myself "that looks totally real" when looking at game footage.

Err, this kind of meandered off topic :P 
And as an aid to those who want to go off on these ridiculous rants in the future ... it's the artists who ask for all of that stuff, not the engine programmers. Blame them. :) 
yeah, motion blur and DoF and other stuff of that nature is more about simulating a real camera as opposed to an eyeball which isn't a bad thing by any means. besides, motion blur goes a long way towards hiding lower framerates.

i really liked the DoF effects in crysis and farcry 2. 
With Us 
It's the coders who introduce it. The artists work constantly to marginalise the effects since the coders don't want to remove them.

Spose it depends on the quality of the effect. Or maybe I'm just retarded. 
I like motion blur on tf2, don't know why. Sometimes I'll just zig the camera around as fast as I can to look at it. Seriously.

DoF is ... okay I guess because it's supposed to make the game feel more cinematic, but yeah doesn't really mimic the human eye.

I like a lot of graphical innovations in games, but it's really how the stuff is used. Some examples of just rampant over-use of features ... well, nm. 
I think DOF is ok when used sparingly. It can be quite useful to simulate somekind of atmospheric haziness in the distance, or coupled with distance fog to get some nice silhouettes against the sky. 
I feel the DoF in Dead Space worked really well, especially during cutscenes. 
Mass Effect 2 uses DoF to its advantage also, it really enhances the presentation of the story cutscenes and the dialogue camera angles.

Honestly, I think DoF in games is mimicking the DoF of camera lenses rather than the human eye.

And when it's used in cutscenes, it works brilliantly, because that's exactly where we're used to seeing such effects. When there's a barrel of a gun stuck in the middle of your screen and your eyes wander around, it feels wrong and distracting.

Seriously, why work on graphics technology at all? You guys are fucking retarded. :) If you don't want that stuff you have an option - keep playing Quake.

Oh I forgot, criticism is bad. All that time and money could've been spent on improving better aspects of the game. For example. 
When there's a barrel of a gun stuck in the middle of your screen and your eyes wander around, it feels wrong and distracting.

100% agree, it certainly has its place. I assume your talking about Crysis & to an extent Stalker : Clear sky, which are both at fault here. At the end of the day its down to common fucking sense, which is seems some developers leave behind.

All that time and money could've been spent on improving better aspects of the game. For example.

I don't agree with this, I think that having cutting edge visuals is a very important part of the game. It helps with immersion, characterisation, and stops the player thinking "lol this looks like ass" when they start it up for the first time (always a plus!).

Stalker : SOC for example would have been a much worse game if they had not pushed the visuals as much as they did. The experience of exploring through all those ruined buildings with the lightning flashing in from outside, and rain pouring through holes is simply unmatched in anything that has come after it (including its sequels). 
I Play Games For Gameplay 
Graphics that support it are great, but most of the time the player doesn't know the difference between graphical feature X or Y - unless they've spent a lot of cash on a fancy new graphics card and need to justify the expense.

I'm not making any friends here am I? 
"It's the coders who introduce it. The artists work constantly to marginalise the effects since the coders don't want to remove them. "

Doesn't that seem counter productive? Are you trying to make ugly looking games? 
"All that time and money could've been spent on improving better aspects of the game. For example."

Graphics programmers don't work on AI or gameplay code ... what else do you think they're going to be spending time on if not visual effects and better frame rate? 
"I Play Games For Gameplay"

Yes, yes, we all do. However, good gameplay doesn't have to look like a game from 1997 does it? 
WEll Amongst All Of The 
shit slinging and point scoring going on here there is a valid argument on both sides.
I personally am up for all of the eyecandy in the world times a million and I am prepared to pay for a system to actually be able to run it.
But a game which uses all of these things to succesfully assimilate a good style has to incorporate these technologies in a balanced fashion. They have to run optimally as well as be present and deliver a visually pleasing/functional effect.
STALKER CS/CoP both use DoF a lot, but it doesnt look realistic, it just looks fuzzy and blurry. I personally would prefer a more subtle realistic effect. However running such an effect at an opptimal speed would probably require a rediculous amount of horsepower.
So what do the developers do? Do they remove the effect altogether? or do they leave it in and try and find the balance the best they can?

Worrying about who is more responsible from within the ranks and departments of a development studio is just silly and a completely unrealistic perspective to talk about from the average consumer's point of view. 
Often times these effects aren't used in the pursuit of realism (which is a mistake that many people make) but instead they are used to achieve a look that the art director is looking for. Most games are highly stylized and very few are actually going for "real world realism". 
Terse Replies 
100% agree, it certainly has its place. I assume your talking about Crysis & to an extent Stalker : Clear sky, which are both at fault here. At the end of the day its down to common fucking sense, which is seems some developers leave behind.

Modern Warfares, really. Never played Stalker, only seen Crysis in action, and only for about five minutes. There are options to turn off most of the extra visual effects, so everybody's happy, I suppose.

I don't agree with this, I think that having cutting edge visuals is a very important part of the game. It helps with immersion, characterisation, and stops the player thinking "lol this looks like ass" when they start it up for the first time (always a plus!).

Cutting edge visual effects does not equal distracting and annoying visual effects. See also Willem's point about bad art direction.

Graphics programmers don't work on AI or gameplay code ... what else do you think they're going to be spending time on if not visual effects and better frame rate?

What else can the money be spent on if not graphics programmers?

Yes, yes, we all do. However, good gameplay doesn't have to look like a game from 1997 does it?

I'll get me coat. 
Exactly - Sort Of 
Im not questioning your correctness in any way when I say that the average consumer's opinion of what style looks good is entirely their own opinion, and cannot be argued as right or wrong because it is a reflection as much of themself as it is of the art they are critiquing.

If someone on a forum starts critiscising a visual effect which they see in games and then broadly critiscising a whole sector of a whole industry then I guess it is safe to assume that they didnt like the styles that they saw in place.

Should an artist give a fuck about one person's opinion? Fuck NO! That's what art is all about.
The person doesnt get to have any influence over future creations but in turn simply has the choice to not play the game, or avoid the studio, or even avoid the publisher or whatever.

I think that depth of field is good in cutscenes but it must be carried out with diligance in an in-game situation so as not to mess with the player's ability to perform well in the game (can see the enemies which are far away/close because they are too blurry for example).

I mean if on a turret or something, with enemies appearing an a certain place, at a certain range then fine. If the effect works when the player chooses to look down the barrel of their weapon, but can lower the weapon and shoot with no depth of field - also fine..... etc 
"What else can the money be spent on if not graphics programmers? "

Companies not investing in keeping up with current technology are really shooting long odds at being successful.

People can talk about Quake all they want (in relation to the "gameplay over graphics" dribble) but that game was absolutely cutting edge when it came out. The graphics were off the chart amazing and the graphics technology was beyond what anyone had ever seen.

"I'll get me coat."

Hey, you may like games from 1997 and, honestly, you're in luck because there are tons of them! Knock yourself out.

But to expect modern day companies to still produce games at that graphical level is ludicrous. 
I think we're pretty much discussing entirely different points by now. 
Sorry. Please re-state your point so I can respond appropriately. 
But to expect modern day companies to still produce games at that graphical level is ludicrous.

this seems to be a wild, fabricated assumption of yours purely based on your knowledge of people's game preferences here. you're the only person who actually brought quake into the argument :| 
/me Nails A Lens-flare To Willem's Forehead 
"this seems to be a wild, fabricated assumption of yours purely based on your knowledge of people's game preferences here. you're the only person who actually brought quake into the argument :|"

Then it's unclear what people want. They don't want new visual effects but they also don't want old style graphics? They don't want progress but also want progress? So what do they want? 
Willem, the "damage feedback" in UT3 is one of the worst offenders ever in this department. I had to manually edit some .INI files to disable it.

Any kind of competitive online play with it enabled is completely impossible. As soon as you start getting hit by the Linkgun or Minigun, your view goes so red and so shaky, fighting back is a near-impossibility.

This did work in GoW (althought IMO it should've been a bit toned down there as well), but in UT3 it was absurdly overdone. 
That doesn't seem to be what's being discussed. That could have been done with 1997 tech - all it requires is alpha blending. It might be a bad design decision but it's not related to the messages I'm getting from this thread. 
They don't want new visual effects but they also don't want old style graphics?

the messages i'm getting relate to specific graphical features that adversely affect gameplay or enjoyment (more because of shoddy implementation rather than by design), not graphical advances as a whole.

then there is obviously the matter of subjectivity. everyone likes games to look good, but not everyone has the same opinion of what looks good and what doesn't (case in point: motion blur), and it seems you're calling people 'fucking retarded' for having differing personal tastes... 
My understanding of the argument is : "Many new advancements in graphical technologies are used poorly and thus should not be developed."

If this is basically the case (I'm probably leaving out details) then it's false, because even if you develop some really obscure graphics tech, if it can be applied in a cool way then it's good. Maybe not worth the cost on the GPU to render it if it's really expensive, but the point is how the tech is used really. 
I dont think its so much that they dont want new visual effects as much as they dont want new visual effects which they dont like.

So let them turn them off where possible!

Or dont, screw 'em. 
"then there is obviously the matter of subjectivity. everyone likes games to look good, but not everyone has the same opinion of what looks good and what doesn't (case in point: motion blur), and it seems you're calling people 'fucking retarded' for having differing personal tastes..."

Really? That "fucking retarded" can be regarded as hyperbole, something this board normally excels in. Now it's an issue? Please. 
yeah agreed pretty much. development & implementation probably need distinguishing more.. 
Well it seems you're perfectly set to defend your corner - it's not a discussion but an argument since you have no intention of changing your thinking.

My original point was that games don't need to look incredible in order for people to like them.

A lot of companies get caught up in a technology race, always wanting the best graphics, which seems kind of pointless really.

I'd say there is a reasonable lower limit of graphical fidelity, but the eye candy effects for me (and I'd guess for most others) are just fluff, additional to the game.

No big deal if left out.

Looking at reviews the graphics are factored in as 1 piece of the total score, amongst 4-5 others. When they mention 'has graphical feature X' it tends to sum up months of work in a single sentence, since there's not a lot interesting to say about said feature.

Each to their own though.

Some responses:

Doesn't that seem counter productive? Are you trying to make ugly looking games?
Yes it does. But I work in a team and it takes time to convince people that other ways can be better. As long as the game doesn't look like utter shit or completely out of date I couldn't care how it looks. That's not my concern.

Then it's unclear what people want.
If there was an easy answer to that we'd all be millionaires.

Yes, yes, we all do. However, good gameplay doesn't have to look like a game from 1997 does it?

Minimum level of graphic quality Vs. cosmetic graphical features again. 
"Well it seems you're perfectly set to defend your corner - it's not a discussion but an argument since you have no intention of changing your thinking."

I take some offense to this if only because it's pretty clear that you won't be changing your mind either. You are hard locked into your argument.

"I'd say there is a reasonable lower limit of graphical fidelity, but the eye candy effects for me (and I'd guess for most others) are just fluff, additional to the game."

This the divide, I guess. They are not always fluff and often provide feedback and immersion to players. That they are sometimes done poorly doesn't mean they aren't useful. 
To Sum Up. 
Fancy shit is cool if you use it well and sucks if you don't. 
If that's the summary, then some of you people need to get way better at wording your complaints. :) 
Come On 
I did change my stance from 'all that stuff is shit' to 'most of that stuff is shit'.


I distrust immersion in relation to graphical effects because there's no way that graphical effects can heighten immersion beyond a certain point.

At the end of the day it's some guy sat in an armchair playing the game with a controller.

If you're going for pure immersion then Wii / Natal motion control, lawnmower man helmets and Tron leotards are the future.

Feedback is different though and where such effects can be great. I forget the game it was, but it gave the player a buzzing sound in their speakers and motion blur over the entire screen when a grenade went off nearby. That was great. 
I think most modern war games do that. I know Battlefield : Bad Company does and I THINK Modern Warfare 2 did ... can't remember now. 
I Spose 
I'm wanting special graphical effects to be used for special game play events.

I don't resent having pretty stuff to look at, but unless they reinforce the interaction then they belong more animation than games. 
I'm wanting special graphical effects to be used for special game play events.

Red Orchestra the multiplayer WW2 FPS does this pretty well. Machinegun fire actually suppresses players, as in you get loud sound effects as the bullets whiz by, and your screen gets blurry. It's harder to do anything, so you're more likely to keep yourself in cover, i.e. suppressed.

Visual effects with an actual, nice gameplay function. Who would've though? 
I was playing bad company 2 at a friends yesterday, and the audio effect when something explodes near you is truly fantastic. Rather than some horrid high pitched wailing sound that kills your ears (hello stalker, hl2, etc) they decided to transform the audio to sound like the record volume is way to high, what you get is this awesome KAWOOOOSH and what can only be described as some distorted Roland TB303 acid line as the explosive goes off.

I actually enjoyed getting blown up in that game, just so I could hear it again =) 
played modern warfare 2 on a friend's ps3. we played coop missions and aside from sucking because i couldn't aim, i thought it looked amazing and it was a lot of fun.
my favourite is the mission where one of you is in a helicopter equiped with a minigun with explosive ammo and you have to escort the other guy who is on the ground getting swarmed by tons of guys. ^_^ 
I like the covert snow one a lot. It's just really good fun coordinating/timing your sniper take downs and dropping a group of 4 enemies in 1 1/2 seconds 
Argh Argh Aarrrggh 
See How Aweful The Sounds Are 
The sounds are kind of cool. Only missing some industrial beats. 
is kind of cool and missing some industrial beats. 
Apparently on sale for $30 on steam this week, and also some info about new game modes coming along with The Passing 
38 Posts 
and its all just a misunderstanding...

thanks for the heads up zwif, I might get that. 
It's actually $25 until Thursday. A good deal for those who don't have it yet, but deep in their heart know they want it (cough* Drew, Mac guys ;)).
I hope this means the release of The Passing is due soon. At first they said March, now it's "spring". 
"and its all just a misunderstanding... "

It's also a lesson in that people need to start using less hyperbole and just say what they mean. If you start out with an extreme position, it's inevitably going to cause confusion. 
not gonna happen, haha!

my computer is like 2 steps above a scientific calculator.

besides, I spend too much time as it is fucking around with quake - any more distractions and I might as well just drop out. 
Run, Jesus, Run 
not sure if this goes here or the religion thread: 
That's The Best Game 
I've played in years. 
I Can Get 8 Apostles 
I got 10 
I think you have to walk on the water perfectly, though there's no feedback from it. 
Does Anyone... ? 
...have, or can grab me any screenshots from the PS2/PC game, Shadows of Memories? Preferably a minimum size of 800x600. I'd like them for a review (and credit will be given) but I don't want to use stuff from sites like Mobygames with watermarks or have the tools to do so (I have the PS2 version)

Isn't there a PS2 emulator you could try? Should work for screenshots. 
That Would Work! 
although it does sound like a lot of work for a few screenshots, if someone on func already has the game installed.

I'd help you out, but I don't have it, and I don't know which emulators would be good, since like you, I own a ps2.
good luck though! 
Didn't think about emulation, I'll look into it. It will deffinitely be more useful if I need other PS2 screenshots at a later date. Thanks. 
...scratch that. Too much fussing around to get it working. I really don't have the time trying to figure it all out. =/ 
Metro 2033 
Spooge, spooge and spooge some more.

I totally like this game a lot. Havent finished it yet, but so far it has been awesome. I find the graphics to be ground breaking. The DirectX 11 advanced features include "advanced DOF" and "tesselation". I have turned the advanced DOF off mainly because it comes with a serious performance hit and totally brings my 5850 to its knees, even when overclocked. Which is rediculous really. I think I would need two GTX480s to run this game maxed out.
The game still has DOF effects. Just less exaggerated.
The lighting is awesome, with ambient occlusion on parralax mapped textures and all other bells and whistles. The underground parts are very well done, just an awesome style - everything looks old, rustly and broken, the sound effects are scary, the AI is fast and really ugly (ugly as in scary-looking), some very freakish monsters ranging from mutated rats and dogs and stuff to wierd semi-humanoid things, some with wings. One level has "lurkers" - with their own network of tunnels interweaved with the players hull. Fast little buggers - you often cant get a shot and have to watch them run back into their hole, knowing that they will soon be back to try and get you again.
The most impressive effect is the motion blur applied to only things which are moving - much more realistic than the Crysis style "motion blur which is applied to everything like you are stoned out on mushrooms or something". This effect combined with the speed of the monsters makes for quite a startling introduction to the game.
I found it so far often scary, and sometimes frustrating. There was one particular occasion where I died about 20 times trying to get past a guardpost and mobile turret on an underground railway (the Metro I guess - duh) manned by Nazis. Wasnt really expecting to meet Nazis when I bought the game. I eventually managed to get past the post without using quicksave (dont know if the game has quicksave, havent had to use it AT ALL).
The game uses frequent checkpoints throughout all of the levels, with a menu-accessible load point at the start of every level. So if you realy get stuck you can just load a couple of minutes back.
I havent had much problems though, dieing hasnt been a problem really excepty for the area with the Nazis. I hit this nasty combat bottleneck at the top of this staircase.....
The game is very much scripted and on a rail, not really an RPG at all, though you can collect currency (in the form of military grade ammo) which can be saved up to buy guns or ammo. Stock non-currency ammo can also be exchanged for currency-grade ammo too, so if you are frugel with your cuirrency you can afford to buy some pretty neat gus at a couple of points in the game. Thats about as far as the RPG elements go, though. Which is fair enough really considering that this is the game for a novel, with you playing the lead character. There are plenty of quick time events and scripted sequences, but im enjoying the story, and the combat is scary and immersive.

Overall I would say that this is one of the most realistic-looking games I have ever played, one of the most system hungry and definately one of the most cinematic. 
Modern Warfare 2 Free STEAM Weekend 
Tried a few matches via the Steam free weekend thing and boy am I glad I persuaded myself to not spend any money on this when it originally came out, the game is worth perhaps 30$, but 60$, are you serious? 50$ during a Steam sale, the sale price still being more expensive than Bad Company 2 normal price??

The game looks cool and runs very fast on my rig, the various aerial vehicles and stuff are pretty ace too, but what the hell is up with this retarded CS style gameplay? Even in QuakeWorld, that is notorious for it's very fast combat and movement speed, you have a reasonable chance of fighting back and/or escaping an enemy. The game heavily favors campers and you die within 0.5 seconds from basically any weapon, so the only thing that matters is who opens fire first. What retard thought this was a good formula for gameplay?

Combined with milking for DLC, no dedicated servers and no modding, this is a definite no-buy for me. 
whatta fuch is DOF? 
Depth Of Field 
Makes far awar stuff EVEN MORE blurry. 
It's sad, but people LIKE this kind of gameplay (one shot-one kill). Try to avoid Hardcore servers (most are unfortunatly), it's a tad better when you actually have time to fight back... still, I'm happy I didn't buy it. 
Not even worth $30 in my view. I didn't care for the MP, but the SP part was fairly disappointing. For the hype and the exaggerated price anyway. 
Modern Warfare 1 
Was ok, wasn't as 'intense' as I was led to believe even though there were some cool ideas in there. MWF2 (MW2 is Mech Warrior 2, not Modern WarFare 2) does not interest me in the least. I bought Bad Company 2 though, because it was on sale for $20 and I've heard good things, but I was not impressed with it at all, and it's supposed to be considered a MWF2 killer or something. 
Do I recall you were complaining about Metro 2033? I finished it now and it was a bit short really, but not that short. 
I don't think it was me, but I was probably in #tf when someone else was complaining about it. Shambler maybe? 
Negke I Think 
More On MW2 
OK, after spending 5+ hours playing the multiplayer trial, I actually have take back most of the negative things I've said.

It's problems are that it's way too spammy (though seemingly less so in the Hardcore gametypes) and I still dont like the weapons too much and having the publisher have the capability to effectively pull the plug on the multiplayer portion of the game is retarded. Those thing aside, the game is extremely polished and well done. It also runs very very well and the game types are fun.

Is it worth a 60 euro normal price purchase for me? Nope. Is it worth the 51 euro weekend sale price? Undecided, leaning towards "probably still not". However, I looked around and managed to find a local finnish online gamestore selling the PC version for 38 euro. THAT was a buy. 
Beat Mass Effect 2 
Good game. Totally had me hooked, spent like ~18-20 hours on it this weekend and beat it in under 30 hours total. Probably not going to do a 2nd play through, Friction agrees it's a good time.

You can't seduce every member of your crew though and have a huge inter-species orgy. So it doesn't get a perfect score from me. :( 
I Tried Mass Effect 1 Recently 
But it ran so extremely poorly (bad port apparently) that it was pretty much unplayable for me. It also seemed to be a game in the same vein as SW:KOTOR, which I didn't enjoy, so I quit and uninstalled ME quickly. 
Ice-Pick Lodge Games 
Pathologic: Semi-RPG that takes place in a worn-down town that is plagued by a mysterious virus to which you have to find a cure. I thought the game would offer a nice bleak atmosphere and a certain degree of strangeness. Unfortunately, it didn't grab me at all. The graphics are dated, but the actual problem is the lack of variety - most houses look alike and the inside of every single shop uses the same mesh (and shopkeeper npc). What really put me off, though, were the dialogues. The first mission has you investigate a series of murders and naturally involves talking to witnesses and related npcs. However, the dialogue options as well as the npcs' replies are so weird and sometimes seem only vaguely related. It almost seems as if you're listening (reading actually, for it's not fully vocalized) to a conversation where every other sentence is missing or something.
In consequence, the game didn't generate any desire to continue playing after some two hours.

The Void: This is a sort-of adventure game (actually, it doesn't really fit clearly into a single category) with an interesting premise. You die and end up in the Void, some sort of limbo where everything depends on colors. You interact with the world through it, by drawing gylphs on the screen (think Black & White), and use it as health by filling your hearts with it. There are different colors and each one has a special property, e.g. azure makes you faster, crimson stronger, gold makes donating color to objects or npcs cost less, and so on. It has to be collected from the levels, can be grown on trees and harvested in mines.
Then there are the Sisters which you have to resurrect by donating certain colors so they help you, and their evil counterparts, the Keepers or Guardians, cenobite-like creatures roaming the Void. First you have to fulfill a couple of tasks to be accepted by the Keepers and eventually have to choose a side, join the Sisters and fight the Keepers or vice versa.
The game is kind of strange, and pretty hard. It seems to require you to restart a couple of times until you've figured out how it works. For example, at one point I needed to donate color to a Sister, but since I was out of gold, it was impossible to give her enough of the color she needed, but I couldn't get more gold, either, because all my trees were empty. Didn't want to restart and replay a good two hours, so I cheated.
In the end, even though the game is oddly compelling in a way, I lost interest. It wasn't always clear enough what I had to do (and how). I would have loved to fight one of the Keepers, as they look pretty cool.

It seems I'm turning into Spd when it comes to games... :) 
How do you girls have so many time to play games?

Go study and get job lazy bitches :) 
You didn't say anything about getting a girl friend :D That's who we have so much time to play. 
that a true thing... my "boss" ops wife... is always comand me :( 
i know aye, ya bunch of slackers. with work & gf, i don't even have time to play a single q1 map, let alone an entire game. i'm getting behind again :( 
Yet More On MW2 
The opening of the "On their own accord" mission is so epic it quite easily ranks as one of my top moments in gaming. Watch in fullscreen: 
Speaking Of MW2 
I beat the single player of Bad Company 2 yesterday (on easy mode mind you.)

The good: Absolutely the most gorgeous environments I've ever seen. Simply breath taking, ginormous maps filled with foliage and awesome terrain, this game engine should be used for the next Elder Scrolls game. Seriously, the best I've seen in a game.

The bad: Lots of stuff - dust is so prevalent in the game it frequently blocks off the rest of the environment because it's so thick. You end up not being able to see to the enemies who are shooting at you even though they can apparently see you through the dust crystal clear. And those enemies are really accurate, which is annoying. Also, the game is really over the top. And well I could go on, but it's not really bad, it's just that the game was hyped up to be amazing, and it's on. Multiplayer also not my cup of tea, but I admit I haven't spent too much time on it. If you like the Quake Wars style of multiplayer, there you go. 
Seems like Quake 4. 
Yeah that part is great, the guy in that video kinda rushed through it all though, when I was playing I kinda took my time coming out of the bunker at the beginning and music just started to swell as I saw the broken monument, it was perfect timing =)

Theres another frankly awesome opening scene later on, but I won't ruin it =) 
A Question On MW1 
Having just recently purchased and played through Modern Warfare 2, I decided to go back and buy MW1 as well, it's downloading on Steam right now. Since MW1 has an SDK out, are there any good custom singleplayer maps worth checking out once I've finished the SP campaign? 
None that I'm aware of. I heard there are a lot of mp stuff though. 
I haven't heard of any single player maps at all, which is strange if the editor is out :o 
Alan Wake Seemed Promising But 
I Won't 
I won't love it because I won't be getting Alan Wake. I am not going to buy a 360 when I already have a PS3. 
COD4: MW And MW2 
Having now played through the SP campaigns of both (first MW2, then MW1) as well as having played multiplayer of both as well, I thought I'd comment and compare the games. First of all, both games are definately worth playing and you should own at least one of them, which one however, depends on your personal taste for things.

System requirements for both are surprisingly light: a 3-4 year old rig should have no problems running MW1 completely maxed out and a 1-2 year old rig can absolutely run a maxed out MW2.

Singleplayer-wise, both games overall, offer an EXTREMELY polished gaming experience. The developer must've spent really retarded amount of manhours making things look and feel just right, my hat goes off to these guys. MW1 definately has a more believable story and MW2's story has a few large holes in it and is generally rather crazy, as someone else put it pretty well: "24 post-season4 crazy".

Both games follow a similar formula of: some heavy action missions, some stealth/sniping missions and sometimes you get to use some really heavy fucking guns. While generally, I am a big hater of these things in other games and usually consider them an unneeded gimmick, the occasional gun/vehicle parts in the MW games are fun, done right and contribute to the overall immersion in the game world.

Some of the oldtimers probably know that I am a big sucker for games that offer a "cinematic experience" with strong atmosphere and build-up of emotions during gameplay. In this regard, MW2 wins over MW1. I had to look up the names of individual people who had worked on several set pieces of MW2, because to put it all together so well is nothing short of genius. Yes, some of these moments were actually kind of cheap if you go deep into analyzing them, but they WORKED, worked well and that's what matters.

Multiplayer-wise, it's again a question of preference. The problems of MW2 related to the lack of dedicated servers are well documented. Most of the time it works very well, but if several games in a row the host leaves the game and you have to wait 15-20 seconds until the game moves to another host (and sometimes fail) it can get rather frustrating. Additionally, giving the publisher an actual killswitch capability to completely turn off the multiplayer portion of the game IS retarded. You can find Quake servers and players today, over 14 years since the game's release and will probably continue to be able to do so in another 6. Do you really think Activision will be keeping up the Matchmaking service for MW2 for 20 years? Who are you kidding, it probably will be gone in 10. The original XBOX Live was shut down just a few days ago, it was 9 years old. You will no longer be able to play any XBOX1 games online ever gain. MW1 has dedicated servers so it's not going to dissapear anytime soon (or ever).

On another hand, MW1 uses Punkbuster for it's cheater protection, which while probably works alright for most people, causes a lot of hassle for others. Over the years it has evolved to be really picky regarding what software running in the background it considers a cheat, resulting in you sometimes getting kicked from servers for no obvious reason. Again, this doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it can be rather annoying.

Comparing multiplayer gameplay, MW2 offers a more arcade style of gameplay compared to MW1. There is more running, more big bangs and more grenade/etc spam. MW2 also offers a more varied set of different gameplay modes. MW1 on another hand, since it has an SDK available (yes, it's COD4Radiant actually) offers custom maps, obviously giving the player more choice in this regard.

If you've read this far, you definately have way too much free time on your hands, I definately did, since I actually wrote this :) 
Good Review - Very Agreable 
play Metro 2033 then.... 
Tomb Raider 2: Dagger Of Xian 
People keep saying this particular level, the Opera House, was pretty scary, or that the whole game has a pretty threatening atmosphere. I actually agree. You're conceptually in Venice here, but it's not really Venice. The sky is black. The windows are black. Actually, the windows seem to be painted on, which means this isn't Venice at all. It is some dark, fake, ultraviolent scary place that is largely inexplicable. The ambient sounds are frightening. The opera house is apparently abandoned, and doesn't really resemble any opera house that you've ever seen, except in nightmares. Also, in this old engine, there is a sort of fog-of-war effect where everything beyond your visual range just fades to black. This was especially nasty in some of the underwater levels, where you have to swim long distances (the levels are rather big for such an old game), and the water around you faded to black - you couldn't see the surface.

There is also often this feeling that you're all alone - there are no NPCs, which you would expect in a city like Venice, there are only pretty brutal enemies. They are thugs, but they seem totally mindless. They attack you without any sign of alertness, they are like mindless killers. Not many of them, though, so for a lot of the game, you *are* all alone in places that aren't what they seem. Pretty deadly traps, too, and nasty death animations.

Lots of diving involved, too, so there is always the fear of drowning in those dark, watery areas.

There is also inexplicable stuff like breakaway floors that just float in the middle of nowhere, a whole level where you travel through a sunken ship (and the ceiling is the floor), and a lot more of this sort of stuff. Just weird.

I found it quite stunning back then, and still do. Just hit upon this video walkthrough of the Opera House on 'tube.

I already posted the famous multi-trap gauntlet from the same game (Great Wall level) elsewhere. Here it is again:

By the way, I never knew the great wall had T-Rexes. T-Rexes stomping towards you out of the darkness of some gigantic dark cave, wanting to kill you. Tromp, tromp, tromp! I thought there were only little spiders there!! I want my money back! These pants were expensive!

The darkness...

And this is "The Deck", one of the sunken ship levels... and again, it looks not really like a sunken ship. More like large parts of a ship in some incredible cave. The fog of war thing is pretty visible here. Hey, that guy has a flame thrower... burn, Lara, burn. Crumple, whimper, suffer, die. She dies in pretty horrible ways - no simple falling over yelling. There must be a dozen or more death animations. You actually hear bones breaking when she falls, you watch her suffocate while drowning, and a number of other unpleasant things. Not here, luckily.

The whole game is pretty great, it involves this rather moody, at times downright weird level design, the often seemingly fragile surroundings that strangely contrast with the gloomy feel, quite a lot of shooting for a TR game, vehicles (boat and snowmobile), ominous monks that turn on you with their kung-fu crap should you be stupid enough to hurt them, and a really rather large dragon.

The challenge mainly comes from the fear of falling, and fear of drowning. Plus the traps, and the enemies. The main thing about this game is the oppressive atmosphere, though. The lighting is primitive in a way that creates an almost eerie effect. Plus the ubiquitous darkness.

There is even a sort of void level, The Floating Islands. You have to jump across screaming green blocks floating in blackness to get from one floating temple to another, while some statues come to life and attack you. Yeah, right. Why are there floating cages in China? What were they smoking?

The game ends (if you found the secret level, which is reached by beating the "end" level on a timer) by Lara shooting the player for watching her in the shower. "Don't you think you've seen enough?" *BLAM* A protagonist who shoots the player, breaking the magical bond of immersion because she wants to take a shower. Yeah. What's not to love?

One more thought about the level names. There is stuff like "40 Fathoms". Hmm, that sounds like a lot of water... and if you know diving in TR, with the constant fear of drowning, and the sheer darkness, and the pretty nasty sight of your in-game avatar suffocating and struggling against the inevitable because YOU messed up again, player! ... this alone is enough to make you feel uneasy. 40 fathoms of darkness... and sharks... and rusty wreckage full of dark tunnels. Shudder.

A game chock full of weirdness. And dying. 
I Agree 
with how you describe the atmosphere. That's pretty much how it felt to me. I don't agree that it's a good game though ;-) 
if they have the same artists as they did for painkiller, i'm sure the looks will be top-notch. now, if they only hire at least 1 level designer... 
What Both You Guys Said. 
Rebuilding A Level 
Nice abstract design! 
Those won't load for me =/ 
You're using a broken browser then? 
Chrome. I see a bunch of grey squares. What's supposed to be happening? 
I'm using Chrome as well and no problems. Latest flash etc?

It's a single-screen platformer where the level gets modified as you progress through it (no screen change), lasting about 5 minutes to play through.

Some neat little ideas, but the controls are a bit naff. 
So is in their 4th week of their month long gaming sale-a-bonanza, and this week looks pretty good. Mass Effect 1 + 2 bundle for $35, Aion for $25 (any good, Jago?), Fallout 3 for $15, etc.

Nice little sweep of games. Anyone know if Sacred 2 or Divinity 2 are worth their sale price? Or Civ 4 Complete Collection for $10?

Fuck, whatever, I'll probably get em anyway. 
sacred 2 is fun for mindless killing. there's a story, but you really don't need to pay attention to enjoy the game.
there are a lot of ways to develop each class, so there's a lot of replayability. 
Tiny Castle 
Worked for me, pretty good fun, I evicted the fuck out of that bitch.

Minus a million points for the bit where you have to hit the globes in order, covering the whole length of the level only to have pressed them in the wrong order. Also, there is not way of telling what the correct order is. 
That was crap. I wanted to hit stuff while moving as well.

Good idea though. 
Globe Puzzle... 
I didn't like it much either. In retrospect i realized your worst case (if you're clever about which order you attempt to hit the globes) is to have to make the trip down and back up 3 times (if you keep guessing wrong) but still, i agree that that was a bit too tedious. 
Bumper List Of Flash Games 
Zwiffle: Aion is great for the first 26-27 levels, until it turns into a grindfest of an epic proportions, which gets progressively worse with each level. NCSoft also has non-existing "customer support" whose sole reason for being there seems to be to insult the remaining paying customers. 
That Pay What You Want Offer 
to be precise, you can't pay less than $0.01. Or negative amounts of money, for that matter.

Of course, that also means you NEED an account at one of their pay thingies, which are mostly evil or very US centric (or is theresome way to let handle the transaction?). What am I gonna doooooo!? 
Cry A River Of Tears? 
<- I'd Rather Laugh A River Of Tears 
Or You Could Turf A Shiver Of Fears. 
> grindfest of an epic proportions, which gets progressively worse with each level

isn't that why you play these games?

Is it true that Aion uses the Cryengine? 
If my scraping is correct the pack is currently doing $135 per minute. That's 8000 dollars per hour. Pretty good for some "old" indie games, eh? 
isn't that why you play these games?
No, a well-made MMO masks the grind with a lot of things and makes it as subtle as possible.

Is it true that Aion uses the Cryengine?
Since I'm pretty much a non-gamer these days and not been too much into RTS I guess I won't play it in the end - but it does seem to be a game with some interesting concepts! 
Phenomen 32

First impression: nice atmosphere, way too hard. For me, anyways ;-) died maybe 20 times in the first 3 levels. 
The Humble Indie Bundle 
Nice one, way to go. Five games for one dollar! (nah, I payed more) Though wtf at the $1000+ donations. 
I'm Normally Pretty Good At Games Like That... 
...but that one just confuses the fuck out of me. I think there's something in the branching/coding explanation/instructions that I'm just not understanding. 
Manufactoria: Good Nerdy Fun 
The interface is abysmal, but the game is pretty engrossing once you get into it. I've done all but the last two rows.

Got stuck on Androids for a while, but eventually found three solutions (one extremely slow, one flaky hack, and one that's actually good). 
Mamano Sweeper 
minesweeper RGB hybrid --

Each "mine" is actually an enemy level 1-5. When you start, you can safely kill only level 1 enemies; if you click on a higher-level enemy, you will take damage. After killing some enemies, you level up and can kill level 2 enemies, etc.

Normal minesweeper controls, and press A or D to flag a square. 
Very Nice! 
Liked it. I was still confused for a couple of minutes, despite your description, due to general stupidity. All round a nice twist on the old formula. 
Quite Nice 
but I don't know if I like the monster metapher so much. 
Anyone Try Hydorah Yet? (it's a win32 exe, not flash)

It's an old-school side scrolling shooter, a la Gradius and R-Type.

The website seems to be hosed right now, but i played it a little last night, it's pretty nice. I've only beaten the first level so far.

Though, i wish i had a gamepad, arrow keys don't work well for twitchy 2D games for me, for some reason. 
couldn't open the page, A mandatory extension policy in the request is not accepted by the server for this resource.
Oh Ha 
i guess the site is still down, like you said in your post one line below where i stopped reading to make my own post. -_- 
Well that Hydrorah game is pretty unforgiving. 3 attempts, got partway through the second level by my last try. I never really played these sorts of games a lot though. 
Well that Hydrorah game is pretty unforgiving. 3 attempts, got partway through the second level by my last try. I never really played these sorts of games a lot though. 
Well that Hydrorah game is pretty unforgiving. 3 attempts, got partway through the second level by my last try. I never really played these sorts of games a lot though. 
Oops, Double Posting Like A Retard 
Is there an equivalent thread for console games hiding somewhere? 'The Console Gaming Thread' seems suspiciously short. I want to talk about Uncharted 2! 
This Used To Be The 'all Games' Thread 
shambler split off console games a while ago, so it's shorter because it's not as old.

I kind of wonder if we should merge them though, the categories are not that distinct (since there's things like flash games, iphone games, etc.) Plus games often get released on both console and PC. 
I Vote Merge 
Last post in the console games thread was by ijed on 2009/09/04! Perhaps if the general 'Other Games Thread' was on the front page most of the time there'd be a bit more console chat.

Although I sold my xbox last week :P 
Alien Breed Impact 
I have fond memories of the original games on the Amiga. Good fun, especially in coop mode.

However, the new remake feels like sort of a let-down. It's very similar to Shadowgrounds in terms of looks (slightly better maybe) and gameplay. I don't mind the aliens aren't Giger-style, but there's something else missing. Despite the explosions and rubble the first level seemed sterile, no real atmosphere and generic combat. I got lost, too. The first mission is a massive switch hunt all through the level and wasn't always clear to me where to go next (despite the radar marker). To top it off, the controls are absolutely terrible (with keyboard/mouse anyway).

Not a great game, though not totally bad, either. I guess the fact that I played SG semi-recently added to my disappointment in a way. Multiplayer should be good, on Steam and all.

(This kind of got me a little concerned about that Syndicate remake. Hope at least that lives up to my expectations) 
spam with a human touch... 
... should be eradicated from Earth's surface... 
metl, maybe the machines are just starting to learn... 
Fault Line....

Cool platformer with a unique game mechanic where you can fold the level in order to traverse it Vaguely related to portal, but in no way derivative of it. 
multiplayer mouse insanity with bad physics and no cooperation, which makes it moar fun. 
I Vote. 
To split off "In-browser" games into a seperate thread :D 
A great website. Try Rustyard and IceBreaker as well. 
Only if we DOS, Windows, DirectX9/10/11, Linux, Mac, Gameboy, Xbox, PS3, Wee, shambler is a moron threads too.

Splitting the consoles from this was a stupid idea in the first place. 
Maybe We Should Move Spam To Its Own Thread.... 
The Arms Race Continues... 
The Arms Race Continues... 
I Vote... 
... for a permanent spam thread :P 
I Vote... 
...for splitting spirit off into his own seperate thread, that no-one else can read. 
I Vote 
Banning Shambler and Spirit into a single thread so they can't post anywhere else, and coming back six months later to see which one's still alive. 
That Reminds Me 
We thought about implementing a very funny ban feature for the Cube boards, which basically muted a user. He could write and post and use the board like normal, but noone but them would be able to see their postings. I think we eventually decided against it, but I would have loved to see it in action. 
What Would Be The Fun 
you wouldnt know how actively someone's bought into your fraud... 
I Would 
Cause admins see everything ;-) 
Reddit and other sites do it. Huge pain in the ass if you fall into the bucket while being actually innocent. 
[post flagged as spam] 
Transformice got linked on Kotaku.

Transformice is down.

Tried it before it died tho and seemed pretty fun/crazy/troll'd 
Best TF2 Map Evah. 
Mixing Cats And Bees... 
.. either the map author is a Doom3 fan, or it is czg :P 

Sorry for asking Steam. It seems I am only a lowly customer, and the big DLC load that you feel necessary to deposit in my anus is what befits my status.

Does anyone else here prefer Impulse?
Or basically another other downloadable platform.

Since when has treating your customers like shit been a marketing strategy.

Sorry for posting this here. But getting onto the steam support forum shite is incredibly complicated. For good reason it seems.

I just had to vent. 
Valve, Steam 
It was a beautiful dream,
But now they've gone all Microsoft on me. 
What did you buy a pack thinking you could gift the games you already had to other people? Apparently only Valve games do that, cause other publishers refuse.

I <3 Steam, so much good cheap games on it these days. 
Yeah, Valve can't control what limitations other publishers put on their games. They can only do what they're allowed to do. 
According To THQ 
They do. Either way it's not a big deal, just irritating. 
In any case I'm buying licenses. What happened to the additional ones?

If I'd bought the games in physical form then I'd expect to have the additional copies in hand.

'Sorry sir but I can see from the sales history that you've already bought this game, so I can't give you this extra copy - company policy'.

Reading the terms and conditions its down to Steam - they can, but don't want to apart from for Valve games.

Maybe I'm being naive. 
I quite agree that there should at least be a clearer warning when buying duplicates, that you aren't getting any extra copies.

It's unfortunate they don't do it for all games, but to be honest, I'm not really surprised. Games are cheap enough on Steam already in my opinion, you can pretty much always wait a few months and get games at 50% off and stuff (except for a few specific publishers *cough*activision*cough*). 
I paid $50 for 19 games. I can't really complain too much. 
Companies are behaving like dicks. It needs to stop.

It wouldn't hurt if they were reigned in just a bit. Not fully socialized, but reigned in a bit. Meaning, slightly more rights for the consumer, and a couple slaps on the wrist of companies.

It's coming though. Slowly, but it is coming.

Let's start by giving every consumer the right to make up to 5 copies of something he bought, for personal, noncommercial use. Customers must also naturally have the right to resell their DVDs or whatever. This should naturally also go for electronic media, ie games on Steam. This must be enforced politically.

Finally, copy protection has to go; it is ridiculous that I can't legally watch a DVD on Linux, even after I paid for it. It is unjustified if something I bought is still somehow controlled by someone else. That is against the idea of the free market.

Naturally, it must be legally ensured that I am the sole owner of a DVD I bought. Not the copyright, but the right to do with this DVD what I want, ie sell it, make a normal amount of copies for personal uses, install those on my own computers etc.

We need to go back to a reasonable, relaxed, normal look at these things. And if someone thinks I'm a socialist or whatever, I beg your pardon, it is the companies who are acting like commies by taking away my freedom.

Monopolies are evil, mmkay. Trying to establish control over something that you have just *sold* is crazy.

In effect, they'd like you to give them money, but not get any say in what you do with the product you just bought. 
so it's half a year later and i haven't played dragon age yet.

can anyone who has chime in now that the dust has settled? is it worth playing and how does it hold up to other rpgs like neverwinter nights? 
Dragon Age 
I really couldn't get into it. I played a few hours, but there was just too much boring bla-bla, I didn't care for the characters at all, and the combat was uninteresting.
Lots of people love it though, so who knows. I much prefererd Mass Effect 2 myself. 
ME2 completely failed to make me want to play it and when dragon age finally came out, i had lost interest in it. :P

still, i've been replaying nwn1 and now on nwn2. i'm just in a fantasy mood lately, for some reason. :)

i remember reading one review of dragon age that was positively gushing all over the place. i think some of the spittle got on my keyboard. the author went so far as to say it was a modern day baldur's gate. nearly all the reviews i've read have been like this, so either this game is insanely good beyond realistic expectancies or everyone's a fanboy/girl. :P 
It might be for you then, cause I never really liked Baldur's Gate either. :) 
well, thanks anyway. :) 
Fuck Windows Live 
Just when I didn't have enough DRM. Now I remember why I didn't buy DOW2 when it came out. 
Loved both ME2 (beat it in a weekend basically) and Dragon Age, but yeah the combat in Dragon Age got stale and repetitive really quickly. ME2 had the bonus of being a shooter as well as rpg, but it took me about 2x as long to beat Dragon Age as it did to beat ME2. Enjoyed both of them quite a bit, but both were pretty different from each other. 
What Zwiffle Said 
Except I have not completed Dragon Age yet, where-as ive beaten mass effect twice and am on my 3rd play through atm! ME2 just suits my tastes better than DA, but Dragon age certainly has its epic moments.

I'm really looking forwards to bioware's MMO :o 
Dead Space 
(I played the xbox version but since people have already talked about it in here, posting here.)

So I just finished Dead Space. Game clock time: about 11.5 hours (I don't think this includes the times where I died.) It's a pretty cool game overall, with solid core mechanics, and while it's certainly full of horror and sci-fi game cliches as Lunaran complained previously, I think the good execution (and the fact that it's actually fun) makes up for that.


* Suspense is good, the tensest rooms/hallways were the ones where nothing actually happens because there's always a sense that something could happen. They set up early on for example, that a certain type of ventilation panel is often a place where monsters bust through. And then they put these panels in practically every room, so you are always nervous around them. I don't think i was ever really "shocked" by an attack, but since the NPCs are dangerous I was certainly nervous about being attacked.

* Combat works well, it's survival horror so you don't have a lot of ammo, the enemies are generally pretty lethal, and the damage system gives you something tactical to do while you're shooting at enemies -- since limbs (and occasionally other body parts) are the vulnerable bits, you spend your time trying to take careful, effective shots rather than just unloading into the guy's chest. Kind of like going for a headshot in most games, but with more variety. And the limbs are always moving in weird ways. Enemies that lose limbs keep coming but with alternate animations.

* Flashlight on gun, so you can actually see what you're shooting (and can't see when you're reloading, for extra tension)

* No on-screen UI; all UI was integrated into the world (ammo count on gun, player health displayed on character's suit, etc.)

* Zero-g gameplay is cool, you can't fly, so instead you leap from walkable surface to walkable surface (your magnetic boots grab on when you land) The maze-like layouts they create for some of these areas is pretty cool. And nice and disorienting.

* "Stasis" and "telekinesis" powers were used well, they build some nice puzzles and environmental obstacles around them, plus they are integrated into combat well.

* Boss fights were well-built and challenging, but not frustrating (there were only like 2 or 3, but they worked.)

* Enemy design was good, they're all pretty different in terms of appearance and function. And some of them are pretty creepy.

* Great environment art execution, really does a good job of creating the standard scifi/horror setting with a high level of detail and polish (mostly.)

* Sound/music was pretty cinematic and effective.


* Too many NPCs sending me on constant small errands. I'd like fewer objectives that take longer to complete. Later in the game it gets better, though.

* A couple of annoying sections where you have to shoot asteroids and other stuff using a giant space canon. Not really bad, but didn't feel like it fit into the game that well, and it wasn't easy. I think if you put something that different into a game, you should make it sort of easy since it doesn't use the standard game skillset.

* Store mechanic where you buy ammo/health at specific kiosks throughout the game -- while it works as a game mechanic, it doesn't really fit the fiction of "i'm the last one alive in a disaster area." But it did serve the goal of giving the player a chance to get what resources they need.

* The storyline didn't really connect with me; they had plenty of twists and revelations, but for some reason i didn't get into the main emotional hook of the game, which was supposed to be the main character trying to locate his girlfriend among the few survivors of the ship.

* Weapons -- there were only a few weapons that really felt good, most of the others felt kind of weak. Of course it's survival horror, but in fact the plasma cutter (the starting pistol) was one of the good weapons because you could tell how to be effective with it. It was the "bigger" weapons like the pulse rifle which just felt ineffective and useless. Probably due to player expectations about how devastating those weapons should be.

* Text logs and some other UI was pretty much unreadable on my SDTV. I guess developers just assume that all xbox owners have an HDTV? Humbug! 
just got this game, started to play on my shitty tiny 10 year old tv. just got into it and i'm liking it a lot so far, but yeah, i have to get REALLY close to the screen to read anything. 
Project Offset has been canceled.

Now we'll never get to play with its editor. 
Dragon Age Again 
was 40 cdn at the local futureshop so i decided to grab it. this is like the first new game i've played in ages. since like bioshock i think.

i was preparing myself to have to deal with activations or whatever the heck they do these days, but i didn't have to do any of them. aside from putting in the serial code at install and having the cd in the drive to play and when the cd thing starts to piss me off, it should be easy to fix that later.

i've only played a few hours so far-- just enough to get through the 'origins' aka prologue for the mage class (i picked a human).

i think by far the best thing about this game is the third person 'exploration mode' camera is actually good and useful. i can't imagine how people played nwn2 in 3rd person and i hated how mechanical the movement felt in kotor.

i guess it would be best to say the camera and movement feel a lot like WoW. which really means the camera moves around quickly and precisely and movement is almost as responsive as quake. you don't strafe around, of course; when you press back, you character turns and runs towards the camera which neatly avoids having to have a super complex animation system and works very well. (my mage isn't a slipgater, afterall).

i'm sure everyone is aware that bioware finally ditched the dungeons and dragons system in favour of a more action oriented magic system. movement takes a larger role now which makes it feel a lot cooler. so far, i have yet to see any of the subtle spells have any effect (i took one that supposedly imposes penalties to a target for attacking and such, but i still seem to get hit anyway). aside from that spell, i took the obvious frost spell that can freeze or slow down attackers and a life drain spell for direct damage and healing. the cooldowns a rather long though, and there's no spell to spam whilst waiting for better spells to become available. resorting to the auto-attack 'staff bolts' are weak but i think some of these problems will go away when i get some party members that need to be healed and more damage spells that can be fit into a rotation to make sure there's always one available.
as far as i can tell, levels come fairly often and new spells come at 2 per level. the game alludes to unlocking two specialist classes (i guess like prestige classes in nwn) at level 7 and 14, so assuming you can get a decent amount of levels over 14, that's a lot of spells. i'm concerned i might run out of quickslot buttons (my warlock on WoW made use of nearly every key on my keyboard for all it's spells and i had to manually click some of them too) but we'll see.

as for the story and rpg stuff, the origin segment gave me one choice and made it so i had to do other quests anyway, but it's a prologue so i can't really fault it too much. i can honestly say i was surprised at the ending of it though, i really wasn't expecting it, which is a pleasant change for most story based games where you see stuff coming from a mile away and plot hints are delivered with a sledge hammer.

anyway, i'll probably post more about this later when i've played some of the proper game. 
Medal Of Honor: Pacific Assault Review 
First game i've played in six months, and to be honest the realistic war shooters are starting to get repetitive, and I'm only up to Medal Of Honor 2 so far!

The problem is that it felt just like Vietcong, with improved graphics having been released 1.5 years later, but with fewer set pieces. Much of MODPA felt like extremely linear corridors of jungle. Move from one little village with a few huts thrown in, through some tight jungle paths to the next village. The graphics, of course, were better than its predecessar MOD:Allied Assault and the mission packs, but with the repetitive design and lack of memorable levels, it doesn't stand out as a great looking game to buy against other releases in 2004.

Having said that, the Tarawa Beach sections (which probably made up 1/4 of the game), were definitely the highlight in atmosphere. They were a big improvement on the intense but bland Omaha Beach sections of MODAA.

The sad thing is, however, that the average design is still MODPA's strong point, because the gameplay was full of flaws. At the forefront, for me, were the atrocious weapons. Of course you can only handle two at a time, and normally you don't get much of a selection. There are a few good weapons in the game, but you rarely get to use them because unless your enemies are carrying the same weapon, you'll soon run out of ammo. What I was left with for the majority of the game were slow reloading, slow firing and extrememly inaccurate broomsticks. The rifle, for instance; there's a one second pause between firing, and a three second pause while reloading. You can point the thing perfectly at an opponents head, and still somehow miss. You can stand almost point blank and fire one into his chest... watch him stumble, then get back up again like nothing happened. There's no such thing as a headshot in MODPA, because the weapons are just too unreliable to even attempt it.

Gameplay is also very unbalanced in terms of difficulty. In playing on medium (although i'm well above medium in skill) I normally don't have much trouble getting through a game. But at times some of the fights were ridiculous, and forced god mode. The turret machine gunners are far too difficult to kill without being mowed down by bullets within seconds of revealing yourself. And no matter how well hidden you were, they always seem to find you almost instantly. There's a few times where you've got 2/3 machine gunners at once. Problem is your guns are hopeless at long range and you can't even see the enemy manning the gun to even aim at him. He could be standing on either side of the gun.

Tarawa Beach, as well, was far too difficult with poor weaponry and not enough ammo. In one jungle scene, your given a sniper riple (for the only time in the entire game) with one bullet to take out four enemies hiding high up in trees. I'd already run out of bullets with my other gun, so what's a man to do? God mode, noclipping up to the tree top and bashing them with my gun was the only solution. Let's not forget the section where your forced to man a plane, supposedly whilst drunk since the handling of the plane is rubbish. They inverted the up/down of the mouse aiming for the plane section, so when you finally return to two legs, your aiming ability is corrupted as your moving the mouse down to look up! This entire plane section was painstakingly frustrating and boring, and should never have made the cut in a first person shooter.

So my overall thoughts; average design and average gameplay, thanks to some inconsistencies in difficult and useless weapons, makes MODPA a far inferior game to the original. I hope MOD: Airborne makes up for it in 2007, but from what I've heard already, I might have to wait till the fourth MOD in 2010 for a good game again. 
Medal of Honor 4 looks pretty good though:

Supposed to be released Oct 2010 
I only liked the jungle bits myself. Airborne is even suckier btw, way too ridiculous gameplay wise and uninspired design.

I preferrred COD2 to both these. 
Oldschool Condensed? 
Bit like a cheapo Deus Ex. Doesn't look too bad in trailers. English translation is appalling tho. 
Apparently everyone and their mother are trying to get this at the moment, so the dl rate is pretty bad.
If the game is fun, let's get some coop games going. 
Yeah, 47k/sec for the win :P

Looks fun though, screenshots and vids remind me a lot of Shadowgrounds which is awesome! 
Fairly unoriginal story (biological weapon experiment gone wrong, you're the virus mutant overdude), but a fun game after all. Sort of a cross between Oni and Mirror's Edge, with DBZ- and Matrix-like physics bending. Awesome gore.
The game basically consists of jumping and runing through a sandbox Manhattan on a constant kill frenzy, leaving an insane bodycount behind (after each mission you get a statistic about civilian/military/infected losses and destructions costs). Lots of combos and upgrades which can be bought with the EP points gained from free-roam wreaking havoc, story missions of average quality, and timed events like speedrunning, gliding, combat scenarios, and collectibles. Fast gameplay with smooth movement/navigation.

Not the greatest and most sophisticated game in the world, but a fun blast nevertheless. Well worth the $15 (Steam summer sale). 
I don't care if it's a japanese anime looking arcade game, I want to play this on PC 
Darkspore looks cool. Half diablo, half spore and with L4D's director. 
I was just noticing that. Does look interesting. 
Needs more than 2 players tho.

Speaking of which, Alien Swarm; 'sup? 
Alien Swarm 
Quite nice for a free game. Too bad it only has a single campaign so far. So, go mappers!
Fairly easy with a 3+ team. The parasites in the fourth level are evil, though. Probably pretty challenging on hard skill and above. 
Alien Swarm Mapping 
As an fyi, if people have not looked into it.

It uses a tile based mapping system whereby you create a seperate map for each tile and then you can either snap them all together yourself or use the games in-built map generator. Looks very easy to do, and you can use the pre-existing "official" tiles you simply generate your own new map if you are getting bored with the single campaign.

More info : 
You can also mix and match. You can stamp the prefabs together and when you're basically happy, open the merged map in Hammer and customize the hell out of it. 
i've actually been thinking of trying to make a map this way... built a couple of corridors, corners and outer walls for rooms that all snap together.
you could make something pretty big that way at the risk of it being boring, i guess... 
I actually tried that with Left for Dead 2 since Hammer supports instances. I made a bunch of standard sized rooms and hallways and tried to piece together an office building. It kinda worked but I got itchy to customize it very quickly after I started and it sort of fell apart. But I think the idea is sound... 
Modular Mapping 
I made something like that for quake years ago - it requires a custom engine like dp so that statically* rotated bsp objects work. It was posted at qexpo

The way it works is that a single bsp file contains a 'set' of tiles. Each tile is an individual bsp entity with entry points marked in the entity's fields. The progs then generates maps from these tiles each time you load the map. It obviously doesn't create the most exciting maps known to man, but I think the caverns map actually looks quite good.

Anyway, I'm sure I've posted about it before, but you know how it is when you did something first...

*ie SOLID_BSP entities which have an angle set, but no avelocity. 
Oh Well 
automating it would be cool too, but i just meant like make a bunch of func_groups and CnP them yourself.

as willem said, i think the hardest part would be resisting the urge to start customizing at least until you're done. :P 
watched a few prototype gameplay videos on youtube. looks like you start in a street then randomly walk down more streets back and forth until all the innocent people are dead. absolutely no linearity, variance in gameplay or even a point. am i wrong?

people were raving on about this game, but seeing it in actual it looks crap. 
You're Pretty Much Right 
Almost feels like they created the environment and then just tacked on a few missions and game modes. But it's still fun - I enjoyed indulging in an excessive killing spree. 
Watched a few Quake gameplay videos on YouTube. Looks like you start in a hallway and then randomly run down other hallways and go through rooms shooting monsters and finding keys with no variance or point whatsoever. Am I wrong?

(sorry, had to be done) 
Yes You're Wrong 
Sometimes you find secrets. 
Yes, You're Wrong (bis) 
Sometimes you die also :P 
The point is to have fun while randomly running down hallways to shoot monsters and find keys [and find secrets, health, ammo, places to walk where you're not supposed to and go 'he he he' at the author of the map because you're/you've doing/found something that they did not intend for you to do/find]. 
So who wants to be my StarCraft 2 friend? I would if I were you. 
feel free to add me if fancy a few games, I am a total starcraft scrub though :)

name : bughunt
character code : 292 
What is this character code shiz?

name: zwiffle

and I swear I thought yours was "bigcunt" at first. 
character code 650 
name : Bal
code : 384

Probably can't add Zwiffle cause he's not on EU server though. 
thats a bigcunt :(

I'll happily let you kick my arse though Bal =) 
Starcraft 2 Quick 1st Thoughts 
I've got to around half way in the single player campaign (I think) and I've dabbled a little in the multiplayer so I guess its time to offer some 1st impressions.

On the single player:

They really pushed the boat out here, each and every mission has a unique mechanic involved in it that forces you to play differently and use different tactics. New units and explained a drip-fed into your pool as you complete missions and you have plenty of time to experiment and practice with them.

Also, the between mission story elements came as a complete surprise to me. I think the best example I can think of to explain it would be the planet surface "point and click" interface of Freelancer. You can click on items and characters in the environment and get a cutscene or some funny news broadcast on the tv or whatever. You can also research unit upgrades, hire mercenary forces to fight for you and further enhance specific units in the armoury. Its also polished to high heaven, very impressed!

On Multiplayer : Now I am a total starcraft scrub, I have no idea about build orders, micro/macro management or actions per minute, so I expected to get well and truly pasted in multiplayer, but Blizzard added a really great system whereby you play 5 "performance analysing" matches and then the game will put you in a bracket of other players with the same skill level as you. From what I can tell it works very, very well. When you learn to play better and start beating everyone in your bracket the game will move you up to the next bracket, and so on. Great stuff.

Other shizzle : The interface and menu's are fucking fantastic, really. "Challenge missions" to improve your multiplayer skills. When you load the game up, you only need to click twice to start a multiplayer game, its really streamlined. It also runs fairly well on my shitpile of a pc, which I am very thankful for :)

So, err. Yeah I guess I'm liking it so far. 
Yeah, it's nice, I've obviously played the beta quite a bit already, we should up for some coop later Daz, I could teach you some tricks. :D

The singleplayer is really well made, but what the hell, the characters and story is like the ultimate cliche in science fiction, it hurts to hear the dialogue sometimes. Fortunatly it's beautifully made. 
Yeah that would be nice, I finished my placement matches and got seeded right at the bottom of the copper league :P

I agree about the dialogue, some of it is pretty cringe worthy, but the characters are pure Blizzard clich�'s in a bottle like all their other other games :) 
Missions : yeah, they're fun and interesting. Just played the train-robbing one last night, it was pretty tough, just barely made it. I played it the wrong way (like a base-building mission) and so I got 0 of the achievements. I'm currently in Plat, but should def. be in Diamond, just gotta work my way there I guess. 
Yeah I think you can't be placed in Diamond directly after the placement matches.
I haven't done them myselves, too busy with the solo stuff, but if it's anything like the beta I should end up in Plat league I think. 
Oh yeah. I was able to befriend a BugHunt and saw him online, but when I said howdy there was no reply, so I'm sure whether it was Daz or not. 
I can't add you to my friends, so it's doubtful.
How do you befriend someone without his code anyways? 
Don't recall seeing any messages from you :(

I thought USA & Europe players were separated anyhow? 
Well I thought so too, until I saw I had Bughunt as a friend, and then I was confuzzled. 
Looks infuriating! 
Thought I might give SC2 a go. Looks kinda fun from the videos I watched of it.

Just one small question....


45 fucking quid!! In the age of digital distribution!! Fucking comedy ha-de-fucking-ha. Where's a bricks and mortar shop then?? 
If you have a friend or workmate or whatever that has brought the game, it comes with 2 10-day trial keys that give you access to the entire game, worth a look perhaps.

Also, I picked up my copy for �35 in Tesco of all places :) 
Yeah but I want to try it now before my ADD interest wanes. Wish I'd known about Tesco though.

Paid for the fucking thing, and it's been shit ever since then.

1. Terrible download speeds.
2. Completely raped the rest of my connection forcing a restart.
3. On restarting, it wouldn't let me continue the download as it was an invalid account.
4. Support link was broken and the page didn't exist.

Fucking GG Blizzard, what a bunch of cunts. 
Robert Kotick loves you and in no way wishes to sell your children into slavery. 
It Gets Better. 
Called their billing and account support to cancel my account and download.

"Sorry due to high number of callers all our operators are busy and we cannot accept any more callers into the queue, please try again later".

I hope everyone in this company dies a miserable and painful death very soon. 
Bler I could have given you a trial code so you could try before you buy. Also, yeah, the Blizzard downloader is full of shit, you're likely better off just buying a boxed copy.

Also, the game is $60 in US, because Activision knows that people will buy a PC game for $60 when it's MW2 or SC2 or WoW or whatever other franchise they depend on. 
Still Onto Cunt Support. 
Finally got through. Estimated 15 min wait time is up to 23 mins and counting CUNTS CUNTS CUNTS. 
29 mins then cut off. 
Try This. 
I have been attempting to download and play Starcraft 2. Due to the extremely slow download speeds and how badly the Battlenet downloader interferes with my connection, I need to cancel my account and get a refund - I *may* then purchase a physical copy of SC2. I am attempting to contact Blizzard on the phone support number. After numerous attempts where I couldn't even get in the call queue, I got in a queue with a 15 min waiting time. After 29 mins, the phone cut off and I was not able to speak to someone.

Please cancel my account and refund my SC2 order (order number *******) immediately, and then call me immediately on 0********* to confirm this. When this happens then I may consider purchasing Blizzard products in future. 
I am a Shambler and there are huge cojones beneath my fur!

Now, imagine you want to play your legit copy of SC2 20 years from now. 
I hope you get your money back, but only after more assraping from Blizzard, which you can then relate here! ;-) 
In 20 years, you have to appear in person, are chained to a console controller and filmed the whole time while a Blizzard paramedic stands by in case you starve or dehydrate (except in the US). 
are chained to a console controller

Microsoft want a word. 
Also, is there not a torrent or some such for the SC2 installer that would mean you could circumvent the ridiculously bad blizzard downloader? 
In fact, I believe the warez release by RELOADED is actually the legit installer but with cracked patches/.exe to avoid registration/

Altho I may be wrong, I care not for RTS 
I know a guy who plays it cracked/free/whatever. So it's possible I'm sure. 
Razor1911 said their release would work like a legit copy if you enter a legit key, at least that's how I understand it.

P.S. Owners of legit game keys may use our keytro in just the same way in order to prolong their offline activation period indefinitely

Reloaded is nuked for borked singleplayer. 
Hooray for Steam!

Except for the fact that they didnt get Starcraft 2.

Hooray for Amazon! 
You Know What Really Annoys Me. 
Fucking Daz, getting the game from fucking Tesco, for fucking �32, which is fucking cheaper than fucking Amazon. I bet they fucking stock it for �3fucking2 in the Morrisons 2 fucking minutes walk away, I could have got it and some fucking Scotch Eggs n stuff too. 
Scotch Eggs? Man, that shit is wrong. 
Also Daz Said He Got It For �35, Not �32 
So if you get it from Amazon, then you win by price by �0.09p

On other notes, I waited for Borderlands to drop in price, and started playing that recently. First impressions are that its pretty good, no-nonsense shootin' action. Also I wasnt sure what I was going to think of the gfx, but it actually works better than I had expected! Very addictive. Maybe one day MW2 will drop to <�10'000'000'000.00p per copy, and I'll try that aswell! 
I Feel For You Smabler... 
hugs! =) 
Calm Down 
Scotch Eggs remain within your reach. Always a calming thought.

The above solution mentioned by Spirit seems the best idea. 
Or, Better. 
Keep fighting for a refund, fuck the game off, buy �35 worth of Scotch Eggs WINNER. 
or maybe just �35 worth of Scotch to help you relax. ;) 
My New Computer 
Where's the PC rig thread, I thought there was one? Well i'm not creating a new one, but this is kind of related (since its a rig to play other pc games).

So I'm looking at getting the following:

� Intel Core i7 930 2.80GHz CPU
� Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R Motherboard (1366)
� 4GB Corsair CMX4GX3M2A1600C8 DDR3-1600 Memory Kit
� 1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX SATA3
� Sapphire HD5850 PCIE 1GB DDR5
� 2nd video card: GeForce 8800GT
� 600w Vantec ION2 Plus Modular ATX2.3 Power Supply
� Microsoft Windows 7

Looking at about $2300NZD ($1600US). Can't really afford much more than that. Thoughts and suggestions??? 
What is the purpose of the 2nd video card? I hope you're not planning on trying to have both your HD5850 and 8800GT in at the same time! 
Sounds like a great setup, the only thing I'd really want to mention is the RAM - that CPU and motherboard supports triple channel RAM so to get the most out of it you'll want a kit with 3 DIMMs, 6gb is probably the best option (2+2+2).

You'll also want to be sure that power supply will be adequete, particularly if you intend to have multiple drives and video cards either now or later. (It may very well be, I don't know, but it'd be worth hitting one of those online calculators to see if you can get an idea of the power draw you'll expect to see with that.)

I'm also curious about the 2nd video card, are you intending to have more than 2 monitors? 
Got 2 pci slots, so might as well fill em both? I figured they'd both combine to help with gaming... or does it not work like that? If you only have 2 for a second monitor, then I won't bother.

I thought 6gb ram might be an overkill, but if you think it's much better then i'll go with that.

Calculated out at 430w, so I guess the 600w will be okay, just. 
Thats almost exactly the same rig as I would buy!

Have you got a nice Air cooler? For overclocking your CPU to >4Ghz??? Should be fairly easy with that motherboard.

I wouldnt bother with the 8800. I tried putting one in my rig as a dedicated PhysX card, but it was really just a pain in the neck to get the drivers working properly, and then it turned out that for the game I wanted to use the PhysX stuff, it was impossible to use both cards (Metro 2033).

The Radeon 5850 is a seriously speedy card, I would know, I have one!!! I was thinking of buying another, but since all of the games I play run maxed out, there would really be no point.

RAM thing: The socket 1366 motherboards are deigned for using DDR3 RAM in TRIPLE CHANNEL mode, which means you're gonna need 3 DIMMS instead of two. I would buy a nice 6Gb kit (3x2Gb) instead of crippling the motherboard by forcing it to work in dual-channel mode.

The thing about 2 video cards working in tandem is that they should both be the same card - and they definitely should both be either Nvidia or ATI, but not cross-brand baloney (balogna gives me a spelling error, weird.) The HD5850 is pretty rock solid, so you shouldn't need 2, but if you plan on getting a 2nd one, make sure your mobo supports Crossfire, and you might want to double/triple check that you'll have the space in your case to support both cards. 
The 5850 will slaughter anything released now and even within the next couple of years I'd imagine. As Zwiffle says, if you're doing any kind of Crossfire or SLI thing with multiple cards, they must be the same make and model and almost everybody says it's usually better to get the best single card you can afford anyway.

Almost all video cards come with dual DVI or at the very least a 2nd VGA connector. In other words any card you could buy would support 2 monitors anyway. You only need more cards if you want to do some kind of whacky triple or quadruple monitor setup. 
if that's the case, i'd most definitely drop the the extra video card in favour of more ram. i've found with 3gb of ram, i'm quite often running low and need to step down game settings. remember that w7 is a modern os and requires a lot of memory to function.
with 6g, you'd probably be set on ram for a good long while. 
Yeah, don't get stuck in the hole I am in atm, 2 ram slots on my motherboard died (its 5 years old) so now im running win7 on 1gb of memory :P

To be fair, stuff still works, but it can take an age to do things. Go for the 6b matched set of sticks, there are some nice deals around from the top manufacturers! 
sweet, thanks guys! definitely won't bother with 2 video cards then, and i'll get the triple memory pack.

i'm always behind in gaming anyway - it'll probably be another few years before i actually catch up and start playing the 2010 releases, by which time this one will be ancient.

i can finally play hl2 and quake4 maxed out though yay 
You Can Play 
Crysis Warhead maxed out too.

Also the Radeon 5850 overclocks really well, infact the Catalyst Control Center that comes with the ATI drivers allows you to raise the core clock speed a bit, out of the box.
You can use "AMD GPU Clock Tool", (a different free util) to really overclock them. And they can take like 15-20% without breaking a sweat.


Borderlands is really very very cool. Far too addictive, and a lot more playable than I thought it was gonna be. The way that Co-op play works is really cool too - basically you just "invite" friends to join your singleplayer mission. All XP earned and items picked up whilst playing in your game, they get to keep. Character development works really well here too, seems to be endless leveling up. Even the AI is good. 
Back To PC Games... 
Rather than the hardware thread

...and my saga of trying play (or actually now avoid) other PC games continues:

Blizzard non-customer non-support:

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, we will be unable to provide you with a refund for your StarCraft II license.

Any queries, please contact:

Legal Department
Blizzard Entertainment Europe
Billing Support
TSA 60 001
78143 Velizy Villacoublay Cedex


That is not acceptable. I have not taken possession of the game (I only
managed to download 200 meg before finding the Battlenet Downloader utterly
intolerable). I paid the full price for the game before finding out it was
unsuitable to get it via Battlenet. I do not expect to have to jump through
hoops and be writing to people in France to have a perfectly normal action
of returning a game and getting a refund.

Given that Blizzard is very familiar with online gaming, there must be some
simple way to delete my account, cancel my download (and prevent any
attempts to re-download it via that purchase) and refund my money.

If whomever this email reaches is unable to deal with this issue, please
pass it on to your superior and get them to call me on 0********** or
0*********. I expect to receive proper customer service from Customer
Service, and my chance of being a Blizzard customer ever again (including
buying a physical copy of SC2 as I had previously intended) depends on that.

Is there any other area of a media purchase industry that takes this attitude to refunds?? If so, I haven't encountered it in my life previously. 
Prostitution, maybe. But then you probably never ask for refunds from your prostitute. 
Downloadable Content 
Isn't regulated at all, so a lot of the time the providers will just shit on the customer if it suits them. It usually does.

I can condense what their reply was into something more honest:

'This is our policy so fuck off, you're not getting anything. If you think you're big and clever enough try fighting with our legal team in France.'

I suspect the phone number will have you jump through more hoops until you can find an English speaker who will basically reword the above and invite you to declare a civil action (whilst making a slam dunk action).

I had a similar experience with Steam recently. 
I might make a huge and previously highly undesirable break from tradition, and make my next downloadable content something I don't actually pay for.... 
That's a shame Shamb :( I've never used the blizzard downloader for anything besides WoW patches so I can't really comment on it.

is it not possible to leave the download running overnight or something while you are not using the pc? if it works the same as the WoW patcher you should be able to stop and start the download process without having to start from the beginning again every time. 
You Have To Wonder 
Are the execs either idiots, or is the intention to criminalise and alienate their customer base.

Stupid question. 
i think i'll stick to circular plastic discs for now. o.o 
Well....consistent with the quality of my experience trying to get this game, when I stop the downloader and restart it, it claims it can't continue as the download is not authorised, and I have to go to the Battlenet site to log in (or rather discover that obviously I'm still logged in so the fuckign download IS authorised) and start from there, albeit at the same place (200meg / 7gig before I gave up).

Anyway due to how appalling there customer service is (I think I was trying to get this sorted for 2 hours on Tue evening), there is no way in hell I want the game, I want my money back. Where's my money mother fucker??

IF I'd phoned up customer service, got in a queue for 10 mins, and they'd sorted out it as you'd expect any decent company to do, then I'd have gone out and bought the game on disc that evening.... 
"LOL" Tattooed On Your Bollocks 
StarCrud 2, is it? 
More like Bordomlands. The graphic style is cool but the game lacks atmosphere. It's like driving through samey liveless wastelands levels doing seemingly pointless quests for random NPCs and killing the same few types of respawning enemies over and over. There's no point to exploration either, because all there is to find are lockers and caches with money, ammo, or one of the hundreds of different weapons with small differences in stats that have you stop all the time to compare them to the ones you're carrying. Every now and then there's an annoying boss fight, too.

I kept playing because I always hoped there would come something interesting at some point. Haven't tried coop yet - Ricky ignored my chat requests... 
I agree with you about borderlands EXCEPT for the graphic style being cool. I am vehemently against it - the style is quite and ugly and imo definitely a step back from their more realistic style they had before. 
I think the style is cool, at least they're trying something different. Some of the env work looks quite nice.
As for the game itself, it's ok. It's much better when playing with 3 friends obviously. I like picking up random loot, but there's not enough diversity, like in Diablo, where it works better because of all the different armor pieces etc. 
Adding To Ijed's Pile Of Flash Games 
Don't Look Back. The gameplay is pretty run-of-the-mill platforming (enjoyable still) but the atmosphere is excellent.

I think metl posted it a few hundred posts ago(?) but it's good enough to be reiterated. 
My letter to Blizzard today. Hmmm.

You know if their customer support weren't so fucking useless, I'd be playing a bought physical copy already. 
Yeah, We Know 
by now. 
Unreal 1 Dx10 Engine 
Bluesnews gave the heads up on a new DX10 renderer for the original Unreal engine and its games, I re-installed Deus Ex to give it a try and its fantastic.

Its completely faithful to the look of the original Unreal engine, no mucking around with new shaders or anything like that, it does support things like HDR but you can turn if off if you don't want it. You can also use AA and AF etc and it works flawlessly (with deus ex at least).

Obviously as its DX10, you need windows Vista or Win7. It fully supports Deus Ex, Unreal 1, Unreal Tournament, and Rune so far.

Page with info :

Download :

You also need the very latest version of direct X, linky :

And you also need some visual c++ runtimes 2010 update, linky :

I had forgotten how awesome DX was, im really enjoying playing through it again :) 
There's also an inofficial patch 227, with new renderers, lots of fixes, Linux and OpenGL support: 
thanks for the heads up on deus ex. man what a great game... probably give it a run through now. :) 
You have a license, so why dont you stop whining and just "aquire" a copy via a torrent or something? 
Because that is not allowed. 
For Unreal And UT 
for those without dx9, there are unofficial d3d and opengl renderers available that are quite an improvement performance and feature wise. 
I meant 'for those with dx9 only...' 
So... Does Rage on the iPhone go in here or the console thread? 
The Iphone Is Not A Console 
But it probably doesn't go in here. So let's all not talk about it. 
No, you're right, let's not. It's not that impressive anyway. 
someone mention Bioshock Infinite?? The trailer looks cool. I like the way they are doing it as a spiritual sequel to Bioshock (which I still haven't played, waiting to upgrade first). 
Yeh, I think I forgot to mention it on here, but it looks awesome. An actual BioShock sequel rather than the farmed-out cash-in that was BioShock 2. 
Bioshock: Infinite 
I am so going to preorder as soon as it is available. Bioshock is one of my favorite 'new' franchises, just simply fantastic. I would very much like to petition them for inclusion of level editor with this game, it's a fucking shame neither Bioshock nor Bioshock 2 had one.

Do want. 
Oh, and could a mod please change the name of this thread to 'other games' please. It just seems to make sense. 
Balls to consoles. 
God dammit Sham. That was a scary fast response.

And DO IT! 
Not Feelin You On That One Either My Hard Raving Amigo 
Rage = PC game.
Bioshock = PC game.

3500 posts in its not worth changing the name of the thread. Just my 10 english pennies. 
It was for all systems until Shambler decided to split. 
Deus Ex 3 gameplay;

The hell is he dragging the body with at 0:47?

But other than that, I'm fully hyped about this game. About time there was a proper sequel. 
Deus Ex 3 looks sweet. Like the yellow color scheme, but hope they don't use it everywhere in the game. 
I does look very neat indeed, im replaying Deus Ex 1 at the moment and loving every minute of it, I just hope this 3rd one will be better than the lol-fest that was DX2. I heard its possible to complete dx3 without killing anyone (though you wouldnt know it from that trailer) and the story and characters seem decent enough.

A with Shambler, I need one hell of a pc upgrade before I even think about getting it though! 
Deux Ex 
I purchased Deus Ex with the intention of enjoying some old school awesome that I missed out on, but unfortunately the program doesn't seem to want to work with my dx11 vid card and 64 bit system. I am not happy with that.

Any one got an answer/work around? 
Wasn't there some post about a new unreal engine build a few days ago? Would that solve the problem? 

Works fine on my x64 system 
I will check that out this weekend. 
Stalker 2 
Offical sequel was just announced. GSC plans for a multiplatform release which I am sceptical of, but w00t all the same :) 
RAGE Release Date 
September 13th 2011 tho 
Rage Iphone Sept 13 2012 
Quiet you. Apart from anything else, Carmack said there would be a iPhone game using Rage tech/universe out before Rage. Then iRage would be out at some point after console/PC release.

Also, the 13/9/11 is the US date apparently. EU has to wait 2 days;

14 Aug 2010
Velizy Villac FR
Debit Card Refund - Battle.Net Starc 44.99

Now off to buy 45 quids worth of curry and fuck that SC2 shit.... 
make sure to let them know when you get the sc2 torrent :D 
Any Modern SP Games Worth Mapping For? 
Any modern SP games worth mapping for? 
So How Did You Get It? 
did you threaten to moan and bitch about them on the internets? 
Errr that's all. 
come on, spill the tactics. 
I just kept emailing them, telling them it wasn't acceptable and I expected better customer service, and I wrote a letter to their French dept as suggested - although I got an email saying they'd refund me before that letter would have arrived, AFAIK. 
Duke Reboot 
Can't Say There's Any Evidence 
I heard rumors about the same thing, except replace Gearbox by Epic, Valve or id. All I can say is that it's a rumor. Would be great if it were true though. 
Portal 2 <3 
Do want. 
Portal 2 
... wow... looks impressive ! 
Torchlight 2 Has Co Op 
I'm sure I'm not the only Torchlight 'fan' (okay, it's not my favorite game but it is a good bit of fun) and I'm sure it'll tide Diablo fans over until D3 comes out. 
Mhh (I Is Drunk And Eating McDonald's. Filth) ((see, New Topic)) 
Just Say No 
keep the faith ... or keep losing it because it is DOOM (it's meant to be a cold war joke not a religious one) 
Hail Satan 
Oh Wow 
I read the few last posts and had the mental image of Doom4 being about a religious war with the Taliban fighting Cyberdemons 
is there a way to do the unreal->UT combo without actually owning UT, just Unreal? 
what do you mean? 
there's a way to run unreal with the UT engine, but the guides i've seen always say you need to have UT installed first.

but you end up copying all the Unreal files over anyway.

i have the Unreal cd but don't own UT, so i was wondering if there was a way to, instead of copying Unreal content into UT, to copy the UT engine to Unreal (assuming i could find an upload with just the UT engine of course).

i only ask because i've tried to play unreal again with the DX10 renderer plugin, but there's like this really weird mouse lag that makes the game unplayable. i was hoping the UT engine fixed that, since it was more recent. 
If you get this:

Effectively you have the UT equivalent renderers (well actually they are improved UT renderers but same thing). IS this what you are after? 
and it also fixes the mouse lag! thanks! ^_^ 
The Opengl 
works best for me but the d3d is also much approved. 
Deus Ex 
Argh I had forgotten just how fucking awesome this game is!

After all these years, it still has one of the most intelligent plot-lines I've seen in a game, its not scared of being complex and the characters are all very nice shades of grey as opposed to the typical "good guy - bad guy, or guy with a chip on his shoulder" you find in pretty much every modern game.

I'm on the final level/mission right now if I remember correctly, and I really don't know who I want to help/trust. A lot of games that give you this sort of choice at the end are very binary, to be the good guy help A, to be the bad guy help B, etc. All the choices I have discovered so far are,again, very grey in that regard, and it really comes down to what your own personal views are.

I'm hoping that the game won't fall into some horrid contrived ending where it doesn't really matter what you decide to do, its been so long since I played it I really can't remember. (No Spoilers!!) 
horrid contrived ending

nope :) 
Deus Ex. 
Daz is correct. One of the very few games that lived up to what it promised. 
I'm Sold 
Staff position is full of unpaid overtime and job insecurity? As opposed to freelancing?

StarCraft 2, still great. 
One Button Arthur 
One Button Car Game 

Enviroments and scenes look amazing. Gameplay looks moronic but kinda fun. Seems to be running at about 0.5 FPS in that clip though. 
I just can't get excited about it. Looks pretty damn stupid tbh. Yeh, great, it's pretty, but so's everything these days. And the gameplay/style/that horrible voice over all screams AWESOME/HUGE MONSTER/LOWEST FUCKING DENOMINATOR.

Wake me when Deus Ex 3 comes out. 
The FFXIV "Open Beta"/demo is coming out soon (not today as originally scheduled due to bugs.) Anyone else interested in FFXIV besides myself? I'm unsure, I've heard bad things about the beta but I'd at least like to give it a try. 
Fuck, there goes my entire week! 
All I See Is Blocks 
Minecraft is awesome, let me show you! :)

yes bad graphics are bad, but they have a certain charm to them.
My little house, that I made by cutting down trees and mining rocks. I also dug up some sand and smelted it into glass to make the windows. I had to gather some more wood and some coal to make the torches.
The beginnings of Castle Daz! Lots of mining was done to come up with the rock to make the walls. Its snowing here so everything is white, but you can gather the snow and throw it at things! :P
My house from the outside. The large watch tower at the top is so that I can fire my bow at enemies on the outside. There is a large chest full of arrows at the top just in case I run out :)
My castle from the top of the cliff behind it. Lots of torches around so I don't get any enemies spawning inside it at night!
I was digging down fairly deep below my castle when I found this underground stream, I mined through a block and suddenly all this water came into my tunnel and I nearly drowned :P You can re-direct the flow of water by building blocks around it.
Crafting a new mining pick, to create items you have to "draw" the item you want using the correct materials in the crafting square. There are absolutely tons of crafting recipes and you have to discover them for yourself. 
that looks wild o.0 
Gameplay And Other Bits 
So its basicly a sandbox building game, you start the game with nothing and go from there. There is a full day-night cycle and at night in areas that are not illuminated by torches (or lava) enemies can spawn and kill you.

You get resources by destroying certain block types to gain there raw materials, and then craft those materials into usable items.

The deeper you mine, the better materials you will find, for instance diamond can only be found at the very bottom of the world but is the best crafting material. You can make for instance a diamond mining pick that will last for a very long time and destroy rock blocks very fast.

There are all sorts of ways you can interact with the world also, for instance by harvesting tree leaves you have a chance for a tree sapling to drop. if you plant this sapling in an area with water and sunlight a new tree will grow there eventually and you can keep your wood resources near infinite by doing this. You can also create fields and grow your own food to regain health, or simply kill animals and take there meat and cook it to regain health that way.

The high level materials can be gained by combining different low level materials. for example to make glass you need to collect sand blocks with your spade, then smelt the sand into glass using your furnace (made with stone blocks). You have to harvest wood to place into the furnace first so that there is something to create heat to smelt the sand.

Bleh, im totally addicted! :)

Finally a warning, if you suffer from any kind of ocd you might want to skip this one! 
Is This The Same Game 
there was another block-based game where you could build your own structures and choose textures (and dig holes-- it even had a fluid engine where if you dug a tunnel and hit water, it would fill up).

that game didn't have any gameplay mechanics though, no monsters or resource management. 
roller coster video on minecraft site looks like fun 
Curse My Bad Luck, And Poor Choice Of Building Materials 
So I was mining in the cliff above my house, my house made of wood, when I happened upon a steam of lava.

Hilarity ensues...

and Necros, I believe the 1st version of minecraft was simply a building simulator with no inventory management or crafting or enemies. The new alpha versions have all that good stuff :) 
So I Checked It Out... 
it's an alpha... and it costs 10�.
it's a sad day when someone charges you to beta-- alphatest their game. 
Hah - Lava'd 
It looks great though, despite the Valve style pay to playtest thing. Do you get access to all subsequent versions?

Daz, did you rebuild on top of the smoking ruins? 
if you pay for it now its only 10 euro's. It will be 20 once its finished. You do get access to all updates + expansions for free if you get it now.

I did manage to eventually put the fires out by running to my well with about 8 buckets and filling them with water. The trouble was that I had to stem the flow of lava first :P eventually most of the wooden walls were gone and I had a nice layer of snow on my stone floor :P all is rebuilt now and I managed to swipe some buckets of lava for my next home addition, a moat of lava! :) 
Doom3 RoE 
Tested it last night, it's been a long time I was looking for playing it...
More comments to come when I'll have finished the game :) 
Yeah I bought it a while back (should play again for the new stuff, but I'm afraid of wasting too much time with it again).
It's fun, I made a really high tower of solitude, once it was done I just stood at the top with my pile of useless gold, not knowing what to do more. :)
Looking forward to some kind of multiplayer with this mode. 
So... either it's really being made/finished by Gearbox or it's an amazingly good joke.

Either way hilarious.

Shit... now I need to hurry up with rubicon 2 or else DNF might come out first! 
Not surprised about DNF, and I can't say I'm all that excited about it anymore. I'll get it, I'll play it, but the hype is just too far gone for me.

Rubicon 2, on the other hand ... I would like teaser pics please :) 
(at least about rubicon 2).

posting this as a reminder to myself to play it some day: 
Random -- the text is from the times of india. 
I tried the demo today.. I need to go to the shops tomorrow to pick up some new pants :P

Its great, and a pretty natural evolution from the Penumbra games.

..Don' the water 
GG Gearbox really. Reckon they'll get a half-decent shooter out of it. 
So-called "Quantum Chess" 
interesting anyway:

1. Pieces randomly choose their type when you click on them once, then you click again to move (or if no legal moves are available, your turn is over.)

2. once a piece type is determined, it won't go back to a question mark until it lands on a black square.

3. you have to actually capture the king to win, rather than just mating. 
It's Kind Of Interesting 
but totally missing the point of chess. 
VVVVVV Now Only $5

Posted previously, but it was $15 which is pretty outlandish for a (nice) flash game. $5 seems reasonable.

(Also on Steam apparently) 
It's super hard!
But fun. :) 
The computer always gets the right pieces and all i get are peasants.

Maybe it would be intersting if there were specific rules that decide what piece you get. 
"Give Up Robot" 
good twitch platformer with a grappling hook. I've only made it to level 43 so far: 
Yeh, tis cool, very GlaDOS on acid vibe to it, altho the jump response is slightly annoying at time (you have to release all keys to jump again, so I kept running off ledges).

And strangely played it, returned to post and found I'd got to exactly the same point. I think it's 'cos that run left/right on the elevator through a death maze in level 42 is so taxing that a break is needed. 
Give Up Robot 
Nice game, reached the last level (50), it's hard.
Also finished VVVVVV yesterday, fun game, but hardcore as well. 
Starcraft 2 Mapping 
So, can anyone recommend any other tutorial sites for SC2 editor besides SC2Mapster? 

Got to level 50. Brain melted before I managed to complete it.

I can do the first (easy bit). I can land the hookshot onto the spinner from the right point to land on the dissolving platforms. I can even re-hook onto the 1x1 moving block.

Then I swing face first into the top or bottom of the (first of three) pixel perfect gates. Every. Single. Time.

Also, pretty things;

The interviewer is piss annoying and there's too much of his face, but what you can see of the game itself looks interesting. Metroid/Ikaruga gameplay combined with a Tron/SotC fusion aethestic.

Bastion looks very lovely too, altho I may have already mentioned this... 
the interviewer does not now how to talk into a microphone, he's popping his p's and all the other shit that annoys the hell out of people, the jerk. 

He does commentaries mainly but is also a fairly well known sc2 mapper. He had 2 videos currently detailing the basics of the editor (which you probably wont need to watch, it really is the basics) but will release more very soon detailing the script editors and etc etc, recommended :) 
SciFi Construction Game 
Needs 2d Artist 
Nobody listed this yet?

A cutesy platformer with a few dark secrets. 
Half Life2 
After not having played any games for a very long time, I found I had a long forgoten Steam account with HL2 available. I have just spent 19 hours playing it again and what great fun.

Fortunately, I have the memory of a goldfish so remebered very little of it - it was just like playing a new game.

Think I might try a few more; not sure I want to play Quake anymore. 
Get yourself the orange box too if you enjoyed HL2, more of the game/story, plus portal/tf2... 
Get yourself the orange box too if you enjoyed HL2, more of the game/story, plus portal/tf2...

Seconding this. Portal is incredible. I just replayed it again (+ advanced levels) in preparation for testing a buddy's beta level, got re-hooked and am now making my way through the "least-portals" challenges. Sooo cool.

Fortunately, I have the memory of a goldfish so remebered very little of it - it was just like playing a new game.

Hahaha, this is me. I can replay a game from a few years back, and it's almost like playing something new sometimes. Hooray, early onset of senility. 
Hahaha, this is me. I can replay a game from a few years back, and it's almost like playing something new sometimes. Hooray, early onset of senility.

me too, but i find there are some games that i can replay and other i just can't.
for example, i got back into deus ex easily, but got bored of unreal. 
Unreal IS Boring 
It's been a real chore for me to finish it...and I still have to play the expansion pack. Joy! 
Bioschok Scripted Event Trailer.

7 minutes of completely linear on-rails (literally) interactive movie scripted events, 1 minute of actual gameplay.

Still, the setting looks awesome. 
i was about to write something similar regarding the amount of gameplay. It's actually 30 secs at 3:30 and a minute or so (if you are generous regarding what's actually gameplay) after 6:00 
They had the same thing for Bioshock 1, and it still turned out not too linear.
The game isn't coming out before 2012, so I'm guessing this is more of an intentions mockup. 
looks good. As does Elizabeth, boner. 
+1 To Wanting To Bone Elizabeth 
can't wait for it 
I actually just finished bioshock (on xbox - sorry shambler)last night, and just watched the trailer for infinite this morning. 
Flash platformer where your mouse cursor can distort the play field in order to progress. 
Gothic 4 Demo 
Mixed feelings. Graphics are good, even though the trees could have been higher quality (I recommend disabling the vegetation fading option). Performance seems okay on my mid-range machine - not entirely smooth on max settings, but definitely playable. On the other hand, there's not much going on and there are no huge areas in the demo, so I'm not sure.

Hard to tell if the gameplay holds true to the Gothic series. The demo doesn't show that much. Though, admittedly, with 1-2 hours its playtime is surprisingly long for a demo these days.

My initial impression (and fear) is that the game is quite consolized. For example, it's impossible to climb or jump over certain stuff, you can't swim in water (=death), there's 'safety clipping' and I think I read somewhere that there isn't going to be a huge open world but several levels, which the demo island would support. Having just played through The Witcher, this would be quite a disappointment.

Combat isn't too original apparently. Not as dull as G3, but still pretty much button-mashing. The skilling system seems to be different from the predecessors - basic skills don't require teachers anymore.
Another thing I that think is unnecessarily reducing immersion is a fade-to-black effect every time you start a conversation.

Shambler fap potential: ~3.5/5

I'm still going to get the full game, but... dunno. Nothing beats G1 and 2 (which I've also replayed recently). Risen 2 is in the works, too. 
I've been playing this a bit too after a friend at work suggested we try playing it together. It's absolutely the most addictive thing I ever touched (except my penis... but that's not a pc game) and I have already sunk hours and hours into first playing it single player and experiencing the survival aspect, and now multi player, and getting more time to build stuff. I'm still playing in survival, so I need to mine the materials I build with, but there is currently a bug that makes everything invincible, so I needn't worry about monsters attacking at night.

Anyway, I'm kind of surprised more people here aren't talking about it, since it seems like exactly the kind of game that would get mappers hooked. The graphics and feel of the lighting are even a little like Quake. 
I{m looking to make an office server for it.

It{s stupidly addictive. I clicked on an empty save game by accident and ended up playing in a brand new world for a good half hour.

Now for the showing off:

I{ve got a tower of despair which floats free of the terrain, being accessed via bridge and gets wider the higher up it goes. It{s got about fifteen rooms, and is getting close to the clouds. It has an obsidian obelisk, loads of glass windows and a wall of gold over the double doors. It has an escape tunnel to my mining camp (an underground tower) and a causeway to my beachside cabana of doom. 
And my tower has an amphitheater, overlooking the obelisk. 
Anyway, I'm kind of surprised more people here aren't talking about it, since it seems like exactly the kind of game that would get mappers hooked.

I think actually, mappers already have an (arguably better) outlet for their world-building impulses, so they might be less excited by it. As soon as i started building something serious I stopped and thought, "hmm, this would be easier in radiant." 
I like the survival and mining/crafting aspect more than the building. I mean, I like the building too, but it wouldn't be enough to hook me (and wasn't the first time I tried a few months back, in multiplaer).
I have a flying tower as well, I access it with a ladder, and to leave it I have a waterfall coming from my interior pool that reaches all the way to the bottom (alternativelly, I've discovered that just jumping off info the water, few hundred meters below works fine too :).

I'm looking forward to him adding more gameplay. Monsters, special dungeons etc. I already found a few special rooms with spawning zombies, and chests, that was nice.

I stoped playing though, cause Civilisation V is out... 
Oh Wow 
civ 5 looks amazing and i like some of the gameplay changes they've made like forcing only 1 unit per tile instead of being able to infinitely stack them.
sounds like it'll simulate how armies can eat the land dry or something. 
Civ 5 is awesome. Want to try mp with some dudes. Anyone up for mp? 
Special Rooms 
Haven't found any yet - though I saw a minepedia entry describing them.

Interior pool? Damn, that beats me then. Can you swim up the waterfall as well? 
Ijed, Zwiffle, Necros 
Yeah I only found 2 special rooms in my playtime, usually while wandering around natural mines, sometimes you'll hear the noise of many zombies, try to dig around towards the noise and you may find one (the ones I found were always totally closed in otherwise, so you have to dig to get in).
And no unfortunatly I can't swim up the waterfall, I could but it's so slow, and my tower is so high that it would take 10 minutes.
I also have a glass tower of lava along my tower, so I can see it from far away even during the night.

Maybe I'll try some CivV MP later. Seems kind of long though, not sure if it's the kind of game I like multiplayer. Can you save the game to continue later?
And yeah it's a great game, the one army per hex rule is a good change. 
I stole your idea about the water lifts - they look very cool but it's faster to walk up (breathing would be a problem as well).

An indoor pool got me thinking about an indoor farm though - hydroponic.

Not least because I finally found a secret room (about ten minutes after reading your post) with two chests and a spider-spawner. The chests had bread and wheat and stuff in them. Very frustrating that I fell into lava about three minutes later and lost it all, including the 'mossy cobblestone' the room had been made out of.

But, I finally figured out how to remove lava with water, and I suspect that I can make one of these obsidian factories, although to date trying to pick up lava I've only managed to incinerate myself.

Need more diamond to make some decent tools as well... 
And, I finally broke through the cloud layer - just building the walls now. Wonder if the clouds will still appear, just clipping through the tower like a floating carpet.

Should probably be making a speedmap. 
Special Rooms 
Hopefully they mean the start of a proper dungeon generator - that'd be cool.

For the next new enemies the slimes sound good, almost like multi-part Shoggoth'. 
So I tried Obsidian farming.

Unfortunately I tried it inside the tower, where the floors at least were made of wood - burnt the lot.

I think it must have been sparks from the lava since the thing was inside a stone trough.

Then the water from my hydroponic farm got everywhere.

The white thing is a cloud.

The other 'day' I found a creeper inside the tower as well, that knocked all the pictures off the walls. Must remember to close the doors. And put doors on the water lifts, just in case. 
awesome :)

My latest travels involve a boat! I made a little port with a jetty and a couple of boats and have been sailing up and down the coast and jumping down every hole I found along the way.

What a fantastic little game! 
Heh, you're story reminds me this :

The fireplace in my home is surrounded by rocks, was really careful when making it (same for my glass tower of lava, which pools down to the glass ceiling of my main room, procuring some nice lighting). 
That cheers me up, as I lay my stone floors :)

I've got a tower of lava as well, which joins my moat of lava - great for frying the bad guys. 
lol that was pretty hilarious Bal. 
Yeah, I've been there :) 
Read All This Minecraft Chat 
and I was all FINE I'll buy it. Err, it's quite addictive, it somehow appears to be nighttime now.

My achievements are pretty lame so far though. I created a glorious small wooden shed with one window. I created a retarded cobblestone house that zombies like to hang out in. Took me about 3 hours to spot the iron ore. Got repeatedly killed by what appears to be a small Optimus Prime carrying a crossbow. I dominate the sheep though. And pigs.

Wasn't loving it at the start though, due to installing/server/launcher woes, general lack of explanation of how you do fucking anything, and graphics being so basic you have to guess what things are. Is that a pile of string? A table? Fuck it's attacking me.

I look forward to wasting many more hours of my prime years on this though. I love the feeling of feeling (almost) safe in your house with all your torches at night, venturing in from the danger of the dark, with possibly useful objects and large stone blocks in your backpack.

P.S. Someone get Aardappel to port it to Cube please. Thanks. 
can't say i'm ever going to install this game, but that video was pretty fkn funny. 
The Video 
All that stuff he had in his house must have taken ages to get hold of - I've been playing for quite a while and have only one book block.

Kona, if you enjoy having free time then for the love of god don't install it.

We've just started our office server, downside being that humans can't receive damage. Apparently that's in the works for some time this week though. 
More Minecraft 
You think all that stuff in the mouse must have taken time? 
So He Built A Computer? 
And... what mouse ;)

Was that done with the level editor? Must have been. 
Pretty cool some of the things people are making!

Not sure if pigs grazing in the middle of your computer chip is a good thing, lol 
Blow Shit Up! 
That video doesn't show the crater it leaves at the point of impact - its about the size of the first house you make. 
Uh Turpile Post 
Yes it does. 
Malice TC 
Greetings folks!

Pardon me if this is the inappropriate thread to raise such speculation, however from my eye it had no suitable home in the others. I've just finished ripping and tearing through Ratloop's Malice TC for Quake, an exceptional addon in my eye without getting into an extensive analysis of why this is so.

The question I wish to raise is did the development team neglect to include a source kit to allow users to create their own levels, or did they simply not want others to do so? As I must say the only diminishing factor for me was the length of Malice.

I wish it were more extensive! And it is a shame no custom maps were made for it. 
Ether: They put a devkit on the long-defunct Malice website. Here is the file:

Spirit: Have you played Half-Life Decay yet? If not, let's try to play it together. Thing is, it appears to be a a sort of coop mod (straight port from the PS2 version or something); playing in SP is stupid because one has to control both characters - there is no AI control. Or at least so it seems. 
HL2DM New Map Released: Dm_stripclub 
Welcome to CITY514, sister of city17.
After a good lunch at your favorite restaurant on the main, you
and your friends decide to cross the street and have a beer at
the stripclub. You can easily see the mood of the staff that aren't
satisfied to work there by hearing what they're saying. Feel all
the action of a real stripclub by yourself! Oh by the way, if you
see Nancy can you say hi to her for me? ;)

get it here:

QMD I Literally Love You 
Map rating : for anyone, no nudity content (seriously)

That kind of ruins it, now doesn't it? 
L4D/L4D2 On The Cheap 
Sacrifice related

Asaki I'm looking at you, but you're not looking back, because you don't visit func. 
L4D bundle - both games for 10 bucks. Can't get any better than that. 
I finally finished Unreal -- kind of long and meh, if you ask me -- and was wondering if I should even bother with the Return to Na Pali mission pack.

Also, I have been playing Rune lately and am totally digging it :) 
If Oyu Didnt Like Unreal 
RTNP is not going to change your mind. 
If I remember right, the expansion was a bit poo?

There are some very high quality custom map packs/episodes out there that are probably better! 
No Its Not Poo 
but it is basically more of the same. 
do you have UT or Unreal only? If UT, I can suggest a couple of mapppacks. 
Unreal Gold Only 
No UT :(

So, what mappacks/episodes are good for Unreal? 
I'll Have To Check Through My Backup Drive 
but Tower of Shrakitha comes to mind as does Tim Jervis' Illhaven 
Here are my recommendations:

The Elder
Illhaven Saga
The Landing
Liberation of Na Pali
One Day
Shamu Quest
Shinigami Level Pack 1
Spantobi: Unexpected Threat
Tarmation: The Tiradium Sublimation
Tarmation 2: A Rude Awakening
The Tower of Shrakith'a
Valley of Alshar

You can find all of the above (with reviews) at I'm not sure if you would like them or not as you've stated that you didn't enjoy the original much, but still... 
About Unreal SP 
Is it possible to play these maps with Unreal Tournament ? Or do I need something "different" like Quake vs Quake 2 (note I am not really an Unreal expert :P) ? 
Should gave real post #3731 and "3732 before posting... though... :( 
Cheers, Erc! 
I will still have a look, even if the original didn't thrill me. 
that one is awesome. 
Hexephet and One Day are both great packs too.

JPL, you can play most of these in UT with the Oldskool mod but some of them are Unreal only due to some coding issues (I think Liberation of Na Pali is one of those).

But if you have UT and want to try some good mappacks :

Operation Na Pali
7 Bullets
Xidia Gold
Project Zephon
Project Xenome 
Thanks a lot for the information: I'll try this as soon as possible :D

if you want reviews and download links. 
Robot Wants [Thing] 
It's interesting to see the progression in these games:

Robot Wants Kitty is practically a proof of concept with its bare-bones artwork and a relatively small game world, but establishes the basic "metroidvania" game progression.

Robot Wants Puppy makes the art a little better, adds bosses, more interesting enemies, and a really cool kitten-based combat system. The only weak part is the over-reliance on keys, i think -- the whole point of this genre is using abilities rather than locked doors to gate the player.

Robot Wants Fishy really brings the polish; the world design is more interesting, the art is better, tbe bosses are better. Introduce health points (in this case a shield good for one hit) and upgradeable items.

The last in the series, Robot Wants Ice Cream is on the verge of getting away from the roots a bit, but is still solid if you like the previous games. There's a crazy amount of pickups in this game since everything gets upgraded multiple times, and they probably should have been color coded, but it's still good. Now you have three hit points and can aquire energy tanks to power your special abilities. Progression requires more thought and exploration than before, but not in a bad way. 
"really Cool Kitten-based Combat System" 
is an awesome phrase 
Arcania - Gothic 4 
Mixed feelings. By itself, it's not a bad game. Polished, bug-free, (mostly) nice graphics and some cool-looking areas. However, as a sequel to the Gothic series I'm afraid it is.

It was a obviously developed as a console game, and should work very well there (minus the reduced graphic detail maybe). As a PC game, it falls short on many levels - it ultimately ends up being a linear action game with watered-down RPG elements. Everything that was great or unique about its predecessors is neglected or left out, for example skill upgrades, alchemy and forging don't require trainers and workshops, friendly NPCs can't be attacked and the AI doesn't infight, you can steal everything and nobody cares, no sleeping, heavily simplified magic system etc. Exploration is hardly possible in the more or less confined 'levels' (seamless transition between the areas but blocked until the corresponding point in the main quest line). Needless to say, it's impossible to climb or jump up larger rocks and other structures. There are some semi-hidden chests here and there, and a few optional console-style "Find 30 hiddem items" quests, but that's it. At least it's possible to turn off the radar and quest markers.
Relatively low number of side quests, though this makes sense given the small scale of the areas.
Combat isn't very sophisticated and it's easy, even on hard difficulty (which I played on). Ok, to be fair, I used the Inferno spell a lot, especially in the samey dungeons later on.

The story is kind of silly. Felt somewhat random, not as epic as in the other games. They could have filled the holes a little better. One does meet all the main characters and all the monsters from the Gothic universe, but in the end, I think this game would have been better off as a standalone RPG. That way, the bar wouldn't have been so high and people probably less critical.

Bottom line, a good game (mainly for non-PC platforms), but a bad sequel. I did enjoy the ~22 hours (except for the two hours I wasted running around confused and clueless in the city before and during that asshole quest where one has to find stuff to destroy the magic barrier :P), but still I have to lower my inital SFP rating to ~2-2.5 / 5 
I agree with most of that negke.
Suprisingly the first area (around the tavern) felt the most interesting to explore, then as you go things seem to be more and more linear, and I had very little interest in exploring.
Also, what the hell is up with the teleporter stones that only work in pairs? That was stupid.

It almost feels like you could take the island, open it up completely, and make a new game out of it, that would be more faithful to the Gothic series.

Risen was more of a Gothic4 in my opinion really. 
Necronomicon Card Game 
CoD: MW2 (360) 
Not on the PC, but I play MW2, L4D 1/2, Bioshock 2, Nazi Zombies, Borderlands, &c on Xbox live when I have time. Gamertag is BetterThanUNIX.

Sorry for going off topic. 
Boom Tish 
Anyone try any of these yet?

They all look pretty obvious I'm not quite sure why Obsidian didn't already to these for the game? 
Vietcong 2 (2005) Review 
While I enjoyed the original Vietcong, released in 2003, the follow-up two years later was very lacklustre. It almost felt more like an expansion pack than a sequel.

The graphics were exactly the same and hadn't upgraded at all in two years. This definitely wasn't helped by the majority of the game being set in urban environments and towns. What made the original so great was it's lush jungle atmosphere, but that's missing here until the last 1/4 of the game.

The game is split into two parts (in theory), which a US campaign which is all urban based, followed by a VC campaign where your now a Vietnamese Soldier. Unfortunately the VC campain only takes a couple of hours, while the US campaign is around 5-6 hours. It all adds up to a well under 10 hour game, which feels like the developed pushed it out in an unfinished state.

The final battle at the end of the VC campaign was just another battle, no epic finale at all. The game just suddenly ends. I wouldn't be surprised if the VC campaign was supposed to be much longer but, for whatever reason, it was never finished.

Gameplay is similar to the original Vietcong except this time you have limited saves and some of the enemies can be very frustrating. There are countless times you'll see the enemies' head sticking out behind something, but your hopeless weapons just aren't capable of an accurate headshot. He'll hop up and somehow you still can't hit him. Your spray of bullets seem to be so inaccurate. The best line of attack is to sprint up to your targets or flank around and catch them face-to-face rather than trying to pick them off from a distance.

Overall, graphics that are dated for late 2005, ho-hum level designs and unpolished gameplay make Vietcong 2 are very average game. Perhaps it's a good thing that it's so short; that way you can play through it all on a rainy Sunday. 
Looks Cool: 
that's been in development for years. those guys are doom heroes for how much they've done. 
Yeah, I'm looking forward to that mod. Was on the team for a while until I got hired at HH cuz I ran out of time and the team sort of fell apart, which I've been told was not the first time it happened. They had a sort of weird set up on how to do things, so ... hope it actually gets released. 
New Vegas!!!! 
98% downloaded :) :) :)

Been waiting for 8 hours for this to download :(

220KB/s is too slow. Looking forwards to seeing what the new shooting style is like (you can now look down the barrel of your weapons, yay!). 
N-ewww Vegas 
It has ironsights. Now that you mentioned it, I realize FO3 didn't have them.

I haven't reached New Vegas yet, but I'm close. The game is pretty much like FO3 in terms of everything. Especially in the field of BROWN and LACK OF CONTRAST. Samey ugly wastelands. Some enemies are harder, giant radscorpions and deathclaws in particular. I guess this is where the new crafting/ammo creating system comes in handy, though I haven't bothered with it yet.

Typical FO3-style quests; the faction standing seems to be more sensitive now, which is probably a good thing.

If you liked the original, you'll enjoy this one, too. It's basically an addon, albeit large (and priced like a full game). I found that I could always only play it for some two at a time before getting too bored, and sometimes skipped through whole dialogues just to get the quests not caring about the story. 
*two Hours 
Sky Serpents 
Decent adaptation of the Shadow of the Colossus concept to a 2d platforming engine. Kill giant sky serpents while climing around on them and hopefully not falling off. 
I Don't Get It 
Cool Arcade Game 
Mmmmmmm Shiny! 
Project: Snowblind (2005) REVIEW 
Project: Snowblind was originally supposed to be the third Deus Ex game. However since Deus Ex 2 didn't do well enough commercially, Project: Snowblind became it's own universe.

You play the role of a soldier who, after being injured in war, is surgically enhanced with a number of pointless powers.

One of the biggest problems with this game, that I found, is that I struggled to get my head around all the powers, weapons, alternate fires and general rubbish used to improve your assault. Give me a shotgun and machine gun and i'll be happy. And that's basically how I played the game, switching to the plasma gun and lightning gun (don't know what the actual names were but they're very similar to Quake 3) later in the game. It boggles the mind how a console gamer could come to grips with all the shortcuts for this game when I strugged to remember everything on the keyboard.

You also have a railgun and rocket launcher, both of which I chose to save for boss battles. In the end, there was only one boss battle a few levels from the finish. The actual final two levels were difficult overall for the only reason that you have such limited ammo (and I never realised the vehicles have insanely destructive guns). In fact throughout the entire game ammo is very tight, probably because I was sticking too much to the same weapons.

Project: Snowblind has no difficulty settings, a fairly big flaw and from what I recall the first action shooter I've played without them. Nevertheless, the game was fairly good at getting the difficulty just right. It's hard at times, but often it's because you don't have ammo for the right weapon. I probably died several times during the game, half of which I was able to resurrect myself using an item acquired for this purpose (there's plenty littered around).

The other major flaw in the game is no quicksaving. Instead in most levels you get 1-2 checkpoints; which are basically rooms with a computer where you can save progress. It wasn't until the last 1/3 of the game that I realised you could return to the checkpoint and resave again. It's a silly and pointless idea, they should have either done quicksaving or automatic (magic) checkpoints.

The enemies are all fairly similar, just carrying different weapons or shielding. There are some robots which take a bit of firepower and dish out a lot of damage, but they're slow and can easily be bought down by keeping cover.

The design of the game is fairly average for a 2005 release, although it was only February 2005 that it went gold. It was also intended for Xbox and PS2, so this may explain some of the average looks. But i'd expect better. None of the levels are fairly big, there are very few set pieces and instead of lot of corridor-room-corridor designs. Doom3's corridors look a lot better than Project: Snowblind's corridors.

The game was criticised for being too short, but coming off a 6-8 hour walk in Vietcong 2, Project: Snowblind isn't too bad. Perhaps just under the 10 hours.

Crystal Dynamics aren't known for their first person shooter PC action games, so it's a good start. Pity they've done nothing since except overflow the market with Lara Croft games. 
Second Sight? 
By the way what's Second Sight like? Are the graphics complete shit? I'm thinking of playing it next.

Also curious about Bet On Soldier: Blood Sport (also 2005). Otherwise my list of next games to play run like this:

Second Sight (2005) - 70%
Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005) - 76%
Area 51 (2005) - 78%
Peter Jackson's King Kong - 78%
Quake 4 (2005) - 81%
Call of Duty 2 - 87%
Resident Evil 4 (3rd person) - 76%
F.E.A.R. - 89%
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005) - 88% 
FEAR Has Good Fun Gameplay 
Atmospheric too. Good AI.
R.E. 4 is meant to be good but I haven't played it. 
I Disagree About FEAR 
Felt it was pretty stale and uneventful.

RE4 was pretty good though, provided you can stand quick time events. 
Boring Minecraft Vid With The Explosion At The End Kind Of Thing 
Not as good as the burning house, but the tediousness of the explanation makes it. 
So I Got Steam, 
So I could play Garry's Mod and Left4Dead2 but I've been running into a problem; when I go to start either of these games it shows the loading screen (in l4d2's case it shows the Valve and introduction movies before the load screen) sits for a bit (my guess is it's loading at this point) but then the screen flashes and the game goes away, no errors, nothing running on the backhand. So naturally I; FFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-'ed
and looked for a fix, I checked the Steam forums in various places but found them to be a clutter of whining, bitching, questions with obvious answers, and questions on trivial things, but most of all- to be pages of no value or help to me.

At this point I have tried the following quick cures to no avail; restarting, using 'verify integrity of game cache' under properties -local files, de-fragmenting and optimizing drive (least my computer feels more sound).

Also, I receive a window when trying to run L4D2 abut having an "unknown video card" which I have this profoundly strong feeling that this is not good, and as i can't upgrade at the moment I'm trying to suffice with what I have.

So now I'm asking here for help, because I've noticed some if not most of you use steam and play these games (at least L4D2) and have encounterd various problems.

[ps ur smartes peoples on internets :}] 
What's Your Video Card? 
It sounds like a drivers problem if the games crash after the loading video.. are your drivers up to date? L4D2 should run on pretty old cards - I played L4D1 on an ATI 9600. 
The Mac Integration 
Completely donald ducked the game. The steam forums are next to useless, but sounds like Eric has the fix with updating the drivers if not then complain on the forum all the same, sooner or later it should be fixed.

Recently in Vs games we've all ended up on the infected side, watching the bots cowering in the safe room.

Like batman and robin with another robin instead of batman. 
I Got 
Mobile Intel 965 express chipset family

the drivers are up to date

I know it's total tripe 
Ok I Got Garry's Mod To Run 
had to wade through shit to find that i needed to start the game with these command line arguments;
-autoconfig -safe -dxlevel 80

i'm not sure which one did it but w/e, l4d2 still dos net work but shits to that i got garry's mod 
Osmos Is Definitely A Fun Title... 
... and some of the stages can get tough, at least for me. The levels where everything is static and large are neat figuring out how to outgrow everything else, though probably the easiest ones out of the lot. 
Black Ops 
Anyone have it ? I'm getting mine for PC, but hasn't been shipped yet (grr!) so no telling when I'll end up getting it.

Cool easter egg games though ... 
Played A Few Hours Just Then 
not really my type of game, but the campaign is spectacle to the max and it's generally very cinematic and exciting, and HOLY SHIT I'M DRIVING A CAR NOW oh okay i've jumped out and stabbed a russian in the tit AND NOW I'M ON A BIKE and i've got to shoot down a nuke? With a crossbow? THE PRESIDENT IS ON FIRE!! What the fuck is happening? I think I've been double crossed. By myself?

Whoever wrote this game deserves some camomile and a nice sit down. 
Best review for ages. 
Cute Game About Balls 
Func Helpline 
How can I tell my best buddy that I don't want to "experience" Black Ops? I don't like this hyped-up war celebration and rails hordes gameplay.

I already don't play Starcraft II with him. Partially because I would not buy it with all its DRM. But also because I just don't care about it. I'd play some older games (Red Alert, Dawn of War, Dark Reign) any day though. 
You could say "I don't want to play that game." but, you know, in German. 
I've Got A Mate Who Swears That CODMW2 
Is THE real game for REAL gamers, he says it's totally realistic and that no other game comes close. (He also says that his favourite tactic is to find a hole in the clipping hull so that he can shoot other players from outside the map - very realistic eh?

I say that he is a sheep, following a herd of marketing victims. I swear I would buy those games if they didnt cost �40. I would play the SP campaign then shelve them for evar. BFBC2 is apparently inferior to MW2 according to this freind of mine. He says he knows this, even though he admits he has never played the game! 
Now This Looks Like Some Serious Fun! 
Is definitely not the end-all-be-all of games, but for console fps mp I'm having trouble finding anything as good. The only other mp games I really play on the 360 is tf2, borderlands and some bioshock 2. On the tere are a ton of fps mp games that can competently compete with it for my attention. 
Last Sentence 
is supposed to start with 'on the pc there'. Still not completely used to the droid's sw keyboard. 
FO New Vegas 
Pro tip: Don't do all the side quests before even entering The Strip. Better to be one step before the end instead of having to do all the additional main quests after having lost interest. 
I'm at level 20 and I've done a bunch of quests, and I haven't been into the strip yet :S 
Is this like the new EVE Online? Anyone heard about this? Coming out November 25th, so ... 
COD Black Ops 
Fucking bleh. So unbelievably stupid and not even fun. 
Did you get it for PC? Gotta play zombie mode with me, biff and pushplay! 
COD Games 
Overhyped, overpriced and buggy. The multiplayer elements of the games (since COD3 and 4 certainly) is supposed to be the best part, but people who win all of the time use cheats and exploits (errors in the clipping hull which allow people to sit outside the visible space and shoot people who are inside the map).

I would have probably bought MW2 if it wasn't �40 ($60 US). �30 should be enough!!! 
Just Cause 2 
fun but absolutely devouring my school projects.

just fucking around blowing shit up and zip lining away is awesome.

repetitive when it comes to missions/ cut scenes.

Cannot kill hookers. 
COD Games 
Haven't played the older COD games, but:

COD: MW - good singleplayer, absolutely spectacular multiplayer
COD: MW2 - better singleplayer than MW1, way worse multiplayer than MW1

As for Black Ops, I am going to wait and see how the game turns out once they release a few more patches for it and once the price drops down a bit. 
Just Cause 2 
I had so much fun with this =) its almost scary how great this game is!

That grapple hook provides endless hilarity! if you have not tried this game out, go and snag it! 
Cannot kill hookers.

Pro, con or nuetral? 
neutral, i can brutally murder hookers any day of the week, why would I want to do it in a game? Gamers don't want the daily grind, they want true escapism. I've raped 3 dozen times this week, and now you want me do do it in my spare time, when i'm supposed to be unwinding? It's complete bullshit. 
Games allow you a bigger wardrobe and you don't feel self-conscious whilst murdering the hooker with a massive Mexican hat on. 
hat-wearing simulation games are really where the future of the medium is headed IMO. TF2 is making some great advances at the moment, really groundbreaking stuff! 
Is There 
some way to activate console in wolf-2009

or there is not console at all? 
Just recently finished it and like it a lot more than I did Unreal -- even with its boring start levels. Overall, I really enjoyed the different environments, assorted weaponry and rune powers, and odd touches like eating lizards for health and riding flying beetles. The change to godhood seemed a little tacked on but, all in all, it was a very satisfying romp.

Play it now! 
I am playing Rune every now and then. Unfortunately the Linux version is pretty buggy and things are sometimes vanishing (like entities in Quake ;) ).

Apart from that it is quite fun. The underwater levels with the crabs were really annoying though.

Now I am stuck at some castle thing with a broken bridge over lava and a rope just outside my jumping range. No idea how to progress. 
I was wondering what the fuck was going on. Maybe pants simulation next week? 
Nehrim an amazing TC for Oblivion. I just started playing last night and am thoroughly impressed. I'm still in the first semi-tutorial area so am not allowed to roam as I please quite yet, but I'm having more fun than I did with stock Oblivion.

(I thought it had been mentioned here, but I did a search and couldn't find anything?)

To quote from another forum:

What is Nehrim?

Nehrim is a total conversion modification for TES: Oblivion made by a group of hardcore Germans that have gained fame by making high quality mods and TCs for Morrowind and Fallout 3. They've gotten better over time and Nehrim is quite possibly the peak of their abilities right now. It is literally a whole new game for you to explore and play - for free.

How does it work into Oblivion?

It doesn't. It's a total conversion. When you install it, you will be required to have an install of Oblivion on your computer and it will steal whatever it needs from your installation to its own installation. This game is an entirely new world that has nothing to do with The Elder Scrolls universe, Oblivion, or anything else for that matter. It has its own lore and backgrounds

Why should I download and play it?

What makes Nehrim special is that the dev team packed the game world with so much detail and content that you couldn't possibly be bored no matter what direction you pick to walk in.

This means that those copy n' paste dungeons with little to no life that were in the original Oblivion are gone and replaced with hand crafted shit. Everywhere. And it's gorgeous. These guys are good and have incredibly high standards of polish to their mods and Nehrim's the peak of that. 4 years of development, bitches!

They somehow managed to shove 56 German professional voice actors into a studio and had the goddamned patience to lip synch it all afterwards. I don't speak German, but it sure sounds good to my English ears!

The game's level mechanics are static and not leveled like Oblivion's. Everything in the game is hand crafted and placed from the equipment to the monsters to the trees. There are zones in the game where you should be and zones where you shouldn't be based on your level, but the game won't stop you from going there anyway for the most part. If you're level 15 in a level 3 area, you'll destroy everything. If you're level 3 in a level 15 area you'll get bent over and raped.

Make sure you follow the install instructions, especially if you have Steam, or shit will blow up.


Download links:

Pics and more info: 
that sounds really cool. i haven't played oblivion in years for all the things that are supposed to be fixed in this TC... i'll see about taking this for a spin on the weekend. :)
One More Caveat... 
The prologue bit (before you reach the abbey) has some inviso-walls and (slightly lame at times) kill triggers to keep you from wandering in the wrong direction once you exit the initial underground area. Supposedly that goes away once you're allowed to play as you will, and isn't really representative of the rest of the game. 
i don't think that'll bother me too much.

tbh, i felt oblivion could have used a little more railroading. i just hope that the game's quests will point me to the next higher level area when appropriate like WoW since this TC uses static levels instead of leveled lists like the original oblivion. 
They tell you a suggested level range as you're entering a new area (e.g. 7-14) and you may need to play more or less cautiously, depending on where you currently fall in that range. 
Quick Update 
I spent a while tonight screwing around in a 7-14 area, even though I'm just level 4, and it was doable, even though I had to be very careful, and cheese things a few times (e.g. beat three tough bandits by running backwards down the road constantly healing myself while taking the occasional swing at whoever was in the lead). Apparently it's safer to travel during the day and stick to the roads... 
Screenshots look great! Can I be bothered to re-install oblivion though :P 
only played an hour or so last night. very high quality everything.
the voice acting really is good and it's really too bad i can't understand what they are saying and have to read subtitles. it's professional level stuff. 
Steam Sales And Gift Packs 
Hey, there are some pretty good steam sales going on.

Anyone recommend Metro 2033 for $10?

Also, anyone interested in a Lead and Gold gift pack for $20? (10 copies of the game! Wowowowowowo!) I have no idea if its fun or not. 
I wouldn't recommend Metro 2033 even if it was down to $1...

But yeah, some good sales indeed. The indie game packs were especially cool, but I resisted the temptation, because I'm sure in the end I wouldn't play all of them anyway, or only briefly... 
Metro 2033 
I thought it was a nice fairly linear shooter, worth $10 in my opinion. 
Metro 2033 - I enjoyed it, the gfx are good, loads of scripting. Good atmosphere, you will enjoy the firstrun for sure. The monsters are pretty cool. But it doesn't have much replayability 
Lol - Just Saw The Codemasters Racing Pack 
On Steam - there are four items, it says "Individual price - �32.00, package price �49.99"

now i'm replaying oblivion. -_- 
Don't Worry 
You'll get bored soon enough. Remember the repetitive oblivion gate levels that from a certain point on you finish by speedrunning straight to the crystal? 
Fallout 3 
Just bought it on steam. So far I've talked a lot. Hope it gets better, fast. 
Super Meat Boy... 
is awesome, get it!
Not for the weak though, hardcore platforming action.
Also, play with a pad. 
Fallout 3 Gets Better 
gradually. Just stick with it man. By the midway point its pretty engrossing. 
So far I've talked a lot. Hope it gets better

now i'm replaying oblivion. -_-

Why? I'm having more fun with Nehrim than I remember having with Oblivion, by far.

Just hit level seven and am farting around in...Elohim(sp?), the really big city, and regularly getting in way over my head in crypts and sewers, etc. and having to run for it. Nothing is awesome like getting attacked by a swarm of 20 or 30 little, tiny, midget (child?) skeletons.

I'm probably going to head back to a lower-level area once I complete the one quest I have in this city. It's just too high-difficulty for me currently.

Oh, and I just bought what I *think* is a forever-lit torch; there's no tooltip or anything, but "Eterna Torch" seems pretty obvious (and pretty cool). 
well, it started out initially to just test out performance.

for some reason, nehrim runs really really poorly. i can maintain ~60 fps in oblivion with distant *everything and max view range, but nehrim just chugs along at 10 or sometimes even less fps.

what kind of machine do you have, pjw? i'm running on a core2duo 6300 which is pretty old these days, 3gb ram and a gefore gts 250.

i guess it's more along the lines that i'd like to play nehrim, but oblivion will do instead. 
I'm running 64-bit Win7 on an Intel i5 2.66 with 8 gigs of ram and a geforce 9800. There are places it chugs slightly, but I haven't had any significant problems (other than two lock-ups and pretty common crashes on exit, which I get with Oblivion too).

Apparently there's one forest that's pretty bad, and most people have to turn off distant land while they're in there (no biggie, since you can't see it anyway).

Maybe just try turning down your settings and making sure shadows are simple/off, no self-shadow, all that good stuff? You really are missing out... :( 
yeah, i've since noticed there are additional settings only available in the launcher that don't appear in the game. so i've got it running a little better now but the game looks fairly shitty. it's still pretty decent-- this is oblivion after all, but yeah, i have no shadows on (except canopy shadows, because with that off, forests look retarded).

it's really a great TC. all the areas look great with hand placed stuff. you know those oblivion mods that modify boring areas and make them much fancier and unique, it feels like that for most of the areas in nehrim.

one of the things i've noticed though is that the TC hurts by not having some kind of ui system to show mob levels.
yeah, the first instinct is to cry out 'it's intrusive and unrealistic!' but think about it for a minute:
if you stumble onto a bear in the wilderness (heh.. yeah ok...) you'd be able to gauge it's relative strength by how large it is and how fast it seems to be moving.
in WoW, for example, most mobs of the same type all look the same. they might be slightly bigger or darker, but that's it. telling me 'this mob is level 15' gets around the graphical limitation to give me information i should be able to figure out.
but in oblivion, you have generic looking mobs of varying strengths with no way of knowing their power until you fight them. sure, you might learn 'diseased wolf' is weaker than 'rabid wolf' but the mob text only shows up when it's about 2 feet away from you.
as a sort of band-aid, they included this ranged spell that will pop up a little dialog box telling me the level and hp of the mob i hit. but it's a rather clunky mechanic to use.

but ok, i can understand that the oblivion engine has absolutely no way to display mob level in an easy way.

which i guess brings me to the actual thing i'd have prefered: simply marking down the level range of each zone on the map.
it'd look ugly, but it would have simplified things a lot more and let me plan out where i was going to go. for now, i have to stumble into a zone and only then read the zone text.
so far, i haven't found a map mod with visible level ranges so i'm still stumbling around. :P

but yeah, aside from those minor problems, the TC is still awesome. :) 
Flash adventure game, seems a bit like Samorost. 
which i guess brings me to the actual thing i'd have prefered: simply marking down the level range of each zone on the map. immersion!!1!

(Yeah, agreed, that would probably work better than the semi-trial-and-error approach.) 
StarCraft crossed with Halo
Seeing that Halo is shit, so is WarSoup. 
"we're going for a minimalist design approach" = we suck at design so our game will look shit.

i don't see anything in common with halo in that game (which is a good thing anyway since halo is rubbish), they're obviously just trying to get attention by making that claim. 
How does minimalism suck? 
Who said that?

I can read minds and Kona meant that they are going for a plain color minimal style because they are incapable of doing "better" textures.

The game looks pretty bad in every aspect though. Zwiffle, stop reading Kotaku already. 
Nah the concept looks cool. RTS + FPS is always an intriguing concept. 
Well they said it in their trailer.
Minimalism can be good in other media, such as graphic design or art. In games though, you'd have to have fantastic architecture to pull it off. Like Nunuk's Geometry Competition where you can only use 10 textures.

In the case of this game though, there was no architecture, just flat walls and some blocky terrain. I liked the GUI though. 
FPS + RTS can be awesome = BZ2

That looks like ass though. Sub-Minecraft GFX. 
I disagree, you could say Mirror's Edge and Portal go with a minimalist approach to environement art, and those are both great looking games.
Not every game has to be Gears of War. 
Gears Of War 
Doesn't look so great IMO. Very durgy colours. And flat lighting. 
Quick King Kong Review 
Usually video games released to coincide with a movie release are very average. However in this case, Peter Jackson's King Kong from 2005 is a fairly good action game.

I say fairly good instead of great due to one major problem in the game - playing as Kong. While most reviewers liked that you could play as King Kong, I cringed everytime I was forced to attempt to control the beast. Playing from third person perspective, the controls for Kong are terrible. Especially in cramped quarters, the camera angle will suddenly jump from behind Kong to in front of him, meaning you have to press the backwards key instead of forwards. On top of this, fighting other giant beasts as Kong is nothing but a chore in mashing the keyboard as fast as you can hoping he'll actually do something. Then when he's grabbed a beast to perform his fatality, you've got to pound on the 'grab' key as fast as you can to kill it. Terrible.

Fortunately, playing as Kong only takes up about 20% of the game. The rest is played as Jack as he repeatedly tries to get his love interest back. But that's not perfect either because you only get one gun at a time and limited amounts of ammo. At times your forced to play with spears that you find. Sure it makes the gameplay frantic and intense, but I'd rather take a leisurely stroll through paradise and admire the scenery without having to spear giant dinosaurs.

The best thing about Peter Jackson's King Kong, and it's saving grace, is the level design. Although the engine looks slightly dated with pixelated 2D vegatation, the actual level design is great. Almost all of the game takes place on the island (apart from two awful city levels at the end) and there is enough variety in the texturing and scenery that it never gets old. The highlight for me was climbing up to the highest peak of the island, where Kong was sleeping. Atmospheric effects such as the lighting and fog look excellent and capture the creepy, mysterious fantasy island from the movie perfectly.

So while the gameplay was slightly held back with some annoying challenges, in particular playing as Kong, the atmosphere and design of the fantasy island made up for it for me.

Add cheats for unlimited ammo and a level skip for every Kong level, and this is a very good game. 
Maybe i'll take a break from action shooters and try a pretty adventure puzzle game.

Anyone played The Whispered World? Looks cute. 
From Memory 
I had a blast playing as Kong.

Agree with the level design comments though, I remember it beign very good. 
Actually Having 
reread my comments from before, I seemed to have the complete opposite take on controls and camera use :) 
Haha I know, I read your comments on it yesterday Nitin. Both IGN and Gamespot didn't seem to have too much of a problem either. One of them said the camera was a bit clunky, the other said they loved playing as Kong and wished there was more. Different strokes I guess... 
I played TWW. It's a nicely drawn adventure game. The English voice of the protagonist is a little annoying, though (compared to the German original). The puzzles are mostly fairly easy and the playing field limited (several levels so to speak), just like many modern adventures. There are some logic puzzles, too. Some of which I found to be quite annoying. I stopped playing when reaching a certain one where I had to rearrange a mosaic by moving the pieces around using the one free spot in-between in order to form a crest.

I'm surprised there aren't more comic-style adventures these days. They seem easy enough to make with the proper artists. MI3 was cool, too. I mean now that the initially interfering OMG 3D! era is over. 
So A Bit Late As Usual 
but just got myself Witcher enhanced edition, Crysis, Crysis Warhead and Stalker - Shadow of Cehrnobyl for $AU30.

Bring on christmas holidays. 
Good move. Crysis and Warhead are GREAT games! Regardless of what anyone says, they are a real blast, certainly on the firstruns. STALKER SOC is great too, really gritty and atmospheric.

The witcher - well I didnt play that one (yet), so I cant comment, but I have heard some good comments from other people about it :) 
The Witcher Is A Heck Alot Of Fun 
and worth your time. 'nuff said ;) 
The Witcher 
It's an enjoyable game by and large, but I thought it also dragged on quite a bit at times. And I found its semi-linearity unncessary, maybe even a bit of an an immersion killer. You can't revisit previous regions (not an open world), and there are silly console-like barriers in the levels to make them feel larger, like small fences or rocks you can't jump over and are forced to run all the way around them. At what were they thinking when making that totally retarded mouseclick combat system? 
@retarded Mouseclick Combat System 
I never had a problem with it myself, at least, it sure feels more involved than simply mashing the attack key until an enemy is down. If you rush the next attack, you'll only break the combo and risk getting yourself hurt. And I liked that aspect since it works great with multiple opponents circled around you. It's not perfect, but it works for me. 
i like the sword combat system in witcher.
it's similar to gothic 2 which, incidentally, i found far superior to gothic 3.

you've got to time your attacks and in the heat of battle, this is what makes it a challenge. i wish more games would do this instead of just favouring button mashing.
also, i like that there are the different styles of attack for different types of monsters. it's not a very deep system, but it does make it a little more interesting.

i never finished this game as i borrowed it off a friend but i've been thinking of picking up the enhanced edition for myself.

my only gripe is that the over the shoulder camera is sometimes a little strange... usually it doesn't bob much but sometimes (randomly?) the camera will start to bob alot which is distracting. i think there's a mod out there that gets rid of that though, which would be great. why would you put view bob on a !3RD! person camera? 0.o 
It's basically like a quick time event: click the mouse at the right moment. In this sense, it's indeed better than Gothic 3 which is just click the mouse as fast or as consistently as possible (or at least hit the enemy before he can). Gothic 2 is different insofar as it allows for some variation (left, right, up) as well as blocking.

The ideal combat mode would require the player to both attack and block the enemy on the right side (dynamically), e.g. strike left when the enemy is blocking to the right, and counter his attacks accordingly. 
And While We're At It 
Has anyone tried Two Worlds 2, yet? I thought the first one was too flawed in comparison to other RPGs to be enjoyable, but maybe they've fixed the most glaring shortcommings. 
yeah that's what I figured, 4 games for under $AU30 is a steal and I remembered readin positive comments about them too.

Might also finally fit in HL2 plus eps 1 and 2 in the holidays too :) 
Dead Space 
Controls can be a bit clumsy, but apart from that I love this game. Good level design, very immersive, magic button which tells you which way to go is useful.

I dunno, the game is meat and potatos. The monsters are quite scary, the graphics are good, there are some good puzzles. The music is good. The guns feel good, and you can upgrade them. If you try hard to explore you find more useful stuff, things like that add to the experience.

For me the game is like Resident Evil but with less bull. 
One thing about STALKER - I would recommend installing the Oblivion Lost mod. You dont need to install it, but it does improve the game a lot, without altering the feel of it too much. There are some things which the dev team removed just before release (which are still in the game data files!) like monsters, and O.L. puts them back in, basically. And it makes the guns more accurate, and whenever there is a "blowout" O.L. makes the effects a l00t cooler ;) 
Doom 3 
I just bougt the id super pack on steam, which comes with doom 3. Anyone know of any good mods besides the dark mod and the new hexen mod? 
jt make sure you get the shamblers castle: 
noted, will look into it. 
I'm Playing System Shock 1 
for the first time, and I'm loving it! Absolutely awesome game, almost as good as the second part. I recommend installing the mouselook patch though. 
"almost As Good As The Second Part" 
Better actually, imo. 
Where'd You Get 
Almost forgot about that one. Downloading now. 
There are, surprisingly, quite a number of really high quality doom3 packs. Not necessarily mods, but just level packs and episodes.

Can't remember which ones (I played probably a good 50 releases for d3). Check here for some:;4340?sort=downloads&order_in=desc&limit=100&descriptions_in=0&summary_in=0#files 
i don't think it's that surprising actually. the colossal amount of work required must weed out all but the most diehard mappers/modders.

it sure weeded me out. ^_^; 
Yeah it must have aye. I mean there's some shitters in the bunch, but I would have thought Doom3 mapping would be fkn hard. And yet there's probably a good 20 high quality releases.

Perhaps it's the opposite and the great engine and ability to build a box room then throw in all sorts of prefabs makes it quite easy to map for. One thing I did notice - 95% of custom map releases follow the exact same indoor lab bullshit of Doom3. No one much branched out to other themes.

Necros does that mean you scrapped your d3 map? You bastard I was looking forward to that! 
Same Indoor Lab Bullshit 
That's because the game's resources allow for nothing else. If you were to make something entirely different, you'd also have to be a good texture artist and a proficient modeller. And I take it the number of available custom texture sets is limited - not least because everything other than base style looks odd at best in that engine. 
necros is one hell of a scrapper... 
is Stalker SOC meant to run like total shit or is there some performance tweak I cant find?

GTX465 that's had no issues with anything else so far, including CoD MW1 and 2, but maybe this is a real resource hog? 
Did you install all of the gazillion of official patches?
This is probably a driver conflict. SOC ran fine on my old card, but I could never get the addon to work. It was always slow and unstable. No problems on the new card. Perhaps there's an older driver version or some hotfix/workaround that can make it work for you. 
It's On The Latest Patch 
1.0005 or something.

Will look into drivers, havent had to so far for anything else.

Witcher runs fine on max, will install Crysis/Warhead tomorrow to see how that fares. 
Try This (float 32 Mod Thingy)

Useful if it works for you. Also make sure you patch STALKER. 
Also CoD MW1 And 2 
Are idtech4. Is that not basically true? They run good on old systems. I mean they are well made games, but they dont have bump-mapping or super hi-res textures or anything.

You should be able to run Crysis on very high with a GTX465, or Crysis Warhead on Enthusiast settings, and get 30fps :) 
Cod MW 1 And 2 
Definitely not idtech4. 
Thanks Ricky 
will look at it again tomorrow. But will install Crysis first to see what performance I get there.

Witcher runs great though. 
Apparently IWEngne 
Started out as idTech3! (after some more reading), but by now it is very heavily modified, to the point where it is a seperate engine in its own right. 
IW's engine is alright, but when Treyarch gets it for their games they tend to butcher things and break things that used to work, and just turn it into an awful series of unfortunate events. Makes me nervous when Treyarch releases 'tools' for Blops (whatever that means.) 
MW1/MW2 run great on my crappy nvidia 7600GT. Sadly, blops performance sucks on my system, not worth playing until I upgrade. 
It's Not Really Worth Playing Imho 
Bullets don't kill people. Just play mw2 or a real FPS like q3,nexuiz/xonotic, oa, aa, &c. 
thanks, you are a good person, deep down. 
Just attempted to play Second Sight (2004). It's a third person game, although you have a first person view as well, but none of controls work from first person, which is retarded.

I got to the third level and decided it was too crap to continue with. First game I've ever quit so early. The level design was from the 90s, the gameplay was slow and annoying. Too much fucking around just to fire your gun. Let alone fucking around with all your stupid psychic abilities. Movement was butchered.

And what's worse is the constant alarms that go off as soon as a scientist sees you.

Pass. Area 51 next I think, if I can install it. 
Now for the money to transfer from paypal... 
Quake 4 Review 
Even the free downloadable version of Area 51 (with advertising) failed to install. Guess i'll have to torrent it. In the meantime, I played Quake 4...

With Quake and Quake 2 being my two favourite games of all time, and will unlikely ever be beaten, it would be hard for me not to have high hopes for Quake 4. It didn't make much difference that id Software had dropped the job into the talented Raven Software's mits. Heretic, Hexen, Soldier of Fortune, Star Trek Voyager and all their sequels; these were all solid, professional and, most importantly, fun games. So Raven taking over the Quake duties is almost as good as id doing it themselves. And as it turned out, Quake 4 felt like a superior game to Doom 3.

While Doom 3 took place almost entirely inside tight futuristic bases, unfortunately Quake 4 didn't try to re-invent the wheel here and is almost exactly the same. The only difference is there are more outdoor areas and the level design is a little better. Everything is easier to see, there's much more variety in design, although it's still only the 'base' style, so expecting Painkiller level of variety will leave disappointed. While there aren't huge awe-inspiring set-pieces, it's all solidly good looking. Sadly, the id Tech 4 engine just doesn't seem capable of doing huge, sprawling areas. So Raven are stuck with a corridor crawl similar to Doom 3.

Having said that there are some big outdoors areas, but they are lacking in detail. The three biggest levels are the vehicle-based ones. And these copped a lot of flack from players suggesting they ruin the game. As it turned out, only 3 in 33 levels are vehicle based, and one of them is only several minutes long. In all, a maximum of 10% of the game would be vehicle based.

While the engine is restricted, the way it does lighting looks fantastic, especially when your team-mates have their flashlights on and they're cast all over the inner depths darkened base. So it's a shame there have been very few games using id Tech 4, just Prey, Quake Wars and Wolfenstein following.

Gameplay in Quake 4 was all solid. The enemies had plenty of variety and all looked fantastic. It's just disappointing that they weren't more closely related to Quake 2. The Berserker, Gunner and a few others were there, but not recognisable from Quake 2. Different attacks, speeds and difficulty means they're basically new enemies. Iron Maiden was a little more obvious, but again apart from being female, could be a completely different enemy. Arguably the more fearsome of Quake 2, the Gladiator, makes a return in Quake 4. But he's quite different; slower with a railgun that seems easier to avoid. So while there weren't many similarities, in some respects and homage aside, it's probably a good thing because the Quake 2 enemies were very basic in their attacks compared to Quake 4. This isn't 1998 anymore.

Most of the weapons make a return. The Machine Gun is much better, there's no Double Shotgun but the Single Shotgun packs enough of a punch to play almost the entire game through just with these two weapons. The Hyper Blaster, now your fourth weapons, is a good switch up as it packs a punch but also has plenty of ammo. Grenade Launcher, Railgun, Lightning Gun are all very similar to Quake 2. The Rocket Launcher is a little faster but requires reloading, meaning I didn't use it much. The new gun is the Nailgun, which is very fast paced but I didn't find it to be particularly effective compared to the Machine Gun/Shotgun combination.

I played on medium difficulty and it was fairly spot on. The first half of the game was fairly easy and it was a long time before I died, but the second half steadily got tougher with some great boss battles to finish the game off.

So overall I really liked Quake 4. It did feel like another Raven game; very similar in level design to their others, but that's a minor criticism because all their games look good. And with id Tech 4, great! While it doesn't live up to the groundbreaking prequels, it's great to have a solid, fun, return to Stroggos. With slightly better level design and much more fast-paced gameplay, I preferred it over Doom 3. 
Quake 4 Mods? 
BTW any good quake4 single players maps/mods out there? I've got:


None of them look too promising though. Certainly doesn't have the community Doom 3 got. 
PULSAR Was Working On Something 
don't know if that ever came about though. 
Ubilitus is pretty good, I recently played it.

q2base, is it that thing where you can play through q2's first map in q4? I recommend playing q2 instead.

doom3 has quite a few large caliber mods going, yeah... with q4, people seem to have focused on the multiplayer, which failed, ironically. 
just idle musing... but it always seems like SP/MP seems to divide the playerbase creating content with the result that you just get less of each. 
...for the extensive review, [Kona]--it was fun to read.

Q4 was the first game I worked on at Raven, and I'm glad you enjoyed it. 
Quake 4 
It's probably the idtech4 game I enjoyed the most compared to the other two I've played (Doom3 & Prey) 
Sadly, the id Tech 4 engine just doesn't seem capable of doing huge, sprawling areas.


Corridor shooters aren't inherently bad. A well done corridor shooter can still be a nice game.

As it turned out, only 3 in 33 levels are vehicle based, and one of them is only several minutes long. In all, a maximum of 10% of the game would be vehicle based.

I think the main problem is that these disrupt the flow of the classic FPS parts of the game. It's like, "OK player, I want you to drive a hovertank now, and you will comply". That kills the flow.

Pretty sure it's more levels with vehicles as well, if you count the rail shooting vehicle levels (vehicle MG while you're being chauffeured around).

The Rocket Launcher is a little faster but requires reloading, meaning I didn't use it much.

True, although the game is overall slower than q2, and you get an upgrade that lets you shoot three rockets in a row, or something like that. Matter of taste I guess.

The new gun is the Nailgun, which is very fast paced but I didn't find it to be particularly effective compared to the Machine Gun/Shotgun combination.

I found the nailgun's alternate fire mode very useful against flying enemies, like Heavy Hovertanks. Also used it against normal tanks and maidens when I was low on health.

The game has grown on me since I first played it, especially for a lack of other 'solid' id-style FPS games to play. It seems that FPS which are merely 'solid' get sneered at for being not creative enough, but they turn out being hard to top.

Concerning the level design, yes it is super linear, which isn't the worst thing for a pure shooter, but upon closer inspection the levels try to impress with a large scale, but details cluster around the most likely route the player is going to take... and I would have liked a lot more items scattered around the many empty corners. Doom 3 does the latter thing very well. You're always rewarded for going off track in Doom 3, not so much in Q4.

I do like the enemies and weapons in Q4 for the most part, especially the tacticals with their variety of gear are nice.

My main objection is that the mandatory vehicle lessons, rail shooting and pointlessly running around on a spaceship kills the flow of the game. The best stretches are those where you're mostly alone and where the gameplay is classic corridor crawling, like the stretch from the medical labs across the dispersal and waste processing stuff.

I liked the walker mission, btw. A walker is somehow more FPS-like than a tank. I wish there were more walkers scattered around the game, but optional. As it is, it's a one trick pony that the player has to grudgingly use, instead of a cool addon that players can use whenever they feel like it. The walker could have featured in a boss battle, a la 'Alien'.

ok, enough text. 
I Enjoyed Q4 A Lot 
but every time I saw an outdoor area with a vehicle I wanted to throw myself out my window, they were bad :(

The indoor shooty stuff was excellent though, and I will never forget being turned into a Strogg, that was really well done :) 
Vehicle sections and cooperative multiplayer are killing shooters. Every fucking modern game has to have them, no matter the cost.

The cost usually being gameplay.

I don't want to play with shitty AI that tries to be clever - the best they can do is stay the fuck out of the way and let me play the game. I don't want complex shit; there are plenty of RTS games where I can get that.

Who mandated that all shooters have to be like fucking Halo? 
So yeah, 200 A bugs, 300 B's and god knows how many C's. 
Mandatory vehicle section == le sigh.

Optional vehicle == cool bonus feature. 
I don't want to play with shitty AI that tries to be clever - the best they can do is stay the fuck out of the way and let me play the game. I don't want complex shit; there are plenty of RTS games where I can get that.

And this, too. 
It's because of tards like PC Gamer that give it a 70% just because it isn't different enough. They demand shitty Halo vehicles, and teammates (halflife might have been the cause of that thanks to Barney), and all sorts of other RTS or RPG crap when all I want is a fun shooter. Thank god it didn't have bullet time.

I actually quite like linear games. I don't get lost then and know i'm always on the correct path. I'm yet to play a real sandbox game... the thought of veering off course and ending up 10mins in the wrong direction scares me. But yeah Q4 was VERY linear. They could have had a little more exploration.

Actually some outdoor terrain levels would have been nice too, there were some nice ones in Q2 and the mission packs (beginning of The Reckoning was cool). 
Do You Like Roguelike? 
Uh Huh, Huh Huh ...He Said "Rim" 
From the "How the fuck did I miss this?" files: I just learned Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming out in november '11. Teaser trailer here:

Now, I'm one of Oblivion's biggest fans, having sunk at least 500 hours into it (seriously), so you can imagine the amount of frosty white spooge clinging to my monitor and keyboard after I heard this news.

I'm aware of Oblivion's faults. The levelling system is illogical, counter-intuitive, and just plain shite. The melee combat is about as deep as a spilled drink. The character animation is some of the worst I've seen in a commercial title. None of that stopped me from coming back to the game time and time again like the abused little whore that I am. 
i'm replaying oblivion now too which meant i was very excited when i heard about skyrim. :o

i actually started by playing nehrim, but frankly, i prefer the completely unstructured gameplay of oblivion more.

so yeah, here's hoping skyrim will have decent animation and more fluid player movement. (movement in oblivion is like a preview camera in a 3d editor). 
You should try Nehrim (see my post 3805). It's really pretty amazing, and I'm actually enjoying it more than I did Oblivion...

Re: Skyrim, if they just fix the horrid world-levels-with-you horseshit from Oblivion, I'll be satisfied.

If they add back in some of the variation and downright weirdness in the world that was present in Morrowind, make the lockpicking and persuade mini-games a bit less braindead and more challenging, and add back in a few things that they removed (e.g. mark/recall, levitation, greater armor/weapon variety, etc.) then I'll actually be excited. 
On Morrowind 
looking back, i seem to remember i liked morrowind a lot more than oblivion. i'm sure some of that is because it was the first time i had ever played such an open ended game, but it's more than just that.

morrowind's world felt much more mysterious for some reason and the ruins you could explore (dwemer and daedric) seemed cooler and more distictive.
there was also the fact that for most of the game, you never have to travel east of the red mountain, so there was this feeling of awe that you hadn't even explored that area yet.

oblivion has ayleid, caves and forts and only the ayleid ruins are fun to explore for me. they usually have some small amount of button pushing and sometimes even puzzles. they also tend to loop back in clever ways. caves tend to feel like long slogs and forts just look very boring with a few exceptions. also, a lot of parts of the map seem to be unused (or nearly so). the mountainous area in the north east and southwestern forests are very sparsely populated with dungeons.

as for lock picking, i thought it was fairly well done, but i disliked how the game paused while you did it. it would be unreasonable for the gameworld to continue though, because the lockpicking minigame does take a while to do.
as a compromise, a lockpicking minigame that is shorter so it can work in realtime would be much appreciated. i didn't really like morrowind's RNG lockpicking. it was realtime, but as braindead as oblivion's persuasion system. 
Elder Scrolls 
Also interested in Skyrim here. I pretty much like all of the Elder Scrolls main titles so far, from Arena to Oblivion. They each have their own pros/cons but I like them for what they are. I only wish Daggerfall didn't seem so unfinished.

Skyrim is definitely up there in my waiting list. 
Yeah, the rating of any game is supposed to go from 0% to 100%, not 60 to 100.

At the same time its very frustrating when someone reviews your game who doesn't like gametype X in question - if you've made a golf game and the reviewer wants to play an RPG then you'll get a bad score.

Basically 99.9% of the gaming press is worthless as an informative tool, word of mouth being much better. Or word of forum etc.

I hear what you're saying with lineal games, but the best games always give the impression of nonlinearity, even if they're stuck on the rails - HL2 for example.

Nobody tried the roguelike? 
I Tried Desktop Dungeon 
at work for about 3 minutes.

I went through the tutorial, or at least the first level, and then I got killed by a level 9 goat. 
pjw - Yeah that Nehrim thing looks interesting. I may have to check it out sometime.

Worth noting also, for all the fun I had with Oblivion, I really didn't like Fallout 3 much at all. I played it and completed the main quest (which took a shamefully short amount of time), and had absolutely no desire to play any more of it. I think it was mostly to do with the setting - I found the ubiquitous grey barren wasteland just boring visually, and I'm no fan of 1950's chic either. Also, I thought "VATS" took all the tension and excitement out of combat, and you soon learn that shooting manually isn't really an option either (way too ineffective). 
Fallout 3 
I really liked Fallout 3, and I probablgy prefer New Vegas over Oblivion. The writing is alot more interesting, and there's generally more stuff to do.
I very rarely used VATS, even while playing on the hardest difficulty.
Really looking forward to Skyrim. 
You're supposed to die on the goat.

I'm bored of it now, it lacks texture to be a great game. It's not bad though. 
Sooner or later. 
Super Meat Boy 
Bal is right. It's cool. But it hurts the fingers... 
Area 51 (2005) Review 
Having just played through Quake 4, which was released six months after Area 51 in 2005, it'll be easy to draw comparisons in that both themes are modern base.

Quake 4 received it's share of undue criticism, with an aggregate score of 81% on Area 51, meanwhile, scored an aggregate of 78% so only marginally behind, but both IGN and Gamespot both rated Area 51 as better than Quake 4.

Nevertheless, it seems to be a fairly obscure title on the PC despite many positive reviews. I asy obscure, because it was eventually released for free (with advertising). But that version crashed on install for me, and I couldn't find a second-hand version to purchase. Even then it took two torrent versions before I finally got a working copy.

The PS2 version was thought to be the best FPS ever at the time, although that's not saying much. This led me to go in expecting a gem of a game. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met.

From the design perspective; both the power of the engine and the level design, Quake 4 eats Area 51 for breakfast. Some of the earlier Area 51 levels look quite bland. Since the entire game takes place in an under Area 51, I guess the designers were trying to maintain some realism in the design. With realism comes bland, futuristic walls and textures. Later in the game levels start to get more variety with the peak being the alien world and UFO ships. However, while the engine is capable of something great, the level design doesn't ever reach awe-inspiring. Good, but not great.

The mess of a story was a bit hard to understand. Near the end of the game I wasn't sure if I was still in Area 51, the alien world, or who the bad guy even was! David Duchovny's monotone mumbling didn't help at all. He really should stick to acting. And Marilyn Manson was a waste of money; I could have voiced the characters better. At the end of the day, you won't be playing Area 51 for it's story anyway. Your playing for the action...

Action which was fairly fun and fast all the way through. The dual-weilding of weapons is fantastic and doubles your fire-power. Having two shotguns go off in quick succession, blowing your enemies away, was a great feeling. However when your down to just one weapon at a time, they feel a bit weak. Unfortunately, it took me most of the game before I realised that the BBG, a powerful gun in it's own right, is self-regenerating.

Along with this, you get the half-man/half-mutant idea also done in Quake 4, where you can transform into mutant and use it's abilities. Every kill you make while in mutant-mode gives you health back. Area 51 definitely does this idea better than Quake 4 and makes it mean something with the gameplay. In Quake 4 you wouldn't know the difference.

Provided you don't overuse the BBG, Area 51 is still quite a challenging game.

Now to the cons: the biggest problem with Area 51 is, firstly, no quicksave. You're forced to use 1-3 checkpoints through each level. Fortunately they're usually in useful places so you don't have to do much replaying, but I still loathe the idea of no quicksave in a fast paced FPS. Perhaps developers think if your forced to replay much of the game then it'll extend the overall playtime. Even so, it's still only barely a 10 hour game.

And secondly, the game would come to a crashing halt at the end of almost every level for me (with a total of 18 levels). With no quicksave, i'd have to replay from the previous checkpoint only for it to crash again. I was forced to use someone elses saved games in order to load each level. However it wasn't such a big deal compared to most games, because your ammo and health in Area 51 are often 100% anyway.

So overall, Area 51 is definitely a decent game to play alongside the best of 2005. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking. 
How do the SMB leaderboards work? Or how to make sense of them - 0, 100, 101 and so on. And why are you so good.

And why did MS drop gameport support in Win7... 
Managed to get my hands on this on Steam when it finally became available to UK/EU and finished it last night. Keeping it brief, it was an amazing and enjoyable game. It's like it took many elements from various other games and combined them into a solid title, while having its own distinguished feel. Combat felt right and the visuals have a nice presentation.

Still need to gather my thoughts however, considered giving it a full review while I'm still inspired for it. Hmm. 
I have no idea how that leaderboard works, it doesn't show up like that in-game... 
Ultima Underworld 
is it as good as System Shock? 
Need for Speed - is it as good as Tetris? 
It's The Same Engine, Isn't It? 
Oh No 
it isn't. but the same team? 
Thinking Of Picking Up 
Bioshock 1
Just Cause 2
Left for Dead 2
Half Life 2 Episode Two

from the Steam Sale later tongiht, any other recommendations for good bargains? 
What do you not have?

Just Cause 2 is similar to Red Faction: Guerilla, which is a ton of fun if you have the physics card to support it (or good dx10 card.) I would say if you are interested and it's ~$10 or less then pick it up! 
I dont have too much from 2005 onwards.

Will look into Red Faction. 
But Only 
looking for $10 or less games at the moment. 
COD4: Modern Warfare 
for $15 looks like one of the better specials today, even if you're just interested in the SP. It's short but ultra polished and really fun IMHO. 
Got That 
actually I'll list post 2005 games I have :

The Witcher EE
Call of Duty MW
Call of Duty MW2
Call of Duty WoW
Crysis Warhead
Stalker SoC

Question: If I get L4D2, is there any point in getting L4D1? 
I prefer L4D2 - more weapons, better effects, much better gore. But if you like the game and want more then get L4D1 too. They are both great. 
There's a pack of both games I think - you lose money buying L4D1 alone now.

Well reccomend it as well, you also get a lot of additional content in the form of free DLC and the game is maintained - very polished gameplay. 
If it's on sale for $5, grab it. The question whether to get both became more valid when they ported the first L4D campaign to L4D2, so the first game is kind of reduced to three individual campaigns.

Also be sure not to get the Low Violence versions if you're buying from Australia!!! 
They're 9.99 Each 
at the moment. Grabbed 2, will consider grabbing 1 before sale ends.

negke, cant seem to avoid the low-violence versions for Aus (no R rating for games) but have googled a couple of hacks which supposedly work. 
Ugh, That Sucks 
You need to have someone gift it to you. Hope the hacks work. 
And Approach Someone Here To Be Invited To Func_group 
I Wouldn't Bother With Red Faction: Guerilla 
Not a very good game IMO. Very poor plot, game dynamics are "blow up a building and grab these random pieces of metal as 'salvage'".

I think they were aiming at 9-11 y/o boys with that game. 
The main game I haven't played, that's true. But just running around demolishing shit is a blast. 
Mirror's Edge 
Installed, played and completed today. Fun game, lovely art and level design and good parkour mechanics. I also loved sliding along the floor to pick up a gun and firing it an enemy during the later stages, really made gunfights more interesting.

Though three specicif spots really annoyed the hell out of me as they didn't seem to 'work' as intended. Example, during the last segment of the Jack-knife level. There were three pipes I had to jump between, but Faith would never jump for the last one as she should do causing a painful death. Did this everytime, and only got lucky when she decided to 'glitch' onto the bottom and managed to climb up. The other two problem areas were also similar unresponsive situations, one I succeeded by screwing up with a double 180 key tap. Ironic. 
Mass Effects 1 + 2 on sale on Steam for $10.00 each. If you haven't picked these up, pick them up, they are amazing. I beat Mass Effect 2 basically in a weekend, this game was so damn good. Remember it is fundamentally an RPG and secondarily a shooter, but man were these games good. 
Reduced Violence. 
That sucks, a lot. The violence and gore in L4D2 is very good, proper 18-rated zombie carnage. Hope the hacks work. 
thanks for that, will grab those when I get home. They must have gone up on sale today. 
Alan Wake 
anybody played? decent? 
Missed Out On Mass Effect 1 And 2 
for $9.99 each (a;though you cant still get 1 for that price).

But picked up Batman Arkhan Asylum today.for $7.50. 
Tried to play Resident Evil 4. Needs a tonne of mods to make it decent on PC, including mouse support. But there was no way of customising the mouse buttons (I use mouse buttons for forward and back), so I won't be playing this fuckin game.

Such simple things to fuck up on. 
halfway through The Witcher and great game really.

Only gripes so far:

Combat system seems a bit shit at first but you get used to it and its no less daft than others I've seen in the genre, in fact the varying combat styles and different skill moves work quite well in large group combats.

It does feel a little easy though, playing on medium but dont seem to die or feel threatened all that often.

Everything else: first rate. 
I use mouse buttons for forward and back

I thought I was the only person in the world who does this. Every time someone finds out (or, God forbid, tries to do something in-game while my config is running), they look at me like I just declared my love for eating dirt, or that I regularly speak with aliens or whatever craziness... 
Weirdo. Next you'll be saying you use an uninverted mouse... 
I can't think of anything else that works better than the mouse buttons for forward/back. I think Shambler does it that way too.

Just playing through Brothers In Arms Road to Hill 30. Fuck this game is ass. I'll still finish it I guess... 
I used to have a similar config myself. But at some point I got tired of always having to customize the controls when starting a new game, so I switched to the default one. Haven't regreted it a single moment ever since. 
I Play With An An Uninverted Mouse 
inverted feels weird.

But mouse buttons for movement is crazy! 
If I'm Not Flying A Plane 
There's no need for inverted movement controls. 
Im Of Half-Life 1 Generation 
I was never really into Quakeworld or Netquake, and when I played Quake before HL1 I would have used the arrow keys for movement etc. But the Half-Life 1 tutorial, that's how I learned my current style of playing. 
Brothers In Arms: Road To Hill 30 REVIEW 
No one here probably cares about a review for a crappy 2005 game, but I make a point of mini-reviewing every game I play, just for my own record.

Now that i've played this, I guess Aliens: Colonial Marines isn't going to be my kind of game either when it's released next year. Oh well.

Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 REVIEW

This is probably the least enjoyable first person shooter i've played since Halo. Which isn't something I would have expected coming from a studio like Gearbox Software; although they were involved in the PC version of Halo. However their Half-Life expansion packs were both excellent.

I'm probably biased, because what I really want is one-man-army style gameplay. I don't really want to have to use strategic war tactics with my teammates in order to defeat the enemy.

The idea in BIA is to have one team firing on the enemy while you (and another team) flank them to catch them off guard. This gets boring pretty quick, and in the end I just got tired of having to use these tactics. Unfortunately if you don't, it's a very difficult game. Even on easy skill setting you can't play the entire game as you would any other first person shooter. The enemy will mow you down with bullets in no time.

The other problem is that there's no quicksave. Now a few checkpoints per level aren't too bad in some shooters. But when you have a realistic shooter where a few shots could kill you and there's no way to replenish your health, it's very frustrating to have to go back several minutes to a previous checkpoint. What's worse is your health meter is useless. Eventually after a certain amount of shots it'll go red, then after a certain amount more you'll die. It should have been an exact progressive meter, not an inconsistent colour change.

To add to the frustration your teammates are quite useless. On a few levels they managed to get themselves killed by mortar attacks within minutes of the level starting. If I didn't micro-manage them, they'd walk directly into a machine gun and be dead in seconds.

Gearbox made the weapons more realistic than standard shooters. That means you can be standing point-blank in front of your enemy and still somehow miss them. The aiming is designed to be imperfect. I simply found it frustrating rather than a good realistic feature.

And finally we come to the level design and graphics which, again, are a big let down. The levels are all very flat, decorated with bland buildings/houses and fields. The textures are all uninspiring and drab. The only memorable parts of the game were defending a couple of good looking churches.

Overall, the design is not up to the standards of Call of Duty or Medal of Honor, while the gameplay was a nice try for something different, but for me it got frustrating by the end. 
Have you played FEAR? If not, I think you would like it ;) 
Not yet Ricky... my playlist for the remaining 2005 games looks like this:

Battlefield 2
Call of Duty 2
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

So it's not far away :) Then I can move on to about a dozen 2006 games I missed, which, apart from maybe Gears Of War, all look ho hum. I guess 2006 was a bad year for PC shooters. 
Gears of War 1 is, imo, pretty bleh.
Gears of War 2 improves on it a lot. More varied enemies, more weapons (and the weapons that were already in are tweaked) and more imaginative locations etc. Real shame it's not on the PC, and that it is clearly still designed to be played in coop. Single player the game is twice as hard and quite infuriating in places.

It is also still horrifically embarressing to play though... the stylisation and dialogue are so cringeworthy.

Simple rule: You can't have a meaningful story about war and death, and have chainsaws. It just doesn't work. 
i learned on Descent, where you need two more movement keys easily accessible (and space feels shitty for anything but single pressees), so my setup was wasd but shifted to the right so that my thumb could rest on the alt key (usually ijkl). Switched to 8uio for more keys a few years ago, though... 
finally played through it today. loved it. pretty much knew what to expect from the gameplay but it was the narrative that impressed me the most.. from the dark humour, sarcasm and mind games to the eventual descent into madness, GLaDOS was a fantastically developed character, and the end credits were just plain awesome

the only letdown was that i was hoping it would tie in with the HL2 story a little more closely and provide more insight into aperture sciences and what happened with the borealis. it's a completely different game though at the end of the day so i probably shouldn't have expected too much... although i did notice the aperture vs. black mesa slideshow projecting in one of the conference rooms, which was a nice touch 
Just Bought The Valve Complete Pack On Steam 
Plus Bioshock 1 & 2. I've played through the Bioshocks, Portal, and the Left 4 Deads on the 360. So many games to play.. 
Forgot To Mention 
Hopefully cs:s/q3 will replace CoD:BO for me in terms of a mp fps I play regularly, I'm really starting to hate duty. 
play Garry's mod and do anything you want. 
For Negke 
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 
Installed Battlefield 2. Turns out it's single player is just capture the flag style botmatches. Fuck that.

So I played through Chaos Theory instead. Review: I am, first and foremost, a fan of action-oriented shooters. Not stealth. However I can tolerate it. I played through Thief 3: Deadly Shadows, and it was one of the most memorable games I've ever played. The Chronicles of Riddick also had it's fair share of stealth. Just as long as there's a good story and atmospheric design to go with the game, then I can tolerate stealth.

Now Thief 3 definitely had an enthralling story and it's graphics, with great level designs and lighting, were excellent. Which meant I could put up with the sometimes frustrating gameplay.

Chaos Theory, on the other hand, was weak the in the storyline and the design sometimes looked a bit bland. However the actual stealth gameplay was a fair bit more enjoyable. Probably 90% of the enemies I ended up taking out; by means of strangling them unconcious, hitting them in the head or a gun shot. So it meant I wasn't going back and forth creeping around enemies. The actual gunfights in Chaos Theory were frustrating though. If you only have one enemy to hit then you have no problems, but taking on two or three is a problem because your weapons are very useless. Same enemies seem to take quite a lot of bullets before they finally die, and you simply don't have that many bullets to begin with. I guess it's designed this way so that you use your guns as little as possible. However I would have preferred more accurate weapons, but perhaps less ammunition.

In the graphics area, Chaos Theory's lighting looks great. There's high contrast throughout and some great lighting effects. But you would expect this from a stealth game where shadows are an important element. The level design, however, could have been better. For most of the game it looked decent, but considering you move at snails pace and there's only ten levels, which are all fairly small, they could have focused on a lot more detail or set pieces. I mean they do all look good, but I could have designed these levels all single-handedly in six months. Ubisoft is one of the biggest game studios in the world. They had a dozen level designers working on the game. So, I'd expect the level design to be amazing, not just decent.

The story is supposedly a big part of the game as your chasing terrorists in a plot to launch Korea and USA to war. However it was convoluted, boring and confusing. The story fell flat. The only positive here was the often amusing humour of the main character.

So what is the best thing about Chaos Theory? The soundtrack, composed by Amon Tobin.

Overall Chaos Theory has no replay value for me. By the end of the game, which was a good ten hours, I was getting bored with it. Not helped by having to repeat the entire last level after because a killed one of the enemies, not realising I needed him for a retinal scan. The game has a few of these gameplay bugs that should have been ironed out in testing. Another time a scripted sequence never triggered, meaning I was completely stuck.

If you like stealth games though, it's fairly enjoyable. 
You mention enjoying Thief 3, ever played the first two? Not going to get in any 'superior' debates, just wondering out of interest is all. 
Perfect inspiration for the new quaddicted theme! 
Nah quakis, I tried to play the first one when it first came out. Didn't like the gameplay much. I found the gameplay in Thief 3 a little frustrating as well, there's just a little too much shadow crawling. It'd be better if you could more successfully take enemies out like you could in Splinter Cell. But I loved the level design and story of T3, which is what made it memorable to me. The older 2 wouldn't look as good, so I wouldn't go back to them now. There needs to be more games in the style of T3, instead of realistic settings all the time. 
First two Thief games are probably the most immersive and enjoyable games I've played so far. Such a rich setting with so much background and detail, the non-linear(ish) approach in each mission. Some few years ago when I almost finished up Thief 2, I was getting upset that this will be pretty much it, until I discovered all the fan missions that have been released (and continue to).

As for Thief 3? I absolutely cannot say anything about it (besides clunky movement) since the game crashes too often to get a good session out it, which kinda sucks as I want to actually play through it. 
Steam Sale 
proved good. Also picked up Batman:AA and Far Cry 2. Now need time to play all these, Wich is about 70% complete I think.

As for L4D2, managed to get hack around Low Violence but only for Single Player, not online play :( 
Feels a lot like PC puzzle/platform games from the 90s to me. 
it sucks 
What's your Steam name OR poke someone to get you into the Func Steam group so we can get some L4D2 games going. 
it's nitin77.

I havent played it yet though so total newbie :) 
Name Not Found 
Just play through each campaign in SP, that should be enough to get into it. Then you're basically ready to shoot Shambler in the back or vice versa. 
Is it n_gul-something ;) ?

L4D is frantic. Just get on a server and start playing.


Dont shoot eachother. You can vote abusers off.
People dont mind a couple of accidents though....

Stick together. If someone goes off on their own for example, a person should try and keep close to them, 2 by 2 if you see what I mean, but really you are better off as a unit of 4.

Right Mouse Button to push zombies back (when trying to reload for example) is invaluable, and used all of the time. It will also get special infected off of a person sometimes.

Set a Tank special infected on fire where possible.

Conserve health - when you are going to die (get knocked over too many times) the screen will go black and white. This is a good time to use medikits if they are sparse. Even if it means hobbling around slowly for a while. If you know you are gonna get owned by zombies then save the health.

Dont startle the witches unless you know you can kill them. Which you dont. Keep the flashlights off.
If a witch is in a bottleneck area then go past her one at a time. If she startsn to sound more agited then wait for her to calm down before the next person.

I think I added you. Send me an invite for a L4D2 game if I'm online, if im not busy I still play that game, love it! 
Func Steam Group? 
searching for func returns garbage. Link?

Steam name: BetterThanUNIX. 
steam name is nitin77, alternatively email is n_gulati at hotmail dot com (which seems to be how ricky found it). 
You haven't set up your Steam profile yet, that's why the search didn't give any results. 
I Didn't? 
Thought I did. Looking at it now and there's not much to set up, unless I'm missing something. 
No, Nitin 
After 30 hours of playing, a few comments:
Like the others said, this is really impressive. The world is huge, the design excellent and very detailed, the voice acting superb. The fact they hired professional voice actors already accounts for a lot. I can understand how (if) you keep from playing it through as it must be annoying to play such a game with subtitles only. I haven't played any Oblivion mods before, but I did play many Gothic1/2 mods - which were good, sometimes great, but none of them had such a high level of quality as Nehrim.

I like how they beefed up some of Oblivion's core systems, like for example how you now get Learn points when leveling up (or reading certain skill books) and can use them to advance your skills at certain teachers, like in Gothic. However, it's very expensive.
There are also plants that grant permanent boni, and spell runes to discover, which teach you powerful spells without requiring a teacher (and gold).

A problem, or at least a little downside, is that there seem to be only few quests in relation to the huge size of the world. In Oblivion, you can enter a new village or town and be sure to find at least one side quest. In Nehrim, there are good side quests too, but it seems to focus more on the (apparently long) main quest. So often you pass through settlements which are nice to look at, but don't offer any interaction apart from merchants. And, related to that and the size of the map, you often have to travel enormous distances from the start of your quest to the destination and back. It doesn't help that quick travel is disabled - though I agree it makes sense. You can teleport to certain locations of you find someone who can teach you the corresponding spell, but even then it still requires a teleportation crystal (which you can buy or find), so you can't teleport at your leasure unless you're rich and well-stocked.
I'm not sure if the fact that I chose to play with a Half-Aetherna affects the gameplay in this sense and results in a reduced number of side quest offerings - as that race is disliked or despised by many humans and they often don't want to talk to me. Can any of you other verify? I assume, however, this is not the case and they would just give another reply to other races while still not offering any more interaction. In Oblivion, regular NPCs could at least be talked to for generic information.

While most of the environments are impressive, more individual and unique than in Oblivion with its many duplicate levels, some feel too stretched-out. For instance, the underground journey to the dwarven city, as cool as it was, became tedious after a while. Not because there were so many enemies, but because they were fairly strong and the way was so long.

As a result of this, huge size vs. seemingly low number of side quests, it feels like I'm beginning to lose interest (already started to noclip around), so I'm going to focus on the main quest now. 
And yes, all the additional details and more open outside environments have a huge impact on the performance, indeed. The Oblivion engine never scaled well, but in Nehrim it's sometimes extreme. I had to switch back to XP as on Win7 some areas just slowed the game down to a crawl (on high settings anyway). So it might not be much fun if your machine specs are only just above Oblivion's standard requirements. 
Yeah I've been playing it too (same, around 30 hours in), and I agree with most of what you say.

All in all it's a great mod, I highly recommend it for fans of Elder Scrolls and Gothic games, and also, don't be put off by the very boring, linear and slow introduction, once you're out in the world you can really go wherever you want.
I hated the the lack of fast travel at first, but it does make sense, and I'm rich now, so cash to buy teleport crystals is no longer a problem (the easiest way to become rich, like in Oblivion, is to make lots of potions, and sell them).

Yeah it does feel strange to enter a village, and no one will have some silly side-quest for you to do, that's a bit disappointing.
But the dungeons are diverse enough that just exploring them for loot is nice, better than in Oblivion where everything feels the same. 
Finished Witcher 
really liked this, cant wait for Witcher 2.

I hope the sequel has a bit more monster variety though. Witch 1 had plenty but more big cool creatures are needed :)

Also played Modern Warfare 1 for about 2 sittings, maybe 6 hours in total. I think I'm upto the last level, ridiculously short game although its probably because its exteremely polished. But FFS, the first 3 levels or so ar every annoying considering you cant do anything but what you're meant to do and only in one way. Thankfully, once they drop you in more normal levels, you have freedom to roam and kill your enemies as you please, not some scripted one way bullshit. 
supposed to be gothic4? how did i miss that? :S

is that any good? maybe a little more stable and efficient than gothic3? 
Not As Good As G3 
Bal and I posted comments about it here. 
Is skipable really, get Risen instead if you want more Gothic in my opinion (or play Nehrim :). 
i'm clearly the exception here because after playing nehrim for a few hours, i went back and played oblivion for about 2 or 3 weeks. :P :P

but thanks for the tip re: risen. :) 
2 Years Of Games To Catch Up On...mostly 
So I splashed out on a new pc for Christmas and am buying a bunch of games that would not run well on my old rig at all, I just wanted to check in with your guys that I'm not missing anything awesome!

Just Cause 2
Mass effect 2
Dragon Age : origins
Dead Space
Star craft 2
Assassins Creed
Modern Warfare 2

That's what I've played so far, ones I'm not too sure about:

Bad Company 2
Fallout 3 / Vegas
Assassins Creed 2

Anything I missed that needs to be checked out? I'm not too into strategy or racing games! 
Bad Company 2 was like a Modern Warfare game - some of the levels were huge and breath taking though. Really over the top action/story, etc

Fo3/Vegas are good if you like ugly open world RPGs with a lot of exploration and content.

AC2 is like AC1 with a bit more stuff from what I understand - I hated AC1 so I skipped it other than what I've heard from people at work.

Witcher I heard was good, weird combat though. 
Rogue Trooper (2006) Review 
Rogue Trooper is one of the lesser-known shooters of 2006. Although it was third-person, this is still your typical action shooter. And when your in cramped spaces the camera reverts almost to first-person anyway.

So your setting is nothing new; the galactic other-worlds which look remarkably like earth, as seen in everything from Unreal II to Halo. There are 12 levels which take you from bases, more bases, mountains, cities. There are, unfortunately, two 'rails' levels, but they aren't as bad as some games.

The design and graphics are a little average for 2006. I've seen much better. There's nothing breathtaking here, but having said that it's not poor either. The design is simply adequate. Linear, lacking detail, but enough variety and decent enough to keep you satisfied throughout the game.

The gameplay is a mixed bag. Rebellion tried to do things differently here by giving you a live 'shop' you can purchase from at any time during gameplay. So there's not ammo or health scattered around the levels. Instead your have to find scrap, which somehow is turned into cash which you can use to purchase ammo, health, upgrades to your weapons. It's not exactly realistic, but neither is a pumped blue-skinned trooper with demon eyes as your main character. The problem with this system is that your forced to search for scrap in order to purchase enough ammo and health to stay alive. You can't complete a level, especially in the later stages, without purchasing. It also breaks up the flow of the game when your forced to purchase more health right in the middle of a firefight when your near death. Ultimately, I threw on an unlimited ammo cheat (and stuck to the weaker weapons throughout the game) so I didn't have to bother with the constant 'search for scrap... purchase ammo' rubbish.

Ultimately the gameplay is a good challenge. Enemies are all the same, but weapons are fairly decent and the game never gets frustrating or too easy. Again, just like the design, the game is just getting by at being fun, but nothing memorable. The only problem with gameplay is often you'll be firing at enemies and for whatever odd reason, they just won't die. Not because they're invincible, but because apparently your not in a position where you can shoot them. When you've got an enemy well within sight, your crosshairs go red. But many times you can clearly see you've got them in sight, there are little obstacles, and yet the crosshairs won't go red and therefore you can pile hundreds of bullets into their heads and they won't die. One minor niggle in an otherwise fairly decent game.

Decent because you don't go in expecting greatness with a game based on a 2000AD comic (sorry folks but Judge Dredd is horrid) from a studio that hasn't released anything worth playing since 1999's Aliens vs Predator. 
Action Games 2009/2010 
BTW Daz, here's my list of 2009/2010 games to play. I haven't played any yet (still working on 2005 so it'll be a few years before I even get to these ones). The score is an accumulative score from, so it's fairly accurate. Also note I really only play single player actions/shooters.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 - ???
Oddbox (pc port unreleased)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior - 54% (by City Interactive)
James Bond 007: Blood Stone - 62%
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (3rd person) - 63%
Aliens vs. Predator (2010) - 68%
Lost Planet 2 (3rd person) - 68%
The Ball - 73%
Medal of Honor - 75%
Transformers: War for Cybertron - 75%
Dead Rising 2 - 75% (action/survivor horror)
Mafia II - 76%
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands - 78%
Singularity - 78%
Call of Duty: Black Ops - 79%
Metro 2033 - 81%
Darksiders - 82%
Assassin's Creed II - 83%
Just Cause 2 - 85%
Bioshock2 - 87%
Amnesia: The Dark Descent [Puzzle/Survival/Horror] - 88%
Mass Effect 2 - 95% (action rpg)

Code of Honor 3: Desperate Measures (by City Interactive) - ???
Painkiller: Resurrection [Standalone Expansion Pack] - ???
ShellShock 2: Blood Trails - 41%
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition - (3rd person) - 61%
NecroVisioN - 64%
Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason - 69%
Section 8 - 70%
Killing Floor - 72%
Shattered Horizon 73%
Wolfenstein - 74%
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising - 75%
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood - 79%
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin - 79%
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (3rd person) - 79%
Ghostbusters: The Video Game (3rd person) - 80%
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena - 81%
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat - 82%
Borderlands 82%
Red Faction: Guerrilla (3rd person) - 85%
Resident Evil 5 (3rd person) - 86%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - 87%
Left 4 Dead 2 - 89%
Batman: Arkham Asylum (3rd person) - 93% 
see above, I really enjoyed Witcher.

You may as well get CoD: World at War and Crysis/Warhead too. 
And Yeah 
Arkhan Asylum seems to be a good arcade sort of game and I also forgot Bioshock 2. 
The Ball Vs Black Ops 
How does black ops get a higher score than the ball? Black ops was bleh on the 360, nothing new. At all. Treyarch also royally destroyed mp. At leaat the ball was different. 
Because Call of Duty is a big fanboy franchise like Halo, regardless of whether it's an actually immersive, well designed game. According to reviewers, Call of Duty Modern Warfare is the 2nd best fps of 2009, behind LFD2. I think most of the review sites just copy whatever score the big guns gave it. 
Yay, get SC2, IIRC you were crap at DOW so I could do with more n00bs around me level :D 
That's quite a list. Almost makes it seem like work. 
I already have SC2! I got it from Tesco remember =)

friend me -

I got to low silver league before I stopped playing, but I would be up for some games!

Thanks for that list Kona, I will start working my way through it! 
Oh yeah lol.

It won't let me type in an email address as I've got gaybook disabled. Gimme your name / id instead yo.

Shambler 946 
Bughunt:292 (I think its 292!) 
Nehrim Continued 
Just finished the game. Truly epic stuff! I've never played user-generated content of such an incredibly (and consistently) high quality. This could easily be a commercial addon. Sure, there are a few glitches, and the fairly frequent crashes were a bit annoying, but it was bearable after all.

I contanstly wet my pants with all the detailed and well-thought areas, castles, dungeons. Some of them alone already warrant giving this a try. There are not only medieval-themed environments like in Oblivion, but also otherwordly and plainly weird ones.

The story is quite cool once it picks up. Surpringly philosophical. As I've already said earlier, nicely varied quests. I liked how they make proper use of the physics. For instance, in quite a few cases you have to manually drag objects around instead of the usual pickup->autoinsert behavior the game normally has. Or stack crates to reach higher ground and so forth.
It has a few puzzles (none too difficult, which I wasn't unhappy about), stealth moments, timed events. So the developers definitely tried to expand the scope of the original game. And successfully so, for the most part.

I also loved how they put little details here and there, be it corpses or skeletons and corresponding items placed in such a way that the player can imagine what those persons were doing or how they lived/died, or notes and diaries, and other 'personal' stuff. There are many new books like about the story of the world and all, like in Oblivion. I didn't read them, but the effort put into this is admirable

The design of caverns, dungeons and temples make exploration now actually rewarding, as each of them has at least one special item or nice location (vista), or even enemy, to discover; unlike Oblivion that didn't only ues the small number of underground levels a dozen times over, but also had most of them only contain useless junk for loot.

Finally there are many easter eggs and little nods (not only the developers' mugshots on the wanted posters). I discovered Sven's secret electro danceclub, a Cube tribute, and even the SureAI bunker with its Killer-Chicken. :D

Took me a good 50 hours. If one was to explore the map exhaustively for every dungeon and special item, i.e. do the Kinn, it would certainly add another 10 hours of gameplay. So basically like a full game.
Anyway, excellent stuff - one could even go so far as to call it a monumental effort by this small team. Highly recommended if you're into Oblivion. Btw. I'm not being paid for this. ;) 
geez, i feel i should give this another chance. :S it felt really hard when i played it though...

like i had no money and stuff was kicking my ass. :P maybe it was cause i played as a rogue character. if i made a regular fighter it would probably be easier. 
Four thousandth! 
Two things:
a) Make sure that you're in an area that's right for your level--the game gives you a suggested range, and can be tough at times (especially at the beginning), even if you stay within suggested areas.

b) Don't be afraid to turn the difficulty down. I played with it set at 25 for a while, when things got kind of tough, and I think I only have it back up to the 40-ish range now. Like negke said, it's just a fantastic game to explore and enjoy, and you shouldn't let difficulty issues stand in the way of that.

There are many new books like about the story of the world and all, like in Oblivion. I didn't read them, but the effort put into this is admirable

Some of the books I've read have been really, really astonishingly good, considering that this is a fan effort, and that they had to be translated from the German. I'm amazed.

If I can remember, the next time I play I'll see if I can pick out an especially good one and grab a few screenies or something. 
I played on standard difficulty. Never occurred to me I could have just lowered it a little... :S
Yeah, that's what I meant by slow start. I started to enjoy it more once I got reasonably powerful in combat and especially magic.

c) Don't make the same 'mistake' as I did and hoard potions and scrolls thinking they're too valuable and might come in handy later. Use them right away. There are so many of them lying around everywhere. I ended up having a shitload of them in my inventory and only realized they would have made my life much easier when I didn't need them anymore. Magic gems, too. Likewise, I only got to appreciate alchemy towards the end.
Also use the skill trainers early on. The higher your character level, the more expensive each training point becomes. But they can make for more solid start.

I think what helped me a lot was that I found a fairly powerful weapon early on. There's some good stuff in the dungeons.
The headhunter quests are good for money. But I think the real deal is, as usual, collecting all kinds of junk and loot (weapons and armor in particular) and load them off at merchants. 
You guys are really tempting me to play Nehrim earlier than I plan to. I'm trying to hold off though so I can catch up on some neglected games; especially on Steam - what's the use in buying games during previous sales if I don't even play them? ;_; 
Brothers In Arms: Earned In Blood REVIEW 
Just a quick extra review of the sequel, Earned In Blood. Released just six months later, this really should have been as a cheaper addon pack or downloadable content. There is nothing new, no upgrades to design or gameplay.

Some of the levels are perhaps slightly better looking, but they're still the same bland, horizontal designs from part one. The gameplay, unfortunately, is much harder this time around.

Again with no way to regenerate your health or quicksave, the only way to play this game is meticulously, slowly and reloading from checkpoints a lot. It's very difficult even when you use the flanking idea behind the game because unfortunately your teammates' AI is hopeless a lot of the time. The weapons are all still just as inaccurate as part one, adding to the frustration.

Below average graphics and gameplay that's unbalanced make this a very skippable game. 
Dead Space 1st Impressions 
Better late than never =)

I've just started chapter 3 (so no spoilers please!) and from what I can tell this is doom 3 in 3rd person, but with a much more engrossing storyline and less corny dialogue.

The environments are pure sci-fi spaceship pornography and look fantastic, and special mention must go to the ambient sounds and general sound effects, just as in doom 3, they are fantastic and really add to the creepy vibe.

Gameplay seems to tick all of the boxes of doom 3 also, and unfortunately that also means monsters spawning out of "closets" and appearing behind you. The idea of shooting off body parts for a faster kill is novel and fairly enjoyable however.

Where it differs from doom 3 is in the quasi-rpg system it employs with your inventory, you have to pick up med kits and ammo are use them sparingly, as well as collect money and new item schematics that you can create and purchase in the various shops strewn about the maps. You can also find items that allow you to upgrade your space suit and weapons.

Controls (for the pc version at least) feel very clunky, special mention goes to the awful mouse look speed, even with it set to max the screen crawls along when you swing the mouse across the pad :P I imagine a gamepad works better but I have not tried it.

Overall though I am enjoying it so far, the sexy as hell environments and creepy atmosphere are keeping me going nicely :) 
F.E.A.R. Review 
Monolith has been responsible for some good underrated games. NOLF and its sequel are two of the most underrated first-person shooters in my opinion. I skipped their previous shooter, Contact J.A.C.K. due to below average reviews, but F.E.A.R. is another great release from the Washington based studio.

F.E.A.R. was met with a fairly positive reception, suprising consider the industries' criticism of games that bring nothing new to the table. And indeed F.E.A.R. really doesn't bring anything new. In fact, for pure single-player focused first-person shooters (which excuses Splinter Cel and Battlefield 2), F.E.A.R. is the top rated of 2005. Ahead of Call Of Duty and even Quake 4. But it's not without it's issues.

The biggest issue is the lack of finesse in the level design. Now the Lithtech engine, developed in-studio by Monolith, is a great engine. In fact the version of the engine (Jupiter EX) used in F.E.A.R. is still being used in shooters in 2011. The problem with F.E.A.R. is that it failed miserably on using the engines potential. Sure, they made good use of lighting as this is a definite strong point in the game. Although not as amazing looking as Doom 3, Quake 4 or Splinter Cell; it's not far off. Where F.E.A.R. lacks is, firstly in the texturing. Textures are plain, drab and dominantly grey throughout the game. Follow this up with abysmal level design. Constantly throughout the game you'll be walking through plain four-brush corridors with a scattering of prefabs such as barrells and pipes. Follow this up with a room, then another corridor or two leading to the next room. All the while looking horribly unfinished in the detailing department. There are no complex angles, no extravagent architecture. This is level design 101, to the point where you could take just about any level in the game, for instance one of the far too many office levels, put some drab brown wood textures in there, and suddenly it's a warehouse complex.

As mentioned each room has a couple of routes to get in and out. The upside is enemies can also use either route to attack, so it's sets up for good gameplay. However it gets repetitive very fast and confusing because it sometimes feels very maze-like.

Where F.E.A.R. excels is in it's gameplay. We deal with human opponents almost exclusively. Some take more damage than others, some have different weapons. But the AI is all the same; and that is fairly good. Not perfect, but good enough to provide a decent and fun challenge. I played the game on medium and it's fairly perfect. I always had plenty of shotgun ammo, plenty of health packs in reserve, which is how I like it. The weapons all felt great. The shotgun and machine gun are your main weapons, with enough space to carry only one other weapon which alternates depending on what you find in each level. It was slightly disappointing that you can only carry three weapons, but that's a minor niggle as the shotgun is great fun.

There could have been a few different enemies. Sure you have turrets, both ceiling-mounted and flying; both of which were very annoying and didn't enhance gameplay at all. Some kind of ghost also makes an appearance occasionally, but these are far too underwhelming. Some sort of challenging ninja enemy, complete with invisibility and very fast manoeuvres makes very few appearances, unfortunately.

The story, which I won't go in to, had a fairly solid premise. Unfortunately there was little storytelling and very few cut scenes throughout the game. Most of the backstory was told through laptops which were too long and boring to sit and listen to throughout the game. Monolith should have put a lot more effort into telling their story.

Overall, F.E.A.R. is a fun romp for around 10 hours, with a successful engine but sadly let down by old skool level design which may have been great for a late-90's/early-2000's game, but in 2005 looks too bland compared to the level of detail of, for instance, Doom 3. 
Amnesia - The Dark Descent 
Phew, finished it without strokes or nightmares. A genuinely creepy game. And that through fairly simple means. Most importantly the lack of weapons. Like I said somewhere else, a game can have the scariest-looking monsters, but it leaves me absolutely unaffected if I have anything to defend myself. So I had quite a few adrenaline rushes here. There aren't too many monster encounters after all (and only a single type), but it's all about the anticipation - and that's most effective here. If you encounter one, you have to run or hide - and hope it doesn't spot you.

Needless to say the darkness plays an important rule, too. A nice touch is that your eyes adapt to the darkness after a moment, but it's imparative to light candles and torches, or use your lantern, in most levels in order to keep your sanity.
The reaction of the player character to prolonged exposure to darkness or scary situations does the rest. I found it really adds to the tension if you hear him shiver and the heart rate go up, and so on. Also what some people might consider cheap scares, like sudden frightful sound effects, or a gush of wind blowing a door open or some candles out.

The puzzles are okay. Mostly adventure-grade stuff of finding and combining items. Nothing to difficult or overly confusing. Nice though because they make for an uneasy feeling as one has to spend more time in such eerie areas.

Story is a bit so-an-so. Does the job, has good elements but also somewhat questionable ones. Classic reverse telling, through scattered diary entries and flashbacks; it felt appropriate at times and not so much at others. There are three endings, though I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't read it somewhere. 
The Horror Etc 
Thief was always a fantastic game for horror. You're already tense and used to hiding due to the stealth mechanics. When they introduce monsters, it ratchets up a notch perfectly. A human is scary, a zombie that you know is immune to half your gear and will only be stunned by the other half is terrifying :p

The Cradle in Thief 3 is mentioned often but it does deserve the acclaim it gets. I usually don't find games scary, in fact most horror games are hilarious (hi resident evil) As a result from what I've seen of Amnesia I'll probably give it a go. 
Yeah The Cradle was one of the scariest parts to a game i've played. A bit repetitive but the going back in time thing was very well done. 
Phew, finished it without strokes or nightmares.

this sentence alone makes me interested. sadly, well done horror games creep me the fuck out and i usually can never get to the end. i barely finished doom3 and that had predictable scares.

yes. i'm a wuss. :P 
Don't Bother 
with Amnesia then. It is genuinely scary if you play it the way it is supposed to be played (alone, in a dark room, with headphones on). I haven't finished it myself (yet), but what I have played was excellent because it is scary as shit, yet it is not too hard. Usually scary games are also very hard, but Amnesia has a very good balance (for me). 
SleepwalkR: Indeed. The actual challenge is not to chicken out. ;)

Something I forgot to mention. I liked how the game has you interact with the physics more than usual. What I mean is you don't simply click doors and drawers open, but you basically have to hold them and do the proper motion with the mouse (swing or pull). And you can't easily pick up heavier objects. Some stuff can be carried around in your hand; with other things, like bed frames or big stones, you have to grab them and use the movement keys to slowly and awkwardly drag them. Imagine being threatened by a monster and in panic trying to move a heavy bed in front of a door to keep the monster from entering. 
Or like in Dead Space where you have to shake the mouse in order to free from a monster's stranglehold. Or in some GTA game where armwrestling requires you to do the same. Not to mention the countless classic games, e.g. sports-type, that require button-mashing. It's kind of stupid and back then it annoyed me, but if you think about it, the idea isn't so bad. It can make for a more interactive experience.
I think someone posted an article about this, but I can't remember where is was. 
Riddick - Dark Athena 
any good? Currently $5 at Steam. 
I've had that game for I don't know how many years.

You reminded me that I had it. 
Something I forgot to mention. I liked how the game has you interact with the physics more than usual. What I mean is you don't simply click doors and drawers open, but you basically have to hold them and do the proper motion with the mouse (swing or pull). And you can't easily pick up heavier objects. Some stuff can be carried around in your hand; with other things, like bed frames or big stones, you have to grab them and use the movement keys to slowly and awkwardly drag them. Imagine being threatened by a monster and in panic trying to move a heavy bed in front of a door to keep the monster from entering.

i like mechanics like this. i remember playing fahrenheit/indigo had this great mechanic for dialog trees.
normally, you get like a list of 2 to 5 things you can say and the game just pauses while you pick what you want. you can spend a minute thinking about it. but in fahrenheit there was a timer of about 5 to 10 seconds depending on difficulty but also how quickly the other character was supposed to answer... and if you answer slowly, the other characters would pick up on it. on top of that, you had to make a semi complex mouse movement which, when you're being drilled by a cop can be pretty difficult. it actually made navigating dialog trees tense. 
it only came out in 2009! Unless you're talking about Riddick - Butcher Bay which I highly recommend. 
Nope, according to direct2drive I bought it on 9.14.09 but I just forgot I had it.

I apparently also have STALKER. 
Pariah (2005) Review 
Wow, another sci-fi first person shooter. Having just completed Rogue Trooper and talking about how similar it is to every other sci-fi shooter from Halo to Unreal 2, Pariah is identical again.

According to the story you're transporting an infected prisoner when your shot down by scavengers into a wasteland that was once Earth. If this game is supposed to take place in wastelands, then the designers failed miserably. Instead we have a mix of outdoor terrain and enemy bases. The Unreal Engine 2.5 looks like it's starting to date in Pariah; there are other games with much better graphics. The level design is a real mix; the indoor areas are often nicely detailed, high-tech and look quite good. The terrain is also fairly decent looking, but doesn't have anywhere near the crisp detail of Far Cry. However some of the bigger buildings can feel quite blocky, especially from the outside.

The gameplay is a little weaker than the design. Unfortunately it's another checkpoint system game so no quicksaves. I didn't have to replay too much of the game because of this, but it does force me to play very carefully. The two end battles were too difficult and long considering you have no quicksave. As were the on-rails sections which included a couple of vehicle levels and train levels; all of which were terrible. Perhaps it was my configuration, but the vehicles were steered using the mouselook instead of left/right keys. So if you want to go left, move your mouse left. This meant trying to shoot enemies from the vehicle was extremely difficult, and forget about attempting reverse.

The first train level just seemed to go on forever; repetitive wouldn't be a strong enough word. While the other had you completing a massive jump, which I failed the first two times because I didn't use the quickrun key, only to find the game didn't bother to add a checkpoint before this jump so I ended up playing half of this level 3-4 times over. Once was already too much.

Your enemies aren't too bad, they do provide a bit of challenge and fun. They are, naturally, all the same humans. Little variation apart from a slightly different human model/skin and different weapons and health. What spoilt the gameplay a little were the poor weapons. The shotgun was useless, the machine gun seemed to spray bullets all over the place and lacked power. Your also have a plasma gun which you're forced to use quite a lot since most of the ammo pickups are for this gun. It's not a fun gun... the firing is slow and at an annoying angle which takes some getting used to.

I guess it should be said that I liked this game enough to play it almost all in one sitting (just one coffee and cake break). That being said, it must have only been a 5-6 hour game. Overall, average gameplay and design/environments that we've all seen before; only pick up this game if you really love the sci-fi/base theme.

Digital Extremes' next release, Warpath, was originally a sequel to Pariah hence many similarities. But due to Pariah being a commercial flop, it was turned into a different game. However it was an even bigger flop than Pariah. 
About Halfway Through 
Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is really kind of like an old school action/adventure/puzzle arcade game with modern day graphics and scale.

Loving it so far. 
I Loved It 
one of the few games I've bothered to try and 100% 
I went back once I got to the final boss to find all the secrets in the game.

It was great, but the combat got repetitive and the bosses felt kind of lame, but every thing else was ace. 
I have to say so far I've liked the boss combats in this because each one is different and most of them are not frustrating at all. 
Chronicles Of Riddick 
First impression of both games: ugly & boring shit. 
I Liked 
BB and I ended up picking up DA so will post comments when I eventually get to it.

Finished Batman though, turned out to be shorter than I thought. Final boss was indeed a bit lame but now I'm going back to get all the secrets and try out the challenge modes. Excellent fun! 
This Is Sort Of Different....

pOnd, a one-button zen relaxation game that celebrates the simple beauty of the natural world. Enjoy the pleasant sights and sounds and breathe in nature as you journey deep into the woods.

It's only a few minutes long, and kind of a different experience.

If you try it, please don't spoil any of the fine details in this thread; let people really sink into the game and notice them on their own. 
Very clever! Kinda makes me wanna make a turtlemap....... 
I reckon the version of Riddick Butcher Bay that comes with Dark Athena looks shitter than the original version. 
Nice looking game, but too much boring stealth in it for me. And the stealth wasn't done that well.

I know it was considered a underrated classic, but I just thought it was a decent game, but maybe not as good as some had made it out to be. 
I Remember That Game 
It was the best looking game before Doom 3 got released. The combat/gameplay was (for the time) linear, safe and fulfilling. It had cool mechs at the end (oops, spoiler apology) and the gimmick of a fighting arena was memorable, and a welcome change in tempo. My 2c. 
Escape From Butcher Bay 
Think I've written this before but anyway... mediocre action, mediocre hand-to-hand combat, mediocre stealth but mixed in just the right way and presented well enough to offer a really good overall experience. 
#4030 - #4031 
I agree. I liked it. It wasn't amazing but it worked well, looked good, and had the right feel for the setting. 
Playing Bioshock Now 
completely different to what I thought it would be (which was a shooter). The gameplay vibe is like Undying though (a game which I cant run on W7 unfortunately). 
Bioshock Is Great! 
Are you killing all the little sisters, or setting them free? 
Either do one or the other consequently, as you'll only get the Good ending if you free every single one of them. 
Not That Farin Yet 
have only seen them so far. 
Is It On Steam? 
I wanted to buy it a while ago and it had vanished.

Yes, it is on Steam. But I'm poor so will continue playing RMQ instead. 
isn't there a 'medium' ending for when you only kill some of them? 
Ok So Far I'm Saving Them 
any tips against the Big Daddies? 
nitin: Armor-piercing bullets or grenades. Electro plasmid helps too.

necros: Yes, but it's basically the Bad ending with a slightly different text. 
Call Of Duty 2 (2005) Review 
Call of Duty 2 is, at the time of it's release in October 2003, the best war shooter to date. It's not quite the best shooter of 2005. Quake 4 is my pick with F.E.A.R. slightly ahead as well. But being third best of the year in a shooter sub-genre dominated by bland level design and repetitive gameplay, is a good accomplishment.

Call Of Duty 2 proves that the realistic level design required for war shooters doesn't have to be ugly and uninspiring. It's miles ahead of 2005's other contenders including Vietcong 2 and Brothers In Arms. While the original Call Of Duty was okay in the design department, particularly for 2003, it wasn't amazing. Call Of Duty 2 doesn't look amazing either, but it's the consitency that counts. There's variety in design from Moscow and Stalingrad, Egypt, Libya, Germany and even the expected Omaha beach raid. The highlight for me was running up a giant French hill with mortars and machine gunners mowing you down from above.

So overall, the design and levels were consistently sprawled with debris, destroyed houses; everything to make them look like they've been part of a war. And importantly, there's plenty of vertical movement instead of huge flat levels.

Having said that the design looked good throughout, it was the gameplay that is COD3's main feature. You can only carry two weapons at a time, although once you have an automatic that's all you need. There's no healthbar and in fact no health pickups at all. Instead, at least in medium difficulty, it takes around 4-5 shots to kill you. If you get shot once or twice, you can duck down and your health will regenerate in a few seconds. It ends up being a great way to manage health as you'll still die plenty but also have many close calls where your on the verge of death but manage to somehow find cover and survive. Unfortunately the game uses checkpoints instead of quicksave, but there's several per level, all at good saving points.

Enemies are all the same, just with different weapons. However machine gunners, tanks and other vehicles help to break up the action. You also have plenty of objectives per level, from clearing out buildings, disabling tanks, destroying obects. The game is only several hours long but never gets dull. The action is constantly full-on and intense. 
Played on medium difficulty, Steam says I beat it in 6 hours, so the campaign is retardedly short. I guess I would boil it down to :

Think Wolfenstein with more linear, traditional levels, trying to emulate Half-Life somewhat but fails ultimately. Story is nonsensical really (but what time travel paradox story isn't?) The powers you get are binary and boring. The weapons are kind of dull feeling, but the Grenade Launcher weapon has a cool alternate mode, it launches a controllable grenade that you can roll around at will like you're controlling a balled up Samus. The Seeker is okay, very gimmicky but fun for a bit.

Monster design is generally very good, they look fuckin rad, but the combat is just boring. There was one monster they used (by my count) a total of twice, which is a shame, it was one of the best looking monsters in the game. Seriously, try to find some art of this game, Raven's art team rocks.

Level design was detailed, but very corridory and ultimately stale. Apparently Russians SUCK at building dependable stair cases because EVERY FUCKING STAIR CASE IS BROKEN in this game. I don't know how many times they use the 'oh no stair case to lower area is broken, I guess you're trapped once you walk off the edge' trick in the game.

Soooo ummmmm I would say it's similar to Fear 2 - stale design, pretty graphics. Highly polished but unoriginal. 6 hour campaign with many flaws in game design, but plays very well in those few areas where the game just 'clicks.' I would avoid it unless you can get it for $10-$20 or so? Otherwise there are better games out there. 
Sin Episode 1: Emergence 
First 2/3rds were pretty good, felt like the old 1998 game, with updated graphics, but still not really up to 2006 standards. Level design was a bit bland. It felt more like a really good Halflife mod.

Unfortunately the last 3rd was utter shit. Level design turned to custard and the gameplay was pretty much impossible without reloading 10 times for every second enemy (the ones with chainguns). The enemies are far more powerful than you are, and have instant hit. I had to god mode it, and even then the ammo was spread thin.

Apparently some patch fixes the difficulty a little, not that I could find a downloadable version - it's only available through steam.

It would have been nice if there were a full Sin 2 instead of these episodes. Sure it'd be a financial flop and the reviewers would rubbish it for being too old skool, but I like old skool. But I think the guys are Ritual themselves may have been too old skool to do a successful game. Hence why they never did another sin episode and they all moved on to other companies. 
Monday Night Combat 
Anyone get it yet? I have to wait for paypal. :( 
Haha Yeah 
those god damn chaingunners. it was mostly those guys alone that brought the game down for me. still, i would have bought for additional episodes. it was still fun, despite the difficulty problems. 
vids of it look terrible, in terms of level design. 

This is brilliant =) Real shame there is no multiplayer in the demo! You basicly have a "recipe book" of spell effects that you can choose up to 5 of at any time to create a spell to use. Shield & Earth makes a row of mountains in front of you, but if you use Shield + Earth + Fire you get Volcanoes! There must be thousands of different combinations you can do, I keep finding new ones all the time =)

Give it a shot, its only 260mb! 
that magic system sounds very cool. i'd love to see it more often. iirc, arx fatalis had a system like this. it was even more involved because you had to 'draw' the spell out on the screen to cast it. 
So Did 
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Tried to get a emulator for it but none work apparently because of the various insanity interface tricks - deleting saved game, flies crawling on screen etc.

Good Lovecraft styled RPG with a lot of different content and rock paper scissors style. 
I Started Playing That 
A while ago, stopped about 30 minutes -60 minutes in. I should pick that up again, but I'm afraid after 3 years I won't remember what's going on. 
Apparently Russians SUCK at building dependable stair cases because EVERY FUCKING STAIR CASE IS BROKEN in this game.

Hahaha, awesome.

Thanks for the review, I was interested in this game. Was. I can live with corridor shooters being corridor-y, but they have to be good at what they do (ie killing monsters). 
Tf2 Server 
I posted in general abuse the other day about my new tf2 server*. It now has sourcemod running on it, so you can vote for maps and whatnot. It's set up for 8v8 atm, i still have to see how the server it's running on handles the load.

*the ip is 
I'd be up for some #tf TF2, server added to favorites. 
Alright, we'll have to figure out when a good play is.

On another note, I bought monday night combat, garry's mod, greed corp, and dead space yesterday. 
Oi, let's have some quality duels again. 
We have a tf2 server up. C'mon #tf TF2!

But if we don't have enough people I'll QuakeLIVE with you. 
Team Fortress Tuesday 
I'll be available on tuesdays at 21:00 EST for tf2. Other days there's no gaurantee I'll be able to play. If i'm on and anyone wants to play, just invite me and head over to where ever you are.

playing right now, btw. 
Finished Bioshock 
pretty good game but the strong thematic concept actually made it a bit repetitive in terms of both gameplay and visuals after a while.

Was wishing for cooler set piece designs and different enemies after about 2/3 of the way through. 
Only just realized how many improperly aligned textures the maps have, floor trims in particular. Yeah, it sounds aspie, but still pretty lame how they don't even care for keeping a constant level of visual quality which wouldn't have been hard to maintain. The former custom maps are affected in particular. Sure, blah, gameplay++...
Also, they ported many arenas from ra3map1 - except for the best one of the map. I never understood why that whole map was so popular after all. Probably because most players were too lazy or dumb (no, "pro") to switch. Some of the later maps were much better. 
'best' Doom Src Port 
So what's the 'best' doom src port? I've seen some with silly things like md2/3 support, but are there any that stay 'true' to doom? Sorry if I'm being too vague. 
prboom/glboom are very faithful.

If you want a crosshair, mouselook, auto-run etc, use zdoom or gzdoom.

jdoom can be stripped of all that model/texture junk but it can't run larger maps from stuff like Speed of Doom or Plutonia 2.

I use zdoom myself, and prboom for viewing demos :) 
i use zdoom. it can be set to look exactly like the original but at the same time giving you proper mouse look and with tons of engine extensions. it's also very popular so almost all custom maps that have extra extensions are either designed for zdoom or have been fixed up to run in it. 
I use zdoom when I play Doom engine games. Also, JDuke I think it's called if you have a hankering for Duke3D updated engine. 
Yeah zdoom is great at keeping the old look and feel but adding some nice creature comforts :) 
the nice thing about zdoom is it plays other games too: heretic and hexen as well as strife. 
I Use Zdoom Too 
Though in some respect it's really the DP of Doom. And there're debates on how "faithful" and how good a standard port it is (just like, or even more so than with DP). It has a few compatibility issues/differences which alter the game experience in some cases, like infinitely tall actors (or rather the lack thereof) and other things.

I guess it's okay to use as long as a map's text file doesn't explicitly state it as incompatible. 
i was just agreeing with zwiffle. :) 
about zdoom vs DP...

when i started thinking about it, i couldn't really explain why i prefer zdoom over more faithful doom ports and why i prefer fitzquake over DP. 
Have you played much of Strife Necros? I completed it a while back. It's got a weird proto-Deus Ex feel to me :p

Technically jDoom plays Hexen and Heretic too. In fact I believe the guy originally made the engine for heretic. 
i totally loved strife when it first came out. it had a lot of depth for that era. a good story and consistent quality throughout. it still was easy to get lost as almost all games were in that day, though.

still, it's one of the games i go back to every once in a while. i still like it. :) 
Yeah I'll probably play it again, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, even though it is so primitive. The main thing I remember is the first town having that nice 'you're an outcast watch what you do' vibe, and then somewhat later on when you find that Robot libuary thing. The sound in that room is awesome :D

I also enjoyed the limit stealth stuff, wish it was more developed :E 
I use prboom, it has mouse look and openGL rendering by the way. Nice fast simple port with a lot of optional funkiness. ZDoom felt too sluggish to me. Tries to be everything all at once.

There are good Hexen and Heretic ports here:

Awesome 33kHz sound pack for Doom: 
Also Finished Bioshock (and Crysis) 
Bioshock - It didn't sit well with me in the beginning, especially the combat. Grew on me though.

Very well designed game, I enjoy this type of deep game, but I still think that the combat suffered. There are some good enemies like the spider splicers, but the weapons - core of any FPS - just feel underpowered / not satisfying to use in the end. I like the tommy gun though.

And Bioshock is a pretty standard corridor shooter FPS when it comes down to it, rather comparable to Doom 3 in fact, and the layouts aren't really that innovative. Still, it is OK as a corridor shooter, gameplay wise. I like the whole random crap they added to it, like vending machines, security bots and the plasmids, of which I ended up using only a few (Incinerate tends to get the job done vs splicers).

I wish it had a convincing shotgun though. There is a lack of ammo as well that must be compensated for by using plasmids (again Incinerate burns splicer health away quickly). I underused plasmids in the beginning and thus had a pretty hard time.

More varied enemies later on would have been nice, instead they just really ramped up the health of the common splicer to the point where they just wouldn't die unless you constantly used napalm etc. on them.

Underwhelmed by the whole Big Daddy / Little Sister thing. I rescued all of them, golden boy that I am. :-/

It looks like I have to play BS 2 now.


Yesterday I also finished Crysis:

Technically awesome game, as everybody and their dog knows, fantastic jungle environments, awesome alien ship zero-G environment, crappy final level that is an aircraft carrier where you're constantly ordered to go from A to B and back pointlessly.

Gameplay wise...

I loved Far Cry. FC is really without a doubt a motherfucker of an FPS game. It is half jungle island, and half doomlike indoor bunker shooting. With monsters, I might add.

Now here they took Far Cry, removed the bunker indoor aspect, changed the monsters to aliens, and gave the player a "nanosuit" that turns you invisible etc. so it gets a lot easier to sneak up on people than it was in FC. That's really the main thing the suit does, although there is a strength mode so developers can toss idiotic little challenges at you, and a speed mode. Golly.

Whereas the protagonist of Far Cry took an anarchistic "Die Hard" underdog approach to the game, in Crysis you're a US special forces guy in a special forces scifi suit and among a hitech scifi war of the US against the North Koreans, obviously. Crysis takes itself a lot more seriously than Far Cry did. It is much more of a scifi war simulation.

It's somewhat stale, even though they pile on tanks and aircraft for you to drive (the latter is not optional, and sucks balls).

Then the game starts to shine when the aliens are introduced. Their lair is an awesome experience, and the bastards are fun to fight, so for a moment it turns into more of a cool shooter game instead of a predator headshot fest - but sadly, it's over too soon. There's just one level where you really get to fight a lot of aliens - not counting the final carrier level, which is just prescripted stalinist level design nonsense that has you running around like a lab rat pressing buttons.

So, the game shines in certain moments, but sadly it's not allowed to go down that route. Killing aliens with a shotgun was the most fun I had in Crysis - only time I used that weapon, too. Kinda sad, except for the legions of console kids who love headshotting people while cloaked - more power to them.

Awfully cliched writing and voice acting btw (military squad antics).

I much preferred the anarchistic underdog approach of Far Cry to the routined warfare of Crysis. It looks sooooo pretty though. 
Enviro Bear 2000

is quite awesome, but annoying after a while :D 
I found I pretty much stuck to wrench + electric bolt for most the game except where enemies were immune to lightning and Big Daddies. For the latter, I almost exclusively used grenades and heat seeking RPGs.

So yeah, I also found that the game did not encourage using of different weapons/plasmid combos.

What did you think of the design gb? Like I said above, very strong conceptually but like the gameplay, it did get repetitive because of that strong concept. 
I Think You're Drunk 
Because I used all kinds of different ammo and weapsons in bioshock, even more so in bioshock 2. 
@Doom Ports 
Also use ZDoom. Check out the Chocolate Doom port, it might be what you're after which seems to stick closely to classic Doom. 
New Eyemaze Game... 
Crysis (and Dead Space) 
I replayed it after I got my new pc, and the part where you are driving the tank and the mountain on the horizon starts falling apart, revealing the alien structure left my jaw on the floor. It's probably the most visually impressive scene I've seen in a game, the sense of scale is absolutely spot on.

I totally agree about the alien levels, it starts off fantastically with that zero-G mission and then descends into linear scripted arsecracks for the rest of the game. A real shame as I was enjoying it immensely until that point.

Dead Space! Loved it! I had kind of written it off as a Doom 3 clone with some quirks but overall I enjoyed it very much. The boss fights in particular were fantastic, no confusion or frustration involved, which is pretty rare when you are talking about boss fights if you ask me =)

Again this is another sexy, sexy game. Visual presentation is pretty much flawless throughout and it ran at 60fps on my 9600gt =) I strongly recommend it! Sequel just released too, will pick it up for sure. 
+1 To Dead Space Being Awesome 
Semi non-linear, claustrophobia, find stuff and upgrade yourself, scary monsters. 
lemme know what you guys think about the sequel... 
You Didn't 
work on it? 
i did. 
Cool, Will Definitely Check It Out Then 
Matthias Worch Worked On It Too 
I think? 
Are We Talking About 
Dead Space 2 or Bioshock 2?

I'm guessing the former? 
Or Is It 
Rubicon 2? 
What did you think of the design gb? Like I said above, very strong conceptually but like the gameplay, it did get repetitive because of that strong concept.

Well, there are some things that stick out, like the fisheries/docks level and the smuggler level, and also the Hephaestus core level I guess (which almost reminded me of Quake 2 or something like that).

The Apollo Square level is also different from the rest (and pretty oppressive, like some areas of Berlin right after the reunification, ie grey, ruined, worn down and riddled with bullet holes in all its massiveness), so there is some diversity.

It's just I tended to spend a lot of time in levels like Fort Frolic which does the art deco shop front thing to the extreme.

There are also sub-levels like the tavern, the wine cellar, the aviary (sp?), and the entire Arcadia thing that are pretty unique...

Crysis tank mission: Yeah, that was pretty nice and the area is indeed sandbox like (not all of them are), best thing about it was I could choose how much tank driving I wanted to do and when I wanted to continue on foot. Good use of vehicles (why oh why is the later flying mission not optional). Crumbling mountain - that was massive, yeah :-D

The mine level is also good, so is the village one. 
dead space 2. And yeah, Matthias worked on it too. 
Next Time You See Him 
Tell him to finish/release his Q1SP. If necessary, add "goddamn" and "FFS". 
Epic Games + EA New Shooter Out Now! 
Looks more fun than the new mp maps for black ops. Srsly. The only reason to buy the map pack is the new zombie map, that is awesome. 
i laughed aloud watching that. thanks for the link. :) 
yes. seriously, those screenshots looked awesome.

Also, cannot wait to play dead space 2, my balls are hurting just thinking about it. Soon, very soon. 
Bullet Storm 
The bullets do no damage and the most effective weapon is your foot.

And, on the Ps3 at least, the reload and fire triggers seem inverted. I was constantly getting into place and then reloading frantically on the enemy.

It seems a curious design for the an FPS - making the shooting feel, well, weak. 
It doesn't have jumping. I mean...huh 
That wasn't my experience on the 360. I only played through the demo with the first gun, still need to try out the pistol thing and chain gun. Overall I liked it though. The only thing that was weird about it was that there's no jumping like zqf said and the animation for looking down the sight was incredibly fast. 
Yeah Bulletstorm 
I liked the demo, the lack of jumping was off putting but 'if you don't need it, don't add it in.'

I did like the game-play, it was pretty wacky and innovative. I plan on getting it when I have some extra $$ and game-play bandwidth. I desperately home it comes with a level editor. DO WANT LEVEL EDITOR. 
I Dunno 
Maybe it just wasn't Quakey enough. 
Felt to me like the lack of jumping was because Gears has made them so lazy about keeping the player within the corridor of gameplay :P I did enjoy Gears 2 but it has plenty of moments where you can't move across a stupid two foot high wall which feels rather frustrating.

Really though imo just means there will be a lack of possible variety in geometry and gameplay generally :E

Can't judge the gameplay via a gamepad though, just led to frustration when trying to land trick shots. 
Re: 4092 
I was laughing really hard at that, until I realised that it was done by the guys behind SUPER MANLY AND REAL GEARS OF WAAAAAAARRRRR 
Gears Of Brood 
Yea, coming from the Studio that brought you Dom's wife and 'oh dear he's wearing a helmet, bet he's got a long future' they can't really call out CoD :E

It's like James Cameron calling out Roland Emmerich for making films that are too overwrought. 
Sure They Can 
The call of duty games used to be good, before reyarch and iw went apeshit over mp, and killed the sp experience. Now instead of having good sp, they have shitty sp and shitty mp. Gears had alright sp and meh mp (lol ima shoot u while hiding behind dis wall lol). 
I don't really agree. I really enjoyed GoW and CoD4 / MW2 single player. Very polished and fun. Sure they have some preposterous scenario's in them but most "action" games and films do.

I saw a bunch of rage about the whole EMP thing in MW2 and how it was so unrealistic, but that part of the game was awesome to play! Running down streets dodging falling helicopters and planes was pretty epic in my opinion, I think people just need to relax and have fun with games like this, they take them way to seriously :)

Now if Deux Ex Human Revolution turns out to have a bunch of this completely crazy stuff in it, sure it will be dumb and crappy because Deus Ex is a completely differnt kind of game where you are meant to really care about the characters and the world, and when something completely dumb happens its jarring as hell. Not so much in call of duty! 
I Didn't Mean The Scenarios 
Just the gameplay in general was crap, imo. 
Dead Space 2 1st Impressions 
Played the 1st 2 episodes, so just getting started, if the game length is similar to that of the 1st.

I really appreciate the silent protagonist ala HL and Dead Space 1, so I'm not entirely sure I'm sold on Isaac having a personality. So far though it's been fine - he doesn't have too many one liners, and he's fairly low key. Generally not a big deal, although it occaisionally irks me.

Girlfriend/delusions - These seem somewhat meh to me - the instances I've experienced are somewhat random, and not very scary or spooky compared to the necromorphs, or even the more subtle treatment offfered in the first game. Still early though, and I think it could pan out easily into something great...

Gameplay - still very early. But so far, it has been great! the variety of combats, enemies and random semi boss fights and setpieces have been rad, and I have a feeling that it's going to get much more intense! Generally finding the scariness level to be less than I remember experiencing with the original, but that is largely due to more comfort with necromorphs etc - it still makes me very uncomfortable in parts, in a good way.

Looks wise, this game is amazing so far. The environments are so detailed, and the few setpieces I've run into have been really cool, especially the 15 minutes leading up to the end of episode 2.

I don't know, I suck at reviews, hahaha!
But yeah, loving it, having a good time with the new telikinesis abilities, and finding the flow to be pretty consistently great. worth every penny. 
my first two points above sound somewhat negative, which is pretty misleading. I guess they would just be concerns - not even criticisms, really.
Isaac remains unintrusive and yet more fleshed out, and his more developed characteristics, including his delusions, are becoming more interesting as the game goes on.
I'm further along now, and much more is being introduced, it just gets better and better - I love this game! might be the best looking game I've ever played, definitely the best looking that comes to mind! I feel like the first little bit, though not bad by any means, is less awesome than the sections I've been (slowly, hesitantly) working my way through the last while. My girlfriend cannot be in the same room while I play it now - nightmares. 
Dead Space 2 
Yeah good solid game so far, I'm at around chapter 7, and really enjoying it. Very happy the changed the zero-g gameplay, floating around in space is quite fun.

I'm almost dissapointed that most of the marketing on it is about how gory and violent it is, those things aren't what make it a good game.

It's so silly to have to stomp on corpses to get items, if you keep bashing space he'll go into a stomping frenzy and start saying "FUCK!" etc, makes me laugh. 
Zero G 
agreed, that's one area that is unequivocally better all around. I just finished playing what I suppose, at this point, is the main Zero-G setpiece, and it is underscoring the 'best looking game' thing for me.
There have been a couple areas where I felt like the game didn't quite do it for me, though, settings wise.
An article in The Mirror said something about parts feeling like 'bioshock in space' and while on the one hand that's reductive, I think I get where he's coming from.
Eg in bioshock, I felt like the gardens area with the markets etc was pretty interesting - it made sense that it was there - but it seemed a bit off, and thematically, it just felt a little bit too much like a novelty, an attempt to diversify the environment at the expense of some cohesion. Maybe that's just me?... I felt somewhat similar about a small portion of this game, though it was quite brief.

I agree that the gore and violence is less what this one is about compared to the 1st - it's definitely less of a survival horror and more of an actiony shooter thing (technical term, don't worry about it). Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Seems like the marketing worked though, hahaha! 
I definitely got a bioshock vibe in a few areas, especially the shops as you mentioned, and the school. Also the area with the bird cages, where you hear/read voice captions of some dead guy, that felt very bioshock-ish.
That's not a bad thing though. 
looks like I should have picked up Dead Space in the steam sale then. The screenshots didnt inspire me at the time. 
Super Meat Boy 
I love the game so far; I've only played the first fourteen levels, but the controls suck. I'm buying a wireless xbox controller for my laptop later. Also, I can't wait for the level editor to come out. ^.^ 
Super Meat Boy 
Yeah this game MUST be played with a game pad. 
I just bought a xbox controller for my laptop. :p 
Call Of Cthulhu (2006) Review 
Headfirst Productions created this game and then started a couple of sequels before going into liquidation and closing down. So Call Of Cthulhu is the only game we'll ever see from them, which is a shame because this showed a lot of professionalism for a first title.

It's by no means perfect, the gameplay is quite flawed. But where Call Of Cthulhu shines (metaphorically, certainly not literally!) is in it's atmosphere and environments. The engine is decent but obviously won't give id tech or unreal engine a for their money. The level designs are adequate with just enough detail. But the atmosphere itself is very well realised for the Lovecraft universe. The journey takes you through the town of Innsmouth, represented in dark, claustrophobia complete with sea monsters and dangerous cultist. You'll sneak and fight your way through buildings, factories and a refinery before the game takes a turn and places you on a coast guard ship, completed with a massive attack from the giant Dagon.

You wash up Devil's Reef and end the game in an epic but unfortunately confusing chapter through underground (and underwater) caves and temples.

So the game and story feel like a Lovecraft creation. They fit well, as does the constant reminder of otherworldy creatures stalking you.

Where Call Of Cthulhu fails is it's gameplay. And at least for me, it failed miserably. I was hoping for something more action and fun. The first half of the game is spent in stealth mode. But the stealth is unsophisticated and holds nothing on the Thief or Splinter Cell series'. You eventually get some weapons and play the rest of the game with a mix of stealth and firepower. Unfortunately the enemies pack a punch and can hurt your health quite quickly. Combine this with unlimited spawns in some instances and very limited health/ammo and Call Of Cthulhu is a challenging game. That alone is fine; that's how Headfirst Productions intended it. But then comes the biggest issue - this is a challenging stealth based game with NO QUICKSAVE! Instead you get poorly placed checkpoints. A number of times you'll be forced to play long periods multiple times due to difficult encounters or even badly placed instant death traps.

While this game make look a few years dated in 2006, it's atmosphere is pulled off well. But it could have been an infinitely more popular game, in my opinion, if they took a more action-oriented approach and ditched the stealth completely by the second or third level. Add in a proper quicksave, some better weapons and some puzzles that were a bit clearer.

As it is now, the only reason to play this game is for the dark atmosphere and interesting story, and that's not enough. 
Battlefield Heroes 
You know, that free comic WW2 multiplayer browser game.

It's a bit weird. Or at least I don't get it. There seem to be two objectives: either one team has to capture all control points in a level, or frag the enemies often enough, to win. There are three player classes, soldiers, commandos and gunners - each with special abilities. A bit like TF soldiers, spies, and, well, vehicle guys I guess. Most levels feature vehicles such as jeeps, tanks and planes, in which several people can ride.

You get XP points from kills and completing objectives, Hero Points which you use to upgrade your character's skills, and so-called Valor Points which can be used to buy stuff like weapons, equipment and eyecandy in the store. Downside is, those bought items only last for one or three days. Unlimited access can only be gained through buying them with BF points which have to be purchased with actual money ('premium' feature, expensive).

Not a game that I would play for a longer period of time, but might be fun every now and then with familiar people. If you want to give it a try, add me to your friends list. Let's be lame noobs together! 
Dead Space 2 
Just finished this game. Took me solid 9:30 to complete it. Smooth gameplay and shiny visuals. Awesome game. I even have an urge to replay it on another difficulty and with other weapons.

I decided to finish Dead Space 1, cuz I didn't finish it. And met the reason why I stopped playing it. Mouse controls. They feel totally different from DS2: mouse movement is with some delay and with some acceleration/deceleration, which makes character controlling much slower. Especially in aim mode, mouse becomes even slower... What's up with that? Anyone know how to fix mouse there? I'd love to make it as responsive as in DS2. 
The slow response with the mouse is a major thing that ticked me off in the first Dead Space. Felt like syrup sometimes and trying to be accurate was tricky. Interesting to note that it works better in the sequel. 
IIRC, each team has 500 or whatever tickets. When someone dies, his team loses a ticket. Tickets also automatically decrease when one team holds more control points than the other. 
Make sure vsync is off, other than that there's not much you can do (i had problems with that too). 
Another thing that should help, in the "settings.txt" file (with XP it's located in: "username\Local Settings\Application Data\Electronic Arts\Dead Space", I don't know about Vista/Win7, though), you can set the value of "Control.MouseSensitivity" greater than "1.00000000" 
Team Fortress Tuesday 
I'll be on 21.00-2.00 est 
Thanks For The Help With Ds1 Guys 
will try it 
Hi Czg 
This looks like a nice different FPS 
Looks Cool 
It also plays very nicely. Shame development went into hibernation. 
Dead Island 
Don't Know How The Game Will Be 
but that trailer is pretty fucking cool 
Yeah it does look cool. Fortunately not just a L4D clone, it's more a melee based survival/horror with rpg thrown in.

Been in development for 5-6 years, but is apparently coming in 2011. And they've stopped development on Chrome 2 and Warhound, so I guess the entire team at Techland is working on this now (and Call of Juarez 3). 
I Need To Play Alice 

Along with about 12 other games I've bought and never finished... 
Batman: ARGHam Asylum 
Quite average. Feels like something's missing.
It's polished and looks good (despite the inherited UT3 ugliness), some areas even have great architecture. Gameplay is acceptable, I guess, but not really my cup of tea. Melee with frequent grapple/platformer bits - kind of gets old quickly.
I'm seven hours in and have only completed one third of it (unless the hidden items and Riddler puzzles count towards that too)... usually I complain if games are too short. Now I'm sighing because I'm not further. 
I loved Arkham Asylum - the combat was a bit stale yeah, felt too much like that really bad Prince of Persia game. The exploration and story though I loved - really top notch. Character design was cool, and the Scarecrow bits were awesome.

If they can improve the combat + bosses for Arkham City I will be delighted, but I think negke will feel the game is 5x as long :( (because it is.) 
Tried to play Lost Planet: Colonies. Can't bind any key that isn't a number or letter, ie comma, full stop, forward slash. How the fuck can I play this game without comma and full stop for side stepping? What a total load of shit and complete fuck up from Capcom. Total favouritism towards evil consoles. Glad I torrented it instead of wasting my money buying it. 
Yeah Loved Arkham Asylum Too 
loved the bosses excpet the last one.

Oh and negke, the percent completed is misleading, it includes all serets etc. 
The Secrets Are Worth It Though 
SO much fun finding them all! And the extras from each secret are pretty additive to the experience. 
Another Nice Nitrome Flash Game 
Ubersoldier (2006) Review 
It actually took a fair bit of effort to find this game. No second hand version, the Ubersoldier website is dead. Even two pirated versions wouldn't work. I eventually merged the two pirated versions into one working game; albeit with a bug in that the last two levels had no textures. Getting the game to run in fullscreen mode also took some playing around.

Now to the game itself; it was developed by a Russian developer named Burut. They would normally be enough to stear well clear of this game. But I persevered - the screenshots looked good. The reviewers had panned the game based on no multiplayer, poor voice acting and high system requirements.

Yes the voice acting is poor, very poor! But some poor voice acting is hardly going to ruin an entire game. If it looks good and is fun to play, voice acting is pretty low on the list of what makes a classic gaming experience.

Lack of multiplayer. Does every single game in existence require multiplayer? I for one haven't played a game online since around 1997. Multiplayer does nothing for me.

The system requirements for Ubersoldier do seem quite high. The loading times between levels are about ten seconds; too high in my opinion. However any moderately priced computer after 2007 should run the game without any noticeable slowdown or drop in framerates. It's really just the load times that take a while.

This game is slightly underrated and should have got a better rep, because the gameplay and design is all pretty good. The weapons are standard WWII fare, but at least feel powerful and mow down enemies quick enough. Your enemies are all the same, just with different weapons. Some can really pack a punch and drop you fast, however every second enemy drops a 10% healthkit. So while there are some tough fights, the abundance of ammo and health mean once you've made it through the tough ones the pressure is over as your restock.

This isn't to say you can run in, guns blasting. You still need to carefully duck around corners to pick enemies off one-by-one. Overall the game play is fun, although a little repetitive. Certainly no different from all your other war shooters.

The gaming engine and level design are both up to the par for 2006. The level design is, of course, better than FEAR. Certainly not amazing or awe-inspiring, but varied enough with just enough detail to make each level look decent.

This is just your standard shooter. The settings are different from the realism depicted in Call of Duty and Brothers In Arms. It almost feels more like a modern sci-fi game rather than 1940s Germany. But if you need to play every generic first person shooter, as long as it's fun and looks decent, then pick up Ubersoldier from the bargain bin. 
The loading times between levels are about ten seconds

holy crap, dude... i remember playing some games where it'd take almost a minute to load a level. 10 seconds is fast. like greased lightning. travelling through a really conductive material. 
there's still games now that take more than 10 sec to load levels. 
Like Any Game Based On Source 
They all have horrid loading times. 
Still Games? 
The majority have shitty loading times since programming is always the busiest department since they're the most expensive in wages.

Theres a scale for games - made for love and made for money, those too far on the money side of the scale will always have shitty loading times and badly polished gameplay.

10 seconds is good I reckon.

Kona, what got you to hunt that game down?

And yeah, fuck multiplayer. It a big lump of dev that should go into the core. Unfortunately its also a mandatory bullet point, like vehicle sections or RPG elements - irrespective of the game you're making.

A change to indie... 
Though I Suspect Source 
Is a problem based on inherent architecture. The system is most likely full of odds and sods originally made for other games. 
Well, I haven't played any game beyond mid-2006. My rig, which was a pretty expensive one in mid-2007, loads most games pretty quickly. Probably won't with the latest games.

But yeah 10secs isn't too bad, but what made it annoying was that's for quicksaves as well. Usually a game has a long initial loading of a level, but once it's running if you do quicksaves it's very quick (within a few secs). Whereas in Ubersoldier there didn't seem to be any caching so it's like your loading the entire level again from scratch for everyone quicksave.

ijed... I wanted to hunt Ubersoldier down because looking at all the other releases in 2006, there's fuck all in the way of generic pure shooters. Here's my to play list for 2006:

Dark Messiah (action rpg) - 74%
F.E.A.R.: Extraction Point (2006) - 75%
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (2006) - 80%
Hitman: Blood Money - 82% (Stealth)
Condemned: Criminal Origins - 82% (survival horror)
Prey (2006) - 83%
Rainbow Six: Vegas (2006) - 84%
Gears of War (3rd person) - 87%

Prey and FEAR are the only mindless first person shooters from what I can tell. And Gears of War if you count third person, but the PC port of that is rare so I imagine it'll be a bad port.

Think I'll play Dark Messiah next. The last fantasy I played was Enclave from 2002, and that was awesome. There needs to be more mindless fantasy's instead of 200 hour RPGs. 
i've noticed that about saving in some games.

some games get away with like sub 5mb files. i've even seen some sub 1mb.

and then there's some that save like a 30-40mb file and take, as you said, 10 seconds or so to do it.
which on the surface, doesn't really make sense. there's obviously something going on that makes it take that long, but i have no idea what. :\ 
New Rage Trailer 
It's amazing. 
great game, i love how they start with a basic mechanic and introduce something new in each level. Hopefully they will ramp up the complexity and mix different elements more and more in the later levels. (only on level 9 so far.) 
They Do 
it seems theres new mechanics all the time and they keep riffing on the old ones as well. Meaning it just gets more and more difficult.

Kona: Souns like a history of games thing. Over ten seconds for a quicksave means theres nothing going into RAM, it is reloading everything ie broken. 

Higher res, no age filter, and cos Bal said it was "meh" :P 
"Theres a scale for games - made for love and made for money, those too far on the money side of the scale will always have shitty loading times and badly polished gameplay. "

So a load time over 10 seconds = the team didn't give a shit what they were making? :P 
I am 3 hours into chrono-trigger. What a great game! Really glad I gave it a chance with the boring beginning. 
It Takes Sustained 
Effort to make a game, if your heart's not in it then its a lacklustre result.

Making the game load properly, have a decent frontend, be bug free and without flaws in the gameplay logic are all things that happen when the team is motivated, and pride motivates better than cash. 
I'm merely doubting that long load times = shit design, or shit game, or uninterested coders :p
Technical issues can just be unavoidable, no matter how much people try. It's unfair to say that a technical problem shows some kind of character weakness in the team that made it. I'd leave that judgement down to uninspiring gameplay.

Crysis has its fair share of bugs (the physics mainly) and pretty long load times. But I wouldn't say that Crytek didn't inject creativity and love into the game.
Actually the further back you go the more examples pop up. I don't know whether this shows that technical standards are getting better or that I just don't like modern games as much.

But as an example: Thief 1 and 2. *awful* UIs, kinda buggy in places, dodgy engine. But Looking Glass weren't a team you could call money driven :P 
ZQF - You Are A Dark Horse 
What is your games design background again? 
Sometimes its just bad luck, or bad management - 'that sounds like a great way to make a game! It's not, we tried it. Do it anyway.'

And the endless tug of war between producers, IP holders and dev teams.

Being inexperienced as well affects things - though I place less credence in this since it just means they weren't putting in the extra hours to get it right.

Spose what I was trying to say is that a lack of overall care usually tells a lot about the dev team more than anything else. 
Free Copy Of Portal 
I have a copy of portal that I got when i preordered portal 2, and since i already own another copy, i can give the new one away.

So, who wants it? 
You can't really measure load times as a sign of quality, you just can't.

I could go out and buy a SSD today, and suddenly any shit game is good cos it loads in 3 seconds? Really?

Crysis is a great example, it takes a buttload of time to load, but I would say Crytek poured their souls into it like they do with all their titles, there's just a lot of stuff to load for each map.

If a game takes forever to load a map for no conceivable reason then sure something is wrong, but you would have to go on a case by case basis, I don't think blanket statements work here or are fair. 
I'll Take It 
if no one else wants it. Not sure its my type of game but free is free :) 
What's your steam name? 
n_gulati should be it. 
I can't believe some of you haven't played it... You should be ashamed of yourselves. 
steam wants your email address >.> 
Sorry Here It Is 
n_gulati at hotmail dot com. 
I haven't played Portal (or HL2 for that matter).
Portal looks like ugly box rooms. I'll give it a shot one day though. 
Strictly Speaking, 
yes, portal is ugly box rooms. that said, it's somewhat necessary for the puzzles and it's a consistent theme of the game. 
You're An Ugly Box Room 

The test chambers are boxxy, but it's the puzzles and GLaDOS' personality that really make portal a fun game. 
The rooms are boxy, but I wouldn't say the are ugly. It's minimalist and fits with the rest of the game, they are believable, nothing ever seemed ugly to me as I played it.
Portal 2 looks gorgeous. 
Portal is a beautiful game :) 
Thank Jt 
much appreciated. I might finally play it. Although I still havent played HL 2, and sleepy gifted me that years ago :) 
Is a massive temptation.

Portal1 is well worth the effort, it last about an hour and is very well realised. 
Yeah I know, I was being more general in the statement. Good games generally have a level of polish to them that bad games don't - and thats on art/design/tech. 
Half-life 2 
is a massive disappointment.

Portal is nice! 
Quick One 
Tomb Raider: Underworld.

Yay or Nay? 
That Was Quick 
17 seconds. And you dont even have a computer! 
In modern Tomb Raider games does Lara still control like she's a fucking tractor? :p 
No She's Like A Slinky Kitten Now. 
Underworld is pretty cool, though be warned the flame effects in the first level for some reason brings my framerate to a slow crawl. This is weird because it is literally just some small corridors, whereas later it renders huge, open, magnificent, gorgeous vistas without a hitch. Just so you know and don't dismiss it on the first level.

Actually Tomb Raider Anniversary is my favourite of the reboots, because it has that same great underemphasis on combat as the original did. 
Currently On Steam For 7.49 
will pick it up.

thanks czg. 
What Did You Find Disappointing 
about HL2? 

each to their own though, i absolutely love it 
Right. So A Pretty Detailed List Of Things 
and me asking then as well. hahaha.
I loved it when I played it, feel pretty good about it now. Liked episode 1 quite a bit, enjoyed episode 2 less for some reason I forget, and dislike the way the story is going.

Prefer HL1. 
and dislike the way the story is going.

yes, i feel this way too. i really do not like the direction that ep2 hints at (nor ep2 in a general sense).

hl2 for me was always about urban maps. for me, the parts that i enjoyed the least in hl2/ep1/ep2 were the maps that were NOT city17.

hl2 starts with city17 followed by a very cool extended chase sequence as you exit the city. you stumble on all these great locales-- post-ap shanty towns in drainage canals, rebel outposts, just plain abandoned areas you know no one's visited in years... all these great urban areas like out of an urban exploration blog.

i guess that's why i liked ep1 so much-- it's entirely in city17.
ep2 seemed like the beginning of an downward spiral as city17 is wiped off the map.
some cool parts in the mill/mine, but then we get boring caves. then we get a bit more factory type stuff, then the long drive through hillsides and the final battle takes place in kind of boring looking mountainous region.

ep2 ends and seems to point us to the antarctic or whatever where that ship is. so it looks like, either ep3 will have us spend a bit of time out in the country before we somehow get to that ship, or we'll just be teleported there and spend the entire episode there. which... i dunno, isn't really all that appealing to me. 
Be disappointed if theres another wanky super weapon ending to round it off.

Lots of environments stick out for me - city17 (metro right at the start especially), prison, beach / coastal, sandlion beach road and so on.

The best bits were probably the industrial sections though. 
And Yes 
Caves were uninspired. 
I thought Episode 2 lacked 'filler'. It felt like short set pieces bolted together with not enough simple run and gun to rattle through
yeah I think filler is a very good thing :E

Also those ant-lion caves were seriously too long, and Alyx just got irritating. EVERY time the player does something, she stops just short of kissing your pecker. Enough with the NPC 'OMG you're AMAZING!!' shit, I'm not four.

Oh and the car was way better than the buggy but then they don't let you enjoy it. In Highway 17 you had stretches you could bomb down, areas to explore at your leisure etc. In Ep2, alyx + the tighter design + that stupid beeping supplies thing meant you couldn't just chill out in the same way, you're constantly getting little pokes from the game to stop, go this way etc (yeah I know you can ignore it but I just wish it wasn't there).

...I loved episode 1 for the fact it didn't do a lot of this stuff. The hospital section for example was a fantastic bit of simple combat fun :E 
i did actually prefer ep2 to ep1 but i can agree about the lack of filler. and to some extent the antlion caves, which got a little tiresome after a while. but the finale was probably the most fun i've had playing any shooter game ever, and i generally loved the forest/mountain settings throughout, especially the setpieces like the falling bridge, that massive wide shot of a destroyed city 17 or when you see the armies advancing to white forest in the distance. loved the vortigaunt/gman twists in the story too and looking forward to where things are headed

ep1 was good but it pretty much felt like 'more of the same' and i was kinda relieved to finally escape the city at the end; any more and it would have dragged a bit

i have a feeling ep3 (if it ever comes) is going to be much bigger. i am so booking a few days off work and queuing outside GAME at midnight XD

i was never a *massive* fan of HL1... still liked it but could never see why such a huge fuss was made about it. tried replaying it after HL2 and found the gameplay much more frustrating in several places. and the story felt kind of random until this site helped tie it in. never got round to checking out opposing force or blue shift though, annoyingly as i have as part of the generation pack but have lost my cd key :( 
Oh and the car was way better than the buggy but then they don't let you enjoy it. In Highway 17 you had stretches you could bomb down, areas to explore at your leisure etc. In Ep2, alyx + the tighter design + that stupid beeping supplies thing meant you couldn't just chill out in the same way, you're constantly getting little pokes from the game to stop, go this way etc (yeah I know you can ignore it but I just wish it wasn't there).

YES. that's it, right on. it was too... i can't believe i'm saying this about a shooter, but too fast paced. i would have preferred a more leisurely pacing with some more optional areas to drive around and just explore.

the coastal driving section in hl was one of my favourite parts of the game.

i just love that concept that you're driving along this long road and stumbling on abandoned house after abandoned house.

i could totally play a unit where it's just driving from one encounter to another and maybe you pick up some gas here, or a part to fix your vehicle there, and each stop has some kind of sad or disturbing story to it. totally like a 'slice of life' of like mad max 2 or something.

if anyone remembers when i posted those venice hl2 shots... i was really hoping to do just that, but i'm just not very proficient at WC3.3 and also hl2 scripting is kind of goofy. :P

ep1 was good but it pretty much felt like 'more of the same' and i was kinda relieved to finally escape the city at the end; any more and it would have dragged a bit

i guess i'm just a huge sucker for post-ap settings. i love run down, destroyed city stuff. and not just freshly wrecked stuff like in a ww2 game. i could have an ep1 that was twice the length.
one part of ep1 that stands out for me, really in just capturing the whole atmosphere, was that tiny area right after going up the rickety lift after being mobbed by tons of zombies.
it's this dusty room with junk strewn all over the floor and the crank for the door is broken. 
gman/vort aspect of the story was one of the parts that bothered me most.

things could definitely go in a bad, tacky direction. X-files style, where the attempts to tie up some of the ambiguity (which made the show) really are lame/gay/unsatisfying. 
Necros: I am somewhat hoping that rage might be like that. 
HL2 Was Great. 
However I am finding Crysis to be even better. Great graphics, even better gameplay. 
I am somewhat hoping that rage might be like that.

yeah, all the promo stuff i've seen of it definitely points in that direction.

but.... it's iD. they are fully capable of fucking it up. :P
i was very happy when i heard they were ditching that 'dark' game. 
I just remembered the Gnome achievement, and how the fucking thing had no friction with the car - so every time you turned it'd go flying out the door, even during the helicopter chase.

Insult to injury, the gnome fell out of the shuttle at the end somehow so didn't get the achievement. Refused to go back to a quicksave as well :I 
People Care About Achievements? 
Not Normal People 
Sure theres an applied insult in there but cant be arsed. 
Implied Even 
You bellend. 
"However I am finding Crysis to be even better. Great graphics, even better gameplay."

Once you're fighting the aliens it gets pretty damn boring. But fighting the human enemies is great fun. I probably replayed all of those missions five odd times just fucking about approaching them in different ways. 
Skyrim Trailer 
This looks pretty damn impressive... 
Yes It Does. 
I should probably play oblivion. 
wow, their new terrain engine looks crazy good. anyone else catch that floating terrain? :D

i only hope all of the terrain looks as hand-crafted as those quick shots. 
I Think Ther Are Using IdTech5 
Anyone else care to speculate? Would make sense with the merger with id Software. And the GFX look awesome, soooo...... 2+2= ? 
They said it wasn't iDTech 5, apparently it's a new internal Bethesda engine called Creation. 
I Can Buy And Rename Stuff Also 
and call it something else...

ps- it's 5 
Bsps don't look like a good idea with that kind of level design. I wonder how they render the world. Hmmmm. 
More like Bullshitstorm.

Visually it's great. The theme is a nice weird blend of familiar environments and sci-fi/other planet stuff. There are good designs in the levels, although they're also somewhat busy visually. Models and effects look cool, too.

The skillshot system is fun and makes for some novelty. Unfortuantely, that's about it already. Apart from these things, it's just another stupid consolified game that reduces the player to almost spaz-grade. In other words, extremely linear and scripted with no freedom whatsoever.
I was annoyed how blatantly it was even done. Everything is clipped off - but not in a subtle way; it seems it was done by a retard. You can't fall off ledges - in many cases you can't even go near them! Invisible walls everywhere, placed generously far from the actual objects they need to clip off. Even bushes and spaces between crates.

And of course all the in-your-face stuff like interaction hints, autosaves, quicktime-like parts, semi-autoaim etc.
Leash and skillshots are fun, but more often than not the fights are very much geared towards certain tricks and tactics.

The story is silly and there's a number of "what did just happen?" events, the dialogue is super-dumb, but no one expects much from such a game anyway, so that's okay.

At any rate, playing this makes the COD4 mock teaser appear in a different light. When I watched it, it seemed to imply COD is another boring linear shooter (which it is), whereas Bulletstorm was some sort of badass oldschool shooter that doesn't take itself as seriously. However, while the latter is true, the game is actually pretty much exactly the same as COD4, only with a different theme and a bit more comicy with the skillshot gore (which isn't a good thing).

So, bottom line: not recommended unless you're one of those hopeless console FPS players, or find the game in a cheap sale somewhere.

[I complain about linearity every time, but case I haven't mentioned it elsewhere: of course I don't expect totally nonlinear games. But ffs it's not so hard to make linear games FEEL a little less linear by adding a couple of additional rooms and corridors and, I don't know, balconies maybe, on the route from A to B. I guess, a good example for that is Bioshock.
Often the levels in such games look they would easily support a bit more freedom. Lots of wasted potential.] 
heh wow, i had semi-high hopes for this one. :\

maybe brink will still be good. 
I Wish I Couldn't Agree With You 
But you're right. I'm still finishing the game, though. 
To Be Fair 
It's not a bad game as such. Polished and well presented. But I'm disappointed because it's different from what I expected and/since it follows a common trend of game design I dislike. 
well, like you said, the goofy 'demo' sort of painted a different picture. 
North Face 
insane mountain climbing film set in pre-wwII germany. Crazy stuff and I'm amazed at how the pulled off the visuals, did not look like much CGI at all. 
Wrong Thread Sorry 
Just Finished BS 
And that's exactly what the ending was. Every game that uses the unreal engine doesn't need to be a damn trilogy.

Imo, bulletstorm was mediocre, at best. 
Bummer, I also had high hopes for this one. I figured even though Epic was publishing it, since it was developed by someone else it might at least be good. I am a sad gamer :( But at least I can spend that $60 on my student loans. Hurray debt! 
Yeah I had really high hopes for it at first, but my expectations kept dropping at each new silly marketing commericals and gameplay trailers that were released...
Went from "instant pre-order" to "meh, maybe when it's on sale on Steam", and considering what I've been hearing, I'm happy I decied not to pick it up right away... 
I Didn't Like It 
From the demo. Bad level design added to the mix?

Didn't really follow it or build up any hopes though. Saw the video, which was retarded since they were obviously making fun of console games in general (including themselves!) and wasting money on poor viral marketing rather than making the game better.

The mechanics just weren't sharp enough, for me.

Coming from People Can Fly it should have been better. Seems the publisher transition wasn't kind.

Also, just realised the acronym for it is 'BS' - so they can spend all that on a marketing campaign and nobody in marketing held up a hand on that one? 
you'd be suprised how out of touch most devs and publishers are 
Yeah after playing the demo the marketing angle that it's bucking so many trends in modern shooters is pretty laughable. Felt just like Gears but in first person. The only reason you can't jump is because they are incredibly lazy about how they'll guide the player and such, and remove any chance of more variety (even Painkiller had elements of exploration via secret hunting etc).

Also I was hoping for more avoiding damage via maneuverability, but it seemed more about hiding behind a wall and sucking your thumb like CoD.

If it's different in the full game, then christ, bad demo guys. 
Bulletstorm And Upcoming Titles In General 
Never followed the game myself, had some minor interest as it was nearing release, but nothing more than a 'could be interesting?' thought. My attention was more so grabbed from Duty Calls, but from what I read above... what a way to shoot yourself in the foot. Still might check the demo out just to see for myself.

I'm rather cynical concerning upcoming games, rarely ever follow them and jump on the hype train. At least then when a title blows my mind it really does. STALKER and Dead Space come to mind having no prior knowledge except from an excerpt or two about how 'good' they were. Whim purchases.

Saw the Skyrim official trailer, and I've been following TES so far I might as well keep my eyes open for the sequels. After Morrowind and Oblivion, I even hunted down copies of Arena/Daggerfall and enjoy them just as much. Not holding my breath for Skyrim either though, I'll find out how it fares once released and check the comments.

I've simply grown tired of hype and high expectations, because it usually results in disappointment. The only game I can consider 'looking forward to' is The Witcher 2 and that's only because I immensely enjoyed the first.

tl;dr version: blaargh. 
You're like some linguistic ninja, you little Scamp. 
Point Taken 
But I probably won't be entrenching myself more into the Q1 hobby community. 
looking back at the parody demo now, it's almost like the joke was on the player base. 
has anyone played this purely in SP? is it good?
from what i've read, it's rpg stats + shooting, so i'm thinking, similar to fallout3?

price has dropped for this so i was wondering if it's worth getting. 
I Liked It. 
Weapons have random stats and whatnot, there's supposed to be over thirteen million combinations. 
Pretty Sure 
someone did an in-depth review of it on here, and felt it was super repetetive. could be mistaken though. 
thanks for letting me know. quakis wrote the review, at 3150. :) 
Its The Painkiller Of Modern RPGs 
Kinda sucks. Overhyped by fox. The main problem with it IMHO is that it grow old very fast. You get to a silly level once and you're done. And a soon as you get into a multiplayer game, it impacts on your status in the singleplayer world. The whole thing is based upon behavours of environments as you progress, the guns are like stats sheets with randomised values and according randomised appearences. It gets to be too clinical. I had fun with it for a couple of weeks maybe :D 
I play borderlands in singleplayer for about 20 (?) minutes before dropping it. Ugly, boring as shit, lame game play, awkward feeling. I heard it might be better in coop, but I haven't tried it to find out. But then, I would probably just play L4D2 in coop if I were going to coop a game anyway. 
Is It Really Ugly? 
I played a bit on a friend's xbox a while ago, thought the art design was good. 
It's Not Ugly 
Although, what is and isn't ugly is highly subjective. 
I was actually really excited about Borderlands from previews and whatnot and then they revealed their new art style - and I immediately lost interest in it. It still sold well enough to warrant a look, but what I saw I did not like at all.

Though I have a particular disdain for cell shading in most everything. 
Played It Recently 
the vanilla game with no dlc, quite fun if your having a drought of games to play. It IS fairly repetitive but the shooting mechanics are solid and some of the rarer beefier weapons are very satisfying to use (im looking at you, revolver with a chance to cause explosions!).

I imagine its a lot more fun in coop, but the single player kept me interested long enough to finish it :) 
VVVVVV Review 
I might as well post about this one I uploaded a few days back for those interested; 
Terry Cavanagh Is Great 
VVVVVV is awesome, Don't Look Back and Judith are also inspiring. 
I liked it, kind of felt like a Diablo FPS almost, and the visuals were nice and refreshing, but yeah, best played in coop of course.

And yeah VVVVVV is awesome. 
Call Of Pripyat Music Expansion 
borderlands sounds like my kind of game, i think. :)

even if it only lasts a few weeks, that's worth the current price (30 CDN). 
All Went To Do Is Get Laid And Have Sex 
i went to were grils lather school jackets and tell them to call me at this number 8579142. 
Best Post Ever 
Two Of The Top Google Hits 
are a lawyer and a Catholic church.

Go figure. 
Borderlands was a blast, one of the few games in the past couple of years that I really spent the time to explore every nook of every level. It's fun both SP and coop, give it another shot Zwiffle. The beginning *is* kind of slow and boring but it picks up. 
Crysis 2 Demo 
Anyone else having trouble creating an account so they know, PLAY THE FRIKKIN' GAME? =)

its been stuck on the "creating account" message for 10 minutes now and there is no way to cancel it, w00t Crytek :P 
I'm In. 
Apparently "bollox" and "" were taken. So I'm bollox01 ;) 
Yeah, got in myself a few minutes ago.

I like it! Its modern warfare 2 with super powers thrown in =)

Everything feels really beefy, which is great. Suit powers are actually useful and I found that I was using all of the available modes and moves. The ground stomp thing is hilarious if you can get one off in a group of enemies.

It suffers from slight consolitis however, the fov feels very narrow, and the "Press start to continue" message when you first get to the menu is a little disconcerting =) I had to up the mouse speed a fair way also, but the game itself is fine.

Only other annoyance I had was that the graphics options menu is a complete joke. You have 3 preset options, "Gamer", "Advanced" and "Hardcore". There are no slider bars or drop down menu's for various effects, frankly from Crytek I expected there to be a buttload of graphics options... :P

Saying that though, I threw it on Hardcore and the game ran at a steady 60fps, and it doe's look very pretty.

All in all, colour me impressed by these first impressions. However they do need to add more graphics customization options! 
Oh, Yeah 
MAXIMUMclsm is my username =) 
Returning to a previous Crytek game, Crysis keeps crashing on what presumably is the final section, when the Admiral nukes the island, it always crashes during that cutscene. Have just upgraded to V1.2 and it does the same... 
s'okay the last few levels are shite anyway :p 
Actually apart from the boss combat I thought they were pretty cool...

Fixed, was a DX10 problem. 
Magicka Expansion 
Prepare you greatest double-take neck jerk manoeuvre! 
Get Your Robes Ready! 
wow, that's just odd as hell! 
Sugar Sugar 
Interesting pixel-physics puzzle game: 
Will The Sequel Be Called 
Honey Honey? 
And A Bit Lame 
in too many levels you have to sit around just waiting too much and maybe it would be good if you were forced to think more carefully by somehow punishing the player for letting the wrong color pixel in the wrong cup. 
A limit on ink and having an eraser would have been better I think. 
not having an eraser made it more challenging I thought -- some of the later puzzles require some thinking about which order to fill the cups (since filling one cup might require blocking off another one.)

There was one level I found annoying, might have been the last one, where the level spirals around and you have a single grain of sugar. Even when you understand the concept you have to repeat it way too many times to complete the level.

Would be interesting to see a "best time" feature on some of the levels, I could see ways i could have been more efficient but wasn't motivated to replay them. A time to beat might have helped. 
What Annoyed Me Was 
that the thinking part was usually very quick and then waiting for the cups to fill was very slow, it didn't feel very Zen to me just annoying. Maybe a fast-forward button would work ok. 
Liked the idea. I also liked the fact you couldn't really out right fail it, you could just keep going at it until you finished it. Was a lot more relaxing for that.

But it should have had a score element, so you could aim to do it perfectly if you wanted. 
Was Decent Enough 
for me to randomly play over half the game upon clicking the link. 
How Many Levels Are There? 
i'm stuck on 19 :( 
The waiting is quite putting me off that game :(

It's so tedious to do the right stuff :( 
Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic (2006) REVIEW 
It's been a while since i've been able to play a fantasy-based action game, first person in particular. It's a welcome change from all the war and sci-fi shooters of 2005/2006.

Now typically i'll play a game in a few sittings over just as many days. However, 85% of the way through Dark Messiah the power went and everything around me hit the floor. An earthquake hit of epic proportions, causing upwards of 15 billion in damage and, tragically, hundreds of lives lost in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

My computer survived and it was 1.5 weeks before I resumed the game (I had no power for a week), by which time I'd started to forget the first part. Nonetheless it is a fairly lengthy game; none of this 5-7 hours rubbish some of the top developers have been spitting in our laps. Dark Messiah is at least 10 hours long.

The highlight of the game is the level design, as you'd expect with it's setting. Villages, mountains, temples... it's all standard fantasy but it looks fantastic.

Unfortunately the game is let down by it's gameplay. You're forced to use a more strategic approach at times by kicking enemies into spikes, fire or off cliffs. This is clumsy and frustrating, but taking on enemies in a swordfight is just as bad. Often enemies will wipe half your health off in one swoop, while you try to do a silly combo-move and completely miss through no fault of your own. Most fights you need to pull off a combo in order to kill an enemy because simply hitting the attack key repeatedly is took weak and you'll die after a few enemies. Ultimately, having to hold keys and use other keys to pull of these combos is annoying and slows down the action. Most enemies have slightly too much health and should go down quicker. There are a number of enemies in the game that just aren't worth fighting, such as zombies who have huge amounts of health and are very lethal. You're better off running past them and a game should never promote skipping action because it's too hard.

Having said that, the last 1/4 of the game is an exception as you FINALLY get given some decent weaponry. Either that or it took most of the game to master the combat effectively.

The RPG elements are strong, as you'll need to do many upgrades throughout the game and you can go various ways; strength, magic, archery, stealth. I chose the strength route and barely used the spells throughout until the last few levels. The spells were mostly uninspiring projectile attacks and easy to miss the enemy anyway.

For the explorer, there are plenty of secrets and health throughout the levels, but i'm not a big secret area scourer. Nonetheless I saved plenty of health vials which ultimately went unused as the final battle was easier than expected. The game might have been slightly more fun had I used the health vials more freely or if it was automatically added to your health instead or letting you horde it.

Overall Dark Messiah is a great looking game, but the gameplay is for the more experienced players. Some of the enemies could have done with some tweaking to make the game more action-packed instead of a reload rampage. Still, it's great to get an action-oriented fantasy game as there are very few around. 
didnt realise you were a Christchurcher, everything ok? The footage looked horrible. 
Give Up Robot 2 
(don't think it's been posted?) First one was great, second one is also quite good : 
If you like rhythm games, BIT.TRIP.RUNNER is pretty awesome, very cool minimalistic visuals and music. It's pretty friggin hard though, be warned.
(it's around 7 euros on Steam.) 
Yeah for me it's back to normal Nitin. Got a bit of an insurance claim to sort though. But the city is a bit fucked. CBD could be closed for almost a year, and they're still finding bodies almost 2 weeks later. At least on the east side of town you won't find a street anywhere that hasn't been effected, either by liquifaction or cracking. 
That's Crazy 
how for out of Christchurch are you then? Sounds like a reasonable distance out of the main city. 
Well the epicentre was Lyttelton and i'm about halfway between town and Lyttelton I guess, so I was a lot closer to it. The problem with the main city and why it got his so much harder is all the old buildings that aren't earthquake proof. I doubt there's any churches in Christchurch that weren't damaged.

That and the few blocks around where I live must have better grounding and are fairly modern homes (inside 20 yrs old) so my house didn't get very damaged compared to other houses that were much further away from the epicentre.

Are you in NZ nitin? 
I read that Christchurch has had it worse because the earthquake's waves were reflected on some mountain which caused interferences below the city. Those interferences meant that in certain spots, waves would add and become huge where in other spots, waves would cancel each other out.

At least that's the theory why the town was damaged more than in the last quake, even though the last quake was nominally much stronger (Richter scale is logarithmic). 
no I'm in Melbourne (Aus) but have been seeing it a lot on the news. 
Since this game got to the steam finally, it took my attention and i loved it instantly after playing the demo.

What an amazing game! It's not your typical puzzle where u move blocks or whatnot, which gets boring after 1st level. This one is some sort of chemical simulator with a lot of ways to solve the puzzles, and puzzles are really mindbending. It could take a day to solve something, and I just started it and playing on moderately easy levels.

But what a joy I'm experiencing when finally I come with solution how to synth certain molecula! I feel like a real engineer at this moment :)

Also, i like graphics of the game, it's minimal and clean and good for the eye. The music is also a great supporter for the game, proper ambient is always welcome.

Highly recommended for the nerds around :) 
bought it yesterday. it's amazing. this game is easting all my time 
I haven't been playing many games lately, but because a friend recommended Bulletstorm, and partially because I loved Painkiller, I decided to buy it on Steam.

First of all, I felt like smashing my fist through my pc screen after discovering that despite being a game I bought on Steam, it requires the awful Games For Windows Live to run. Why on earth EA or Valve think it's acceptable to use two different services just to play the single player portion of one game is beyond me, but I was so pissed off I ended up firing off an email to Gabe Newell (which I doubt he will reply to, but it felt good to take action!)

The game itself was, in short, a little dissapointing. Whilst it has great graphics and extremely extravagant set pieces, the weapons and action didn't really feel quite as good as I had expected. It seemed that despite progression being generally quite easy, I was doing a lot of killing with a machine gun from long range, which was not really all that much fun. Later on in the game, I was rewarded with a few nice weapons, such as the awesome drill gun, but aside from a few of the secondary charge shot modes, the other weapons didn't really feel as meaty as I remember the guns in Painkiller feeling. It really seemed like I had to pummel most enemies for quite a while before they went down, unless I knocked them into some dangerous environmental trap - which generally rewarded me with the satisfaction of instant death and desctruction I so expected of this game.

However, For the last third of the game, there are a lot of mutants running around that can only be killed by shooting glowing red parts on their body. When you kill them this way, they instantly gib into a big red cloud of gore, leaving a huge splatter on the environment. This was fun. These guys were also extremely easy to kill using the drill gun that appears on one of the later missions. In fact, any occasion where making an enemy explode, melt, evaporate or become impaled was a ton of fun, but somehow it seemed that I spent a lot of time walking around very pretty (but empty) environments or trying to snipe enemies with a machine gun because it was the best weapon for the job if I wanted to stay alive.

The game's skill shot system was a cool idea, but I didn't really have much fun with it, and I didn't like how all the skill shots seemed to be set in stone - you can't really create your own combinations that the game will recognise. Every skill shot you get is like a micro achievement; Although you get it every time you kill any enemy in a prescribed manner, not just the first time. Using points you get from performing skill shots, you can buy ammo and weapon upgrades from pods scattered around the environment. It was kind of weird to be able to go to what is basically a shop and buy ammo during a battle, but this aspect of the system was ok in practice, and I didn't feel it was getting in the way.

One thing I noticed about the levels is that there are a huge number of massive, extremely cool looking and detailed areas that are basically unused for gameplay purposes. There is a lot of story in the game, and many areas where you just walk around listening to the (admittedly entertaining) banter between your character and the other three main characters who accompany you through the game. I was quite surprised by this because I had expected little to no story. Although the story is very simple, it worked to immerse me more into the world and connect me to the main characters, because by the end of the game, I hated the main villain, General Serrano, about as much as he did.


This is where the game lost me though. The ending is hugely fucking annoying. You want so badly to kill this piece of shit general and the game nearly gives you the chance, but then something EXTREMELY irritating and predictable happens in a cutscene where you have no control, whilst you are left screaming at the main character, telling him to do the job properly and kill the motherfucker by firing 50 bullets into his face, only to have him ignore your requests and later regret his lack of thoroughness on the next level and in the final cutscene. Sequel? Fuck you. I'm not paying another $50 just to do what I should have been able to do at the end of the first game.


I still haven't played the challenge mode or multiplayer, but the single payer was decent but somewhat lacking in the level of destruction I was hoping for. The ending was bullshit. 
Was It Just Me 
Or did the bots who accompany you kill absolutely nothing the entire game? That's what it felt like for me. I dontwremember them killing a single damn mutant. 
@ Kona. 
Is that Littleton on the south side over the Port Hills? 
Yep Sham 
Condemned: Criminal Origins (2006) REVIEW 
Released for consoles in 2005 and for the PC in 2006, Condemned: Criminal Origins is the next game from Monolith following F.E.A.R. Now Monolith has made some good games; Blood was good for it's time, No One Lives Forever and the sequel were underrated classics. But unfortunately it seems their designers are still stuck in the old skool style of level design. The problem that hindered F.E.A.R.; it's bland boxy level design, returns with Condemned. In fact, the level design in both games could quite easily swap places and you wouldn't know the difference. F.E.A.R. had slightly more open levels to account for fast shooting enemies, while Condemned's is more condensed and cramped. However it's still the same room with two corridors connecting to the next room. It's maze-like, repetitive and is almost a series of box rooms littered with debris. It certainly doesn't feature the kind of detail you'd get from Doom 3.

There's really nothing in this game that stands out as looking great. Perhaps the final level taking place in a decayed apple orchard at night was a highlight, but it still lacked detail and was extremely linear. It sounds better than it was.

Basically Monolith followed the same pattern as F.E.A.R. in creating a game with supernatural flashbacks throughout; the scares are all the same. In fact, you could almost say this is the same game just with a different story and melee combat instead of guns.

So while F.E.A.R. lost brownie points in the design section, it made them up with it's fun gameplay. The same can not be said for Condemned, which is melee based combat using random weapons such as crowbars, 2x4's, axes. Now I've played good melee based games; Heretic II and Rune got it right. Condemned swings but misses, because it's too basic. The game comes down to a block-swing-step back process, or if you're taser is charged, which almost always is, then it's taser-swing-run back to wait for taser to recharge. It's just not that fun. There should have been some combos or powerhits of some kind. I complained about the combos in Dark Messiah, but at least it had them. Their drawback was the awkward key presses in trying to perform them. Condemned's gameplay is just too simple and becomes repetitive very fast.

Which leaves the storyline; which is flawed just like the rest of the game. The main premise is cliched but acceptable; a serial killer takes your gun and kills some cops which you are blamed for so on the run you go to capture him. As it turns out, he's been killing other serial killers. But then some whole supernatural plot comes into it with civillians turning insane, birds brains exploding, odd flashbacks and mysterious creatures popping in and out of existence (one of which you fight at the end). By the end of the game NONE of this is explained! Admittedly it does all get explained in the sequel but it just leaves the first game confusing.

If you loved F.E.A.R., not minding the average level design and love survival horror games then Condemned: Criminal Origins is worth playing the once. Otherwise, it's a skippable title. 
Crysis 2 Demo Fov 
Here's a handy little config ui to edit your gfx settings in the Crysis 2 demo, it's only really useful for editing the fov. 
Dragon Age 2 Pc Hi-res Texture Pack 
Bioware released a high-resolution texture pack for the pc version of DA2, which is released, err in a matter of hours I guess :)

Seen a few screenshots and the jump in environment texture quality is very noticeable, well worth it! But they recommend a gfx card with 1gb of memory on it. 
Tried to play Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter1. Gosh Grin just dont' have a fkn clue do they. It's a great looking game, but no quicksave and rare checkpoints in what is already quite a hard game, even on easy, means it is completely unplayable unless your absolutely desperate for a FPS. I quit after 1 level.

It's no wonder they declared bankruptcy. Next. 
Two Worlds II 
Enjoyable. An average degree of consolization, but about on par with The Witcher. The positive thing is that unlike Witcher, the 'levels' are larger and often more open. Some nicely designed environments (especially the island in chapter 2 is awesome, with medieval Chinese temples/buildings in the jungle and a dark twisted canyon like the Barrens from Morrowind). Others are more average, but overall the game looks good.

Controls are somewhat dodgy in parts. Still okay. Horse controls are shit though.
The looting system is a bit ambiguous as you can only pick up everything the enemy had. This means you can run over a fallen group and quickly tab space to get it, which is nice, but on the other had it will also clutter your inventory with all kinds of useless items like weak weapons which you then have to disassemble or put down individually (or sell).

Too much action (too many monsters) in parts which got tedious after a while - especially the swamps which reminded me strongly of their counterparts in Witcher = shitloads of zombies spawning all the time.

Combat is mostly button mashing and using special attacks. At least that's what I found to be most effective. It's also possible to block and do effective counterattacks.
I'm a bit ashamed to admit I didn't understand the magic system so I played the game as an oldschool warrior. It's not so hard in theory - one has to create spells by stacking cards of several classes and effects, and it's possible to experiment with the combinations in order to create the best spell for each situation. But I somehow didn't get the hang of it immediately and then lost interest as my other skills became more developed.

While not required, one can approach each battle in the optimal way by varying weapons and spells according to the enemies. Many of them have certain weaknesses to some attacks and are resistant to others (e.g. blades vs blunt weapons).

Progression is linear insofar as the parts of the world only unlock when the player reaches a new chapter in the main quest line. Basically a bunch of islands that become accessible by teleporters. Exploration is somewhat limited but possible, at least in the first two chapters of five. Some smaller sections of the islands become accessible with some of the side quests of which there are fairly many in relation to the main quest and suitably varied. Some side quests also introduce new enemies.

It's easy to get lost in the side quests at first and kind of forget what the story or the purpose of your main mission was. It picks up after a while. Or maybe because I just refrained from taking more side quests from the bullentin boards.

At one point I bought a boat and sailed to one of the remote islands around the main ones only to find what looked to me like a tribe of nasty canibal-like people (regular enemies in a later section) which chased me off again and I had to leave my boat behind, heh. Later found out there's nothing there to be found, except XP if you kill them. But still a nice detail.

Bottom line: I'd say if you liked the Witcher (for this game seems to be most apt for comparison), you'll likely enjoy this one too.
It feels like it does the compromise between console and PC better than most of the other games in this genre. Playtime: 20-23 hours, up to 30 with full exploration/100%ing. 
new teaser for Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet:

Gameplay video coming tomorrow. 
Yeah that looks pretty good. Hope it controls like an FPS not like a Mech game. 
Looks friggin awesome, giant robots jumping around shooting rockets! woooo! :D 
Looks very stylish indeed. Would be interested to see how the gameplay / content pans out. Not so keen on the restricted cockpit view though. 
Nice find. Seriously check out the graphics of Hawken for real:

Fuck me those grpahics are awesome (spooged all over Hawken's bosom) 
Bullet Storm 
Loving the environments for sure. 
I'm sure it will only work with the Steel Batallion controller: 
Remarkable. Yahtzee's opinion is exactly what I concluded from playing the demo :E

An oldschool shooter forced through a mangle of modern shooters and being at least partially compromised because of it. 
interesting environment art... the consistently random construction of all the buildings makes me wonder if they auto-generated the buildings from a bunch of prefab parts. Either way it's an cool style. 
It's an AWESOME style ;) 
Far Cry 2 
just started this, why is this even the same franchise? completely different game. to early to tell if its good. 
Dwarf Complete... 
Decent Zelda-like dungeon game from the Eye Maze guy. Some clever puzzles. 
AFAIK, devs and pubs split, pubs got franchise name and tried to milk it as best they could. 
Again. From Wiki:

Far Cry 2 has been officially released by Ubisoft, although it was not developed by Crytek, but by Ubisoft's Montreal studio

Far Cry 2 (commonly abbreviated as FC2) is an open-ended first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. Crytek, the developers of the original game, were not involved in the development of Far Cry 2.

Ubisoft has marketed Far Cry 2 as the true sequel to Far Cry, however the sequel has very few noticeable similarities to the original game. Instead, it features completely new characters and setting, as well as a new style of gameplay...

Various factions and vehicles are featured; enemies include human mercenaries, but sci-fi creatures such as the Trigens from Far Cry are not featured.[12] Furthermore, the player's feral abilities introduced in Far Cry Instincts and its expansions do not return in Far Cry 2.

Far Cry 2 abandons the science fiction aspects of its predecessor in favor of a more realistic setting.

The protagonist of previous Far Cry games, Jack Carver, is not featured in this game.

Ubisoft has developed a new engine specifically for Far Cry 2, called Dunia...

The Dunia engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by Ubisoft Montreal development team.
Only 2 or 3 percent of the original CryEngine code is re-used, according to Michiel Verheijdt, Senior Product Manager for Ubisoft Netherlands.

So, as is blindingly obvious, it has slightly less than FUCK ALL to do with Far Cry, and just makes Ubisoft look like a bunch of dicks for trying to cash in on the franchise, whilst Crytek go ahead and make the true FC2 and do a much better job of it. 
Well So Far Its A Pretty Game 
not sure if like the looks of the gameplay though. 
The Montreal Team 
Probably had a pretty nice game built, until the publishers came along and said 'scrap 50% of what you've done and slap the FC2 name on it'. 
I think the gameplay looks pretty cool actually, more interesting than some random call-of-duty copy anyways. Kinda feels like Tribes a bit, what with all the jetpacking around. 
Oh Wait 
Nevermind, I thought we were still talking about Hawken. :D 
Farcry 2 
It isn't such a bad game in my opinion, great fun as a sandbox where you just mess around with the AI behavior. But yeah, it's nothing like Farcry. 
I really didn't like FC2, really one bit at all. There seems to be some serious streaming issues with content, and I lag noticeably bad when sprinting or driving through the world (it occurs every few seconds.) Changing settings does not help at all, and my computer specs blow consoles out of the water.

As far as the story, it's pretty damn lame. You start off with Malaria, yeah! The sprint distance seems like less than five meters. The whole system on finding diamonds is so borked, I ran around for a few minutes when trying to find the first one. I didn't understand anything in the game.

What's worse is the fact it is an open ended game with no quick saving. This wouldn't be as frustrating, if the game didn't crash after about an hour of playing it.

2/10 stars for FC2. Classic example of how game studios are at least eleven times better at making games than publishers. I didn't give it just one star because I bought it in a Steam pack for $3, so I had suspicion of the quality.

Crysis 2, on the other hand, seems quite promising. I'm not a big fan of invisibility being totally ruined with the addition of thermal vision. Hopefully there will be some way to hide your heat signature, at least for the most part. 
I liked FC2 quite a bit for what it was - I didn't have streaming problems (even on my older PC) and I thought the combat was a lot of fun if not a bit frustrating at times when I couldn't make out the shapes in dark shadows.

My main complaints were that driving everywhere got stale pretty fast, and that the voice acting was bad (as someone pointed out, I can't remember who, it was probably for compression reasons.)

The weapons felt great though, some of the best feeling weapons in any game I've ever played, from the sounds to the damage to reloading, even to them breaking in the middle of a god damn fire fight - they just felt great.

The diamonds thing was basically a hot/cold game, I found a bunch of them but didn't have much incentive to find all of them. The story wasn't really all that bad, it didn't have the CoD kind of crazy conspiracy spin to it, it felt much more grounded. Basically - gun smugglers are bad, mercs are bad, and both help to destroy stability and innocent lives. Felt much more grounded than CoD games, despite being an action flick style game. 
I thought it was ok, was pretty fun for the random AI shenanigans, and the companions could be quite silly. 
Uh Oh 
It'll still be Human Head developing the game, with just Zenimax taking over publishing rights. I'd imagine it mustn't be too far from gold... the first game took 4-5yrs once Human Head took over and Prey 2 has been under development for probably 4 yrs now. Human Head has nothing else in development, so one can only assume they've been working on it since 2006. I just hope they don't put off the release with all those other shooters coming in 2011 from Bethesda. 
Actually, Here's A Prey Review 
Prey began it's long development life in 1995, a decade before it's final release. Just as they did with Duke Nukem Forever, 3D Realms stumbled around changing development teams and the game but, ultimately, weren't able to build a game engine to support the portal technology.

The idea was to have portals (ie teleporters) that can be opened and closed throughout the game. 3D Realms spent a number of years on the engine before it was finally put on hold, indefinitely, in 1999. Which was a great shame as the videos, screenshots and E3 presentations released in 1997/98 had many fans excited, including me.

Prey was one of those games that I long awaited, just like Duke Nukem Forever. Unfortunately they both became vaporware. It wasn't until 2002 that the project was resumed, although not announced officially. However this time round 3D Realms retired the idea of using their own engine and started again using idTech 4, with the game actually being created by Human Head Studios, authors of the classic third-person Rune. And in 2006 Prey was finally released.

Ironic that eventually outsourcing Duke Nukem Forever to Gearbox Software was the only way 3D Realms' other, more famous vaporware game would ever get released as well.

Back to Prey, somehow through this mess of a development timeline, Prey turned out to be a great game. It didn't feature design that was new as both Doom 3 and Quake 4, the only two other games to have used idTech4 up to 2006, featured very similar sci-fi themes. Doom 3 was slightly darker, Quake 4 was slightly more military themed. Prey took the theme in more of an alien, surreal direction, but ultimately sci-fi is sci-fi. However it looks just as good as Doom 3 and Quake 4 ever did, so it's another great looking entry into the shooter market. The entire game takes place within a huge living sphere floating in space. But most of the level design is based around human-sized rooms and corridors.

There are some much bigger open areas which you can fly around in using your little spacesuit. Unfortunately, just like every other shooter that forces the obligatory on-rails/vehicle levels, these flying levels are far too common. After the first couple of levels featuring flying I was hoping that would be the end of it. I was sadly wrong. They're not frustrating, in fact the flying mechanics were fairly solid. But I hated Descent, so I was always going to sigh when Prey takes me off my feet.

Prey also features portals, as per the original idea of the game from the 1990's. However portals are nothing new come 2006. Sure they can open and close and it's a good way to insert more enemies into the action, but they're not a big selling point.

What is a lot more unique is the change of gravity. Using special pathways you can literally walk vertically around the four walls of a room. You can reverse the gravity of a room just by shooting a trigger. On top of this you have spirit walk, where you can leave your body as a spirit and still interact with the environment. These are some intriguing, fresh features that form the basis for many puzzles throughout Prey. Do I like puzzles? No, not at all. So the constant gravity changes and puzzle solving didn't really have me jumping with excitement. In fact the brightly lit gravity pathways did get a little ugly and repetitive as the game wore on.

The actual action in the game was all solid. The weapons are slightly different to your standard shooter stock, so it made for some interesting gameplay. The game should have been quite a difficult game, however a unique approach was made regarding dying. Instead of relying on quicksaves or checkpoints, you instead enter a short shooting game which after 20 seconds returns you to where you died with your health returned. This means you can't really die in Prey. Quicksaving is completely unnecessary and sometimes there's little point to avoid losing health. You might as well just die and get your health replenished. The boss battles in particular become a complete joke when you keep respawning and the boss still has the same health. I can understand the idea behind it; they wanted to remove replaying large sections and constant quicksaves/quickloads, but they made it far too easy to not try at all in the game. There's no incentive to not dying, other than your own ego.

However with it being an easy game, it's also replayable as you can jump into any part of the game and have a blast (providing it's not a flying level!). There's no lengthy storytelling or slow parts to the gameplay.

Prey is certainly not a perfect game; the flying and puzzles get old, the regenerating (no dying) system was a mistake, but the action is solid and design great throughout. Possibly the best shooter of 2006. 
Rage Weapons 
Also This Is Red Faction Weapons/gameplay 
I really enjoyed Prey but I played it through once or twice then became bored with it. It had LOADs of stuff in it which was awesome:

Cool physics/gravity
Shrink the player and put them on a mini-planet
Boss fights!!!
A plot (sortof)
Reasonable (for the time) AI
'Cause it was IdTech4 it ran smooth!

All of what Kona said really. 
Looks good. Weapons look kinda boring but hey it's a good looking grimey shooter. 
good game.

There was a boredom factor for me as well though. Maybe it was just too linear. Not much choice for the player; you're pretty much led from A to B and that's it. If you replay it, you're again led from A to B in the same manner.

I like the leech gun, that was a pretty cool concept.

Would have liked a lot more of the Native American stuff and more character development. There was a series of spiritual tests announced, but they never came. The death game became boring fast; I prefer checkpoints with optional quickloading.

A lot of cool scenes in the game like the school bus. It didn't always come together very well; it felt like cool bits strung together instead of a cohesive theme.

Wtf were those little girls doing in there. Their backstory was totally lost on me. It was like "you're swarmed by creepy little girls now because the designer fancied it" and next level, the little girls were gone again. What the...

It also suffered from darkness like Doom3 and Quake 4.

Plus, I didn't like Jen. I'm supposed to save a girlfriend who just screams all the time? :-/

They should have given Jen a gun and allowed the player to play as her for a while, exploring a different area of the sphere. 
Weapons look very underwhelming, shotgun in particular. I hope that's only SOME of the weapons. 
Yeah Jen has got to be the ugliest princess that needs saving in any game ever. Her head was far too wide for the face. Even Princess Toadstool is hotter. I'd rather have screwed the mutant mother bitch at the end, at least she had her tits out already. 
elastomania for sailors: 
Got Borderlands A Couple Of Days Ago Btw. 
quite enjoyable so far.

movement is about on par with modern shooters, fairly slow. it's the unreal engine so movement and direction changes are crisp and responsive. for some reason, you can jump about 3 meters in the air. alien planet so low gravity? i dunno, it's weird but actually necessary because most places where you are required to jump are quite far. this also means that there's a LOT of clipping going on to stop you from leaving the map.
fov is very small, but you can change it back to 90.

visual are gorgeous. it's not crysis 2, but it's not trying to be. it's like madmax with world of warcraft art style. if the character models had solid coloured textures, you might mistake them for team fortress 2.

pretty repetitive with enemies though. there's bandits and animals somewhat like fiends and birds.
there are many variations of bandits though, and each type is quite distinctive and much more than just a reskin. you rarely have to look at the name of the mob to tell what kind it is.
append: i just remembered there were these worms that you had to shoot in the eye to kill and the second area i just entered had these slug things that remind me of the film "Tremors". so maybe things are looking up for monster variety.

as far as i can tell, the core gameplay is identical for all 4 player characters. you can use any gun you want, contrary to what the instruction booklet and character descriptions imply. the only thing is some of the talents you pick up later via talent points (1 per level after level 5) only boost certain weapon types, but it's not like you can't use any weapon if you wanted to.

as for the 'role playing' aspect, it's really just 'stat buiding' ala diablo. it's even less than that, really.
you get the aforementioned talent points to spend but there are no traditional rpg stats like str, dex and con. there's a simple 'learn by doing' system for the weapons. the more kills you get with a certain weapon, the more you go up in weapon skill levels and you start to accrue tiny bonuses like +2% damage or +5% reduced reload time or somesuch.

finally, each character only gets a single special ability.

hunter gets a pet bird that you can send out to beat on guys. it's effective, but goofy. i'm not a huge fan of 'pets'. i like to kill my own stuff.

soldier gets a turret you can plop down that also can give you ammo and does a decent job of killing stuff. this guy feels like he was built specifically for coop and so feels somewhat... i dunno, out of sorts in solo.

'siren' (talk about unhelpful class name) spawns an explosion then turns invisible and then spawns another explosion when reappearing. this is more useful than it sounds. you can use the explosions to knock out groups of enemies more accurately than grenades and also very helpful for running away if stumble on some mob 10 levels higher than you.

berserker is... well, you punch stuff insanely hard and you heal and become invulnerable. i didn't use this guy very long. i hate meleeing in a shooter and this kind of thing is boring to me.

so yeah, the differentiation between the classes is a lot more subtle than their visual differentiation.

anyway, will see how it goes in the second area... 
Certain classes did better with different guns. Soldiers did good with automatics, sirens did good with snipers (? maybe), etc. I may be talking out of my rear, though. Check the wiki.

Also, i wouldn't say the art style is like WoW, at all really, their both cartoony, but it pretty much ends there. I forget what the name of the art style used in borderlands is, i know warsow uses the same style, though. 
Cel Shading 
you need to look at the textures and the way they are made. you'll see the similarities with wow's texture art.
the game could have worked just as well without the comic book black outline effect. the textures are that strong.

and yeah, like i said, you can use any gun, but some classes' talents only boost one damage type (for example, soldier has one that boosts only shotguns).
siren's talents are more generalized as many boost her actual ability, and others boost elemental procs (+fire, +acid, +electricity) which are present on all types of weapons. 
I Need To Play Borderlands Some More 
I bought the zombie island and mad moxxie dlc and haven't even played them yet. :( 
If we can get some coop going on I might join in. I didn't like the sp at all but maybe coop is better. 
I Have It On The 360 :/ 
Coop was a lot more fun. 
Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo?

Looks hell fucking awesome 
That was incredible. Maybe a decent game will be made with this version? 
Tech Guy At Work Went To The GDC Talk 
And came back saying that the demo was real time ... but it was basically running on a super computer. You wouldn't get that on the average computer today, and you wouldn't be able to get that on XBox360 or PS3, but possibly next gen consoles. 
Maybe that will be a new game. They said it hasn't gone past a tech demo, but Gears of war was originally just a tech demo and then turned into a full game.

Yeah the system they ran it on had 3 GTX580's... ffs. However if you started a game now, it wouldn't be ready for a couple years anyway, by which time GTX580's will be cheap. And they did say it'd be fine on just 1 GTX580.

I wouldn't mind if that was their next game, at least it's better than realistic war shooters. 
Far Cry 2 
son yeah its enjoyable in a sandbox kind of way (not my thing generally) but it gets pretty repetitive too IMHO. Although the plains of Africa look great, I would love for a change of environment sometime soon. 
Looks A Lot Like Unreal Engine 3 Tech To Me ;) 
I like the ending, I hope he got pwnd. 
nice lighting and fog and sweat, but it looks like just another game where you headshot people and fight giant robots to me.

I think the detailed violence in some recent games (Crysis 2 breaking necks, anyone) is really a bit over the top. Games do not get automatically better when guts drop on the floor, brains hit the wall or jaws are ripped off. It's pretty cheap actually.

Apart from that, gameplay plz?

And if there was a jab at Brink in there, I'm just going to say I'm 300% more likely to buy Brink. 
Yeah if I remember right this video was to show off the new dx11 support in UE3, and I believe they have added the dx11 effects into UDK now also, although I could be mistaken.

Sure doe's look great though, lol about the 3x GTX 580's however... Maybe in another 5-6 years we will see games that actually look like that, its not like id or crytek are making gpu-melting engines any more :P 
Heh - I Like Gore And Violence In Computergames 
I'll be honest. I love the way that Doom baddies turn into mush. I dont think Quake ever managed to succesfully reproduce that. What I dont like is over-large QTE-style anims which take too long (AVP anyone?) 
Violence is satisfying, but when you get to God of War levels, you have to start feeling your hobby is just a bit fucked up :P 
I Think 
It has to be the end of a range.

A Quake example: Gibbing is rarely seen and can be difficult to do since you're not supposed to be quadrocketing shamblers or rocketing grunts. So its 'rare' that you see the bits and pieces fly although theres still the standard death sequence.

With cutom maps and veteran players who save their rockets for this sort of thing this doesn't make much of a difference - gibbing has become frequent.

My point is that gibbing isn't constant. You can barely go a single fight without some monster losing its organs in GoW. Which completely takes the satisfaction out of it.

It's not the goreporn I like, but achieving something. If thats tied into splattering a monster across the wall then so be it. 
Interesting one. Has to fit the subject matter, theme, atmosphere and tone of the game IMO.

L4D2 is the goriest game I've played and it is pretty bloody gory - blood, limbs, innards and hacked up corpses fly everywhere. It's grim but great, cos it's zombies, so it feels appropriate. Worth it's 18 rating tho.

Funnily enough, playing Bioshock recently, I found Ryan's death scene in that, although much much less gory, to be far more traumatic due to the way it was presented. One of the harshest things I've seen in a game. 
nice lighting and fog and sweat, but it looks like just another game where you headshot people and fight giant robots to me.

What about the innovative cigarette-butt-enrages-enemies aggro management mechanic? It works on guys with helmets, and giant robots! 
Looked like it would be a cool game right up to the point where he showed 'teh super powers lol'

oooh dark stealthy potential Deus Ex type... oh no, just beating shit up, oh well.

But why am I complaining about a tech demo 
Dragon Age 2 
About 25ish hours into it at the moment, really enjoying it so far.

it's definitely more hack n slash compared to the first one, you can literally kill about 8 enemies with 1 move if you get the right positioning and timing. All classes and abilities are meaty as hell, the combat in general is awesome, much better than the original.

Story etc is good too, I was worried that having the game centered on 1 city would make it repetitive and to some extent that is true, but there is a lot of diversity in how you interact with various organisations and people in the city, that it stays fresh. I can already see im going to replay the game at least twice just to see what happens when you align with different people.

Some things do stick out however, all of the dungeon levels seem to be made of a very small amount of tile sets and get repetitive fairly quickly, from a visual standpoint.

Reading a few internet forums you would think that this was the worst game ever though, I don't really understand that, I'm having a real blast here and its definitely on an even footing with the original in terms of quality. I would say the demo doesn't help much as it showed a fairly bland portion of the game (ie, the beginning). It doe's take a while to get going and get you immersed into the world, but by the end of the first year I was hooked :)

From a performance standpoint, im running in dx11 on high settings with 4x antiailasing on a gtx460 and its a smooth 60fps for 90% of the time, dropping to perhaps 40 or so in the really hectic battles, perfectly fine in my book, though I have heard people having trouble in dx11 mode with freezes and poor frame rates.

So basicly, internet is over-reacting imo, this is a great game and I'm looking forward to replaying it many times probably! 
The Internet, Over-reacting?! 
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (2007) REVIEW 
I was unable to play the first F.E.A.R. expansion pack because my version of F.E.A.R. refuses to update, and the pack won't run unless it's an updated version. So it's a throwaway. However the second expansion pack for F.E.A.R., strangely titled Perseus Mandate, runs standalone so I could play it. That's not necessarily a good thing though. Clearly, I got the booby prize because Perseus Mandate received below average reviews, deservedly so.

There's very little story and what is there doesn't make much sense and gives you no reason to care at all about what's happening. This is action, pure and simple. And in this respect the action is just as good as the original game with some tough new enemies. But it is a fair bit more difficult, especially the last level. Not impossible by any means, but while I rarely used the bullettime feature in F.E.A.R., this time you need it for basically every single firefight. If not every single enemy even. So you do have to play much more meticulously and carefully. I did constantly have maximum health packs in my arsenal for almost all of the game, even at the end, so it's not frustratingly hard.

Where Perseus Mandate falls down, and I mean falls hard, is in it's presentation. Now the level design in F.E.A.R. was bland, boxy and very uninspiring. But Perseus Mandate takes this to a new level; this sort of design should never have gone past the 90's. Here we have box rooms littered with debris, box corridors littered with debris, large bland areas that look like they're only at the layout/concept stage. I don't understand how level designers this slack can be hired to work on a retail game. Even I, single handedly, could have made all the levels throughout this entire game at a much higher standard than what was released. What were these designers doing between F.E.A.R. being released in 2005 and this ugly box game in 2007. So, unfortunately, the game won't live up to 2007 standards at all. And the engine is looking dated with average models and lighting.

The game is still fun all the way through, but that's because Monolith already built a great set of enemies and gameplay structure. TimeGate haven't done much but fill their bland levels with this fun gameplay. Not really worth it unless you don't care what games look like, and sadly looking at the top review sites that make no mention of how bad these levels look, that's probably a large percentage of players. 
I was never able to patch F.E.A.R. with the installer either but you can open the installer with 7-zip and extract the files and patch it that way. It's a little confusing as there are duplicate files but I think I just used the larger of the duplicates and it worked fine and allowed EP to install. 

I don't understand how level designers this slack can be hired to work on a retail game


Glad you thought it was fun at least :)

I will not argue that Perseus Mandate looks pretty bland in terms of the levels' art. I still think it has some of the funnest combat of any game I've made levels for.

While I don't want to make excuses for a bad looking game, there are reasons why it looks bad beyond just lack of talent or effort. The majority of good Quake SP maps probably have a longer development cycle than this entire game. :) 
Yeah totally Blitz... there's a number of reasons why the levels could have looked bland, it's definitely not always the level designers fault if they're simply not given the necessary amount of time to spend on the game. In fact 5-6 level designers surely wouldn't all be lacking. Or have an art director that doesn't value quality and detailed build and thinks all you need to do is fill it with prefabs. I mean, look at the amount of top review site that never make any mention of level design... they don't seem to differentiate between level design and the 'graphics'.

There was some decent looking stuff in Perseus... it definitely wasn't as mazey as the original game. But what I preferred were the underground bits, the part with the old underground subway (was it a subway? can't remember now), actually any section that wasn't warehouse or buildings like FEAR. The spooky bits were decent.

What other games have you worked on Blitz? 
> I mean, look at the amount of top review site that never make any mention of level design... they don't seem to differentiate between level design and the 'graphics'.

at most companies the level designer doesn't do environment art anyway -- that's a separate job. Not sure how monolith did it but something to consider when saying the "level design looked bland." 
An art director does not manage level designers. 
I couldn't remember what they call the lead level designer. maybe just lead level designer? 
yay or nay? 
I got it on sale for $20 or so. Still haven't played it. SO I can't help you. Dunno why I'm even typing this. 
Because You Suck 
My point is that gibbing isn't constant. You can barely go a single fight without some monster losing its organs in GoW. Which completely takes the satisfaction out of it.

Freaky, I was thinking about this very thing today. One of the things I like about Quake's gibletudinality is the fact that it almost feels like a sort of skill-based finishing move - i.e. you can't gib corpses - that would completely cheapen the whole experience; you have to hit a live monster with just the right amount of damage at the right time to get those crisp, chunky treats. I mean, the feeling of gibbing a Hellknight with the double-barrelled shotgun is a wonderful, precious thing for me. 
It also stops you from picking up anything the enemy drops on death as a downside. Managing to gib a Shambler is awesome. 
i often find myself setting up opportunities to gib. 3 rockets will kill a fiend, but 2 rockets, some shells and one more rocket is just particle spray fun! 
yeah... it's easy to gib grunts with the SSG, i find the skill is in making sure you don't gib, therefore get the backpack :)

But a game where you got extra bonus for gibbing would be cool, and create a nice incentive across all enemies to do the more "skillful" death. 
It also stops you from picking up anything the enemy drops on death as a downside.

Find that annoy tbh. Given that a lot of Quake maps (especially on skill 2) try to be really tight with ammo, it makes accidentally gibbing something rather annoying.

Same goes for Doom's random health chances. It screws up ammo balance, so whilst it might be neat for atmosphere, mechanically it isn't so great. 
yeah, the damage in doom is REALLY random. like... 5 - 60 damage random. :P 
Yeah it's pretty insane. Clip from a projectile can be bugger all to insane :(

But even small differences can be infuriating. If you vary health or damage just slightly then try to have a highly tuned bit of combat you get screwed over, because neither you nor the player can 100% rely on time/shots taken to kill something, which throws things off. You could say random is more exciting or tense but in this case it just means you've no idea if a given area would even be possible.

Speaking of randomness in games, ever played the original Robotron? That game is a text book example of being an insanely hard unpredictable bitch. But in a good way most of the time :P 
wait, are you talking about player weapons? iirc, they are pretty consistent. the RL has some random element to it, but shotguns and such always seemed to take the same number of shots to kill things. 
Either really, but in doom it's mainly incoming damage, but your own weapons can be somewhat random too, though happily not nearly as much :) 
you do suck. It's $10 on Steam so I would like you to play it now and tell me please. Now. 
For $10 I'm sure it's a good deal. 
Bloody fantastic game. Thoroughly enjoyed it. My biggest complaints were :

1.) The bad clipping all over the place. As previously said, it sucks running into an invisible wall or something. Felt they could have/should have done a better job with that.

2.) Ishi is a dick. I hated him more than Sarrano. Such a jerk, how come I got stuck with him instead of either of the other start guys?

Other than that, I didn't find it bad that I could gib people easily, because for me the hard part was getting the trick shots. Gibbing in Quake became trick shots in Bulletstorm. There were several I didn't get in my playthrough of the sp.

Felt some enemies weren't used enough (the giant mutant dudes you push towards some enviro hazard) and the mutated spider things were used ... for like 5 minutes.

Weapons + alt fire were pretty refreshing from the normal weapons imo. Some of them are kind of normal, but the rest are fairly innovative and change up the normal weapon progression pistol -> shotgun -> machine gun -> grenade -> rocket or whatever. They feel pretty good.

All in all, totally worth the $49 I got it for from the D2D sale. Maybe worth $60, depends on the mp which I haven't played. Would really like to see a UDK for it though, please please please! 
I still don't get while trick shots were a finite set. It would have been a lot more fun if i could use the chain grenade gun on somethings feet, use the whip to throw him in air, hit him with the harpoon thingy and the watch him explode. The only problem would be naming that kind of stuff, but the names don't really matter; just give me the points. :p

Also, as said before, it was *way* too linear. I should have waited until the price went down to buy it. 
Yeah the linearity was kind of a let down too - I really wanted to explore some of the skyboxes. Like when you're going up the dam, and you see this beach area that leads into cliffs, I just wanted to go down there and explore. It could have greatly benefited from more exploration similar to BioShock - add some secrets here and there that I can look for.

Also, while I didn't miss the jump function the more I played, it did feel awkward in places where you would think you can just drop down but instead you have to press R or something similar. 
Just Played The First Few Levels Of Gears Of War 
looks like a lot of fun to me. Way more enjoyable than Far Cry 2 which I might have to put on the back burner. 
its �5 on steam until the end of the day, and its fantastic! 
Which End Of "fantastic" Are We Talking About? 
picking it up. 
I should have waited until the price went down to buy it.

i've been doing this exclusively now and i've been enjoying games a lot more in general.

i don't exactly know why, but i just don't feel that games are worth 60$ anymore.
i'm not sure if that's just me being stingy (which it might) or if it's because i don't find games in general that much fun anymore (which also could be it).

take borderlands for example,
while i enjoy it overall, there are some things about it that would probably annoy me a great deal but at 15$, i find that i can ignore it and just focus on the good stuff. 
i just don't feel that games are worth 60$ anymore.

I kinda feel the same. I have a feeling that although they might be technically feature packed, no mods or custom content is a real killer. That and I feel that the more realistic theme and visuals games go for these days mean that they are less open for custom content anyway.

Possibly I'm just getting older and more annoying. :E 
No Game Is Worth $60 
Especially not the stupid bullshit they try to sell that's actually the same games we've been playing for years only with slightly different paint; only difference is the hype and brand names which makes for the prices.

In the end, the only games that are really worth the money are RPGs, or generally games with a long playtime.
Have You All Tried Quake? 
It's stupidly cheap and has lots of free DLC. 
I don't pay for games at all any more. Very rarely I'll pick something up if I know I'll be playing it a lot, but always as part of a bundle or discount price.

No, I don't pirate stuff either. It's just that modern games, on the whole, are shit.

Recently I've been playing Quake, Zsnes and Desktop Dungeons. Granted, Zsnes (does this count as piracy still?) is very hit and miss and it does get kind of sad to have the rose tinted spectacles smashed, but its still fun.

Need to get myself a snes gamepad though. 
I'm Also Waiting For Price Drops 
havent paid more than $10 for a game in a while.

To be honest, I dont have that much playing time anyway so by the time I would eventually play something, it would have been out long enough for a price drop. Therefore, silly to buy it when it first comes out in my circusmtances. 
Hitman: Blood Money 
There's too many average games to pay $60. They aren't worth it. Take Hitman: Blood Money.

Started playing this yesterday, i've just passed the 4th level and it's crashed and since it won't do saved games if you restart the game, it means I have to play the whole level again. I don't think so.

Anyway it's supposed to be a stealth game but I put it on rookie (so I could have unlimited quicksaves) and played it as a shooter. Unfortunately that means shooting someone, then hiding in a corner as 90% of the enemies in the level all come running for you. Then the rest of the level is wandering around doing some stupid task, usually assassinating someone who's hiding or, in some cases once your cover is blown, completely fucking disappears meaning you have to play the entire level again.

The game looks good so far, but the gameplay sucks ass, big time. Thank god I torrented it instead of paying, because it's not really worth my precious time in finishing it. 
...So you're saying that a stealth game has shitty gameplay if you play it like a shooter?

I would probably say the same thing about Thief. 
It'd be hard to play Thief as a normal shooter, you'd get your ass handed to you. But in Hitman your given the option of going stealth or just going in shooter mode. Now I wouldn't mind if I was forced to do stealth, but don't give me the option to go in shooting everything in sight, when it's so poorly done. If you did restrict yourself to stealth ONLY in Hitman, then it might be okay.

It has other problems too, like reloading or saving the game takes several clicks through menu's, having to slowly load profiles everytime you start, the death sequence takes 30 seconds which you can't even escape out of and have to sit through it, the mouse aiming is strange - it's actually hard to aim at someone in this game, the sensitive is weird, like gradual or something. Oh and the walk speed is ludicrously slow.

Thief and Splinter Cell are great stealth games. Even Call of Cthulhu had it's moment. But Hitman is a miss imo. 
So, Zwiffle 
Tell us about Prey 2. 
Well, it's a sequel to a game called "Prey" and it should be out sometime in 2012. 
A 3D Game 
Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY 
�3.75 on steam right now! 
What are the controls like on the PC version? Just fps controls?

Cause on a console the whole hold-run thing was fucking horrible. 
Don't Know 
it's still downloading :P

But for the same price as a pint of beer, I won't really be complaining if it's like that ;) 
seemed fine to me. Dont remember any real issues with running. 
ye as you say, that cheap might as well :p 
That game was AMAZING fun. Such a good game. The controls were fine - everything about that game oozed quality. Def a must buy for this cheap. 
Meh Etc... 
So its loaded with Securom and games for windows live, sigh.

I can't even play it because securom says my steam-provided game key is invalid, and a quick browse on the forums seems to show that many others have the same issue.

Securom, punishing the innocent, 1 game at a time :P 
In Prey 2, a source close to the game tells Kotaku, players will take on the role of a federal air marshal who is aboard the commercial airliner seen crashing in the spaceship early on in the original game. Prey 2 takes place during the same time frame as the original, but with this different perspective, we're told.


Who makes these choices?

They call it 'high level thinking' which means not considering the outcomes of any of the decisions you make. 
Hmmm but the first game already setup the plot/location for the sequel. They're just going to completely ignore that? Idiots.

Anyway here's another review... i'm only 5 yrs behind in gaming now, so my reviews might start being a bit more interesting :P 
Infernal (2007) Review 
So i'm moving on to the 2007 releases. I've skipped 2006's Gears Of War and Rainbow Six: Vegas - I'll play them on my new computer. So, starting at the bottom of 2007's shooters was Hour Of Victory. Installed okay, but upon loading there's no menu. Probably a good thing anyway as the game got awful reviews.

So next on my list is Infernal from Metropolis Software, a game developer i've never heard of and who was bought out by CD Projekt (The Witcher) a year later. So I guess this is their one and only title.

Now Infernal received fairly average to harsh reviews with an aggregate of 60% on However, it was actually a pretty decent game so if this is an indication of the 'worst' of 2007, with 19 other action games on my list that ranked higher, then 2007 is shaping up to the best year for PC action games ever (up until 2007 of course).

Where Infernal received flak was it's short length, repetitive gameplay and not pushing the boundaries. Honestly, those 19 shooters that ranked higher - did they all push the boundaries of gaming? I seriously doubt it. I'll quite happily take a solid, good looking game with fun gameplay that does nothing to evolve gaming. I might have played this type of game a dozen times already, but that's the kind of game I enjoy.

Infernal's level design is good, but often it just feels like you're in a huge room with a maze of small walls and walkways to navigate through. Sure it's better than the corridor-room-corridor of F.E.A.R., but there's still massive room for improvement. We do get a bit a variety in the levels; there five missions going through a monastery, refinery, steelworks, a massive ship and the mountain-based satellite centre.

Now what hides the lacking level design is the great looking engine. Everything has a glossed over feeling and the lighting in particular is very well done.

The gameplay is a little weaker and took some criticism from critics, but it was still fun all the way through. Infernal leans more towards the higher difficulty rather than being an easy game. You can tap your movement keys twice to do an invisible roll to avoid fire, and without this the game would be very difficult. It's an addition that sped up gameplay a lot and is well done.

What slows the game down to a halt is the way you have to hold Enter to strip your dead enemies of health and ammo. It takes a few seconds each time, which you need to do on probably 75% of the dead bodies in this game. It ends up being a strategy of killing everything, then slowly raping the dead bodies of health/ammo for a couple of minutes before moving to the next section. It absolutely kills the flow of action in the game.

On top of that, the game is perhaps in the 5-7 hour zone. It's NOT a long game. I won't go into the story as it's the typical cliched rubbish with a hot chick teaming up with you. Same of the one liners were good though.

Overall Infernal is a good game and certainly worth playing. It won't be the best of 2007, but certainly deserves better than a 6 out of 10. 
R.I.C.K.Y - Call Of Cumbria 
Decided to give it another go, this time with the "Complete" mod (graphical overhaul, bug fixes, other stuff). Looks a whole lot better than the original game, but hell if you don't have a fast machine...

Originally I wanted to play SoC, inspired by all the recent tragic events and a macabre sense of end times nostalgia, but then (as always) remembered certain 'workout' situations from the game, like the entire first level and the garbage bandits, which put me off a little. So it's the third installment now, which last time I lost interest in upon reaching the city. Probably missed the best part of it.

Anyway, bottom line, if anyone's about to replay Stalker, be sure to give the Complete mods a try. 
Oh, and I've finally played FEAR - mostly for cultural capital, not actual interest. A very boring game, no idea why I even bothered to finish it. I didn't care about the story, and the 'horror' elements were lame to say the least. Like people in this thread mentioned, the game lacks variation. The levels are very monotone in style and the enemies/encounters don't offer anying special, either.
The level design issn't all as bad as people in this thread claimed, though - but yeah, it does lack variation and unique setpieces, and indeed feels unnecessarily mazey and corridory in many places. However, I liked how most maps have a slightly nonlinear route to the goal, even though the gameplay doesn't faciliate stealh approaches or anything. On the other hand, I can see how this must have been annoying for many people as the potential for getting lost is definitely there, especially considering how samey everything looks. 
Will You Be Able To Die In Prey 2? 
Because the lack of any risk, challenge or consequence to anything you did in the game was a pretty big blight on the original, I felt. 
I'd be surprised if they did that again. 
Crysis 2 
Where to start, I guess the obvious thing to say is that its awesome and that you should buy it ;) Also, for those wondering about performance, I could run the game on my gtx460 at the "extreme" setting and had no problems.

The single player is great fun, there are a few key differences from Crysis however, the most plainly obvious for me was that there isn't so much exploration any more. In Crysis you could explore the map in any direction but only certain areas had any actual gameplay in them. In Crysis 2 you are directed through the maps in a linear fashion but each area provides many different routes and ways to get through it.

In each area the game just lets you tackle it however you wish, and gives you a bunch of toys to play with. Cars can be kicked at things and off ledges, explosive barrels can be hurled, and just about any solid object can be moved around as you see fit. It's a playground of carnage and its fantastic :)

Guns! They all feel great to use, really meaty and the customization from the first game is still there to modify your weapons on the fly. A new feature is the ability to customize your actual nanosuit with upgrades also, such as bullet deflection, threat tracers, proximity alarms, reduced energy usage for modes and an awesome "air stomp" that will take out multiple enemies if you aim it right ;)

Story is serviceable for the most part, there are a few WTF moments but its mostly enjoyable, and its presented very very well, always from first person. There is some slight retconning from the first game but nothing major. A few characters from the first game seem to have gone missing without any explanation however :P

The one thing that is kind of a letdown however is the enemy AI, far too many times they will remain stationary and not attack, or get stuck in some sort of animation loop bugginess. It also has the ability to amaze however, some of the alien enemies will jump from floor to wall to ledge to another wall then slam you in the face and its very very impressive indeed.

I've been playing the MP also, not really enough to offer a decent opinion but I'm liking it so far, its very similar to call of duty but with added nansuit powers to mix up the gameplay a bit.

One final thing I'll add, I really love the sense of movement the new cryengine manages to convey with its motion blur. 99% of games I've seen motion blur in seem to apply it to the entire screen no matter what is moving and what isn't. In Crysis 2 motion blur is applied to objects relative to their movement speed as viewed by your player camera. The effect is fantastic and really sells the visuals.

Screenshots (Could be spoilery! You have been warned!) 
One of the best-looking games as of late. The engine feels a bit like an updated version of UT3, but without the restriction to brown and blurry.

Performance is great indeed. Though unfortunately it's still pretty much unplayable for me thanks to the random system lockups. Hope there'll be an update soon that addresses this issue.

It's a bit unfortunate the game itself turned out to be this consolized, though on the other hand this was to be expected. At least it's not CoD-level. Also quite easy (even on Hard), enemies go down quickly and the assault rifles have an insane accuracy. Perhaps difficulty romps up later on. 
Downloading At 256KB/s 
It seems the lockups don't occur if I set the game to match the desktop resolution and run it in windowed mode. 
Well, it did allow me to play through the bridge and the lab rat map in one go, but then it crashed in the next map.

The graphics card is new, but there must be an incompatibility issue with some other component. Possibly the PSU - it does suffice spec-wise (780W, 4 +12V rails with 20A each), but it might be faulty still. Using it, I had the MB and my former 9600 GT die just like that. Fucking hardware geek shit.

I should probably file a support ticket with Nvidia. 
99% of games I've seen motion blur in seem to apply it to the entire screen no matter what is moving and what isn't.

I've noticed this in some of the games I am now trying (ie post 2007) and it annoys the hell out of me. What a crap feature. 
Crysis 2... only played the multiplayer so far and there were a number of things that turned me off. I don't like the intense motion blur for example. I also don't like the "consoleness" of it compared to the original Crysis.

From what I've seen, they took the same approach as in Warhead, ie simplifying and linearizing, and updated the engine (with Crytek, "updating the engine" means "dusting the competition" needless to say). I guess the singleplayer will still be good though, it's Crytek and they have a bunch of super talented people there. It would surprise me if it sucked.

I'm not finished with the original Crysis yet (meaning I very actively make stuff for it) and so I'm fine with not playing C2 right now. I'm sure Crytek's level designers can't do much wrong though and the weapons etc. were already beefy in the first game.

Sounds like Cryengine is still full of bugs though. 
And Also 
there is no word from Crytek about the Sandbox editor yet, only that they want to do something like UDK.

I hope it doesn't become "pay to map". 
C2 Mp 
It doe's have quite a few bugs unfortunately at the moment, which can make it very frustrating to actually find a game!

Sometimes a lobby will fill to capacity but the match will not start, forcing everyone to find a new game server. There is quite a lot of disconnection happening (to me at least), and the server browser is a bit meh (wtf, no refresh??!).

That said, once you manage to actually find a decent server that will launch games and won't kick you, the gameplay is pretty fun. my pro tip : armour mode takes a second or so to become fully active, so if you hit the armour key *after* you start getting shot it's probably too late ;)

In fact thats probably my only gripe with the MP. Were all wearing these super nanosuits but still it only takes 2 or 3 decent hits to drop us, or 1 headshot it seems :P armour mode helps a lot but like I mentioned you basicly need to be in that mode all the time and its terrible as a reactive ability.

Gb, try playing with "r_MotionBlurShutterSpeed" console variable, might be able to tone it down a bit for mp. 
rock-climing game, it's like playing twister on your keyboard. I just played a couple times, haven't gotten past 4.8m:

(from the makers of QWOP
So Many Islands 
The over view shot reminds of the "islands" map from Far Cry, where there were 5 or 6 small to medium sized islands on the map and each one had a small objective on it, you were spawned on a boat and basicly told "there are 5 things you need to do, go do them however you want".

Definitely my favourite FC map from the retail game. The Assault level from Crysis follows a similar formula but isn't as open.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, it looks fun from a gameplay perspective :) 
Crysis 2 
OK I've put about 8 hours in and I can say that I'm getting a feel for it.

Crysis 2 is a very pretty game. It lacks some of the pizzaz of Crysis and Crysis warhead in some areas, mainly on relief mapping on textures from what I can tell. But the finesse of the visuals is still there, in a way it is better. The animations of some of the aliens is jaw dropping, as are some of the set pieces.

The gameplay doesn't actually feel particularly like a console port at all, I found the game to run very smooth and the controls have been responsive. Unlike fallout 3 or Assasins Creed for example. The main giveaway is the lack of any quicksave that I can find. This means that the game runs on a checkpoint system. There is some degree of open-endedness apparently, usually alternative routes become apparent. The checkpoint system can be annoying, but most of the sections are quite fun to play. I went for the middle tier of difficulty.

The AI is generally OK, it could be a little harder, but some of the behavioural stuff the AI does is cool nonetheless, and the animations and the way the motion blur works together quite nicely IMO. Y one criticism is that all of the human AI seems to have the same voice, which is a bit annoying.

The score is a bit annoying aswell, but sometimes it is cool. There is a lot of big spectacular orchestral movie score music, and sometimes I think this is too much and detracts from the atmosphere of the game. You can turn it down/off though....

I found a utility which allows you to adjust all of the graphics options in a similar way to the original Crysis but the presets all look fine I guess.

I think Im gonna play again for a while now..... 
Hah, awesome, I'm a huge fan of QWOP (played it so much with collegues) this one looks great as well, reached 7m! 
i managed to get to 15 or 17 m in my last attempt... it's actually not as hard as QWOP in that regard... you can actually make discernable progress in a few tries. 
I'm wanting to reinstall Far Cry for a while now, in a way it's more entertaining than the Crysis series. More anarchistic and less americanized ("Go! Go! Go!"). 
then i hit what seemed like a dead end, and it was too late to go back down and take the other route (water was too high.) the seagull is a bastard. 
Not As Funny As This Game 
DM gameplay looks suitable MEH, but the style and enviroments still look ace. Definitely interested. 
I think the gameplay looks fun, feels a bit like tribes, lots of jumping around and stuff, I like. 
looks fucking awesome.

I really, really hope they're NOT using insta-hit weapons but simulate ultra fast (but not insta!) projectiles. Would fit the feeling well, I think. 
Looks Cool 
The deathprint "you killed blahblahblah" looks just like the UT3 one. Same font. 
Well, It Was Made With Udk. 
There's the udk logo at the end. 
there's a LOT of detail in that map... i wonder how many people they have working on that.

with the focus on detail these days, i'm surprised we don't see more computer generated greebles. 
There isn't so much specific detail, it's all pretty modular, and there are barely any normal maps at all, which makes things so much faster to make.
And to answer the question, 9 people total, 9 months. 
9 people for 9 months on what exactly? just that map, or the entire game?

game looks okay. not sure if i will like the flying part of it. the level looks a bit repetitive especially in it's colour scheme. there's not much contrast in both lighting and textures. still, lots of nice details :) 
Well, 9 months on at least all that's in that video (obviously UDK is the base though), they seem to have more stuff done though. 
Space Is Key 
Not sure if metl already linked this little game, seems he would have already found and beat it:

Also, digging the music. 
but a keyboard space-bar destroyer ;) 
It Sucks... 
Chron-trigger was great so far but now it turned into a boss fight after boss fight chore. I guess I am near thyroid end but then I thought so for quite a while already. Currently just regained the epoch and entered the ocean city with it. No spoilers please, I am just randomly sharing my frustration since that's hip. 
Oh Autocomplete... 
Aliens vs Predator. Yay or Nay?

$9.99 on Steam. 
Im Enjoyed The SP Campaign 
And the GFX are good. The Alien AI is just as good as the AI from AvP (original), if not better. Some of the 'story' is a bit lame, and some of it is just plain dumb. But for a couple of days worth of fun, $10 is a good price! My 2c. 
I bought AvP, played it for about 15 minutes, and never picked it up again. I would say avoid it, but if there's a demo go ahead and try it. 
Thanks Guys 
will mull it over. 
Puzzle game where you need to figure out how to play, and how to win:

Once you win, see if you can figure out an efficient strategy for winning. 
That Was Fun! 
Looks like there are a shitload of other games and misc. apps on the author's page here: 
Both BioShocks $5 Each On Steam Today 
If you don't have these games, $5 is super worth it. These are probably my favorite 'modern' FPS games. They are fantastic. 
I bought both of those about 2 months ago for $40~ together iirc. >.< 
Is there any singleplayer FPS that has maps like Quake has? Semi- but definitely non-realistic abstract maps with hints at reality but overall making no sense at all. Following no realistic themes (Quake 2, Painkiller do that for example), no story to speak of. Environments that are just gameplay. 
I forgot to add "extensive(?) 3D" to that. Also, post Quake. 
Maybe Painkiller/Dreamkiller or whatever. Serious Sam perhaps? 
Wolfenstein remake boss-levels 
Also, err. Ummm.

Fuck knows. There might be more. Some of the 3PS / Fantasy stuff is more like that. FAKK2, Enclave, that sort of shizzle. 
are of you UK folk able to please buy Bioshock 2 as a gift it for me?

Can paypal funds over later. On Steam (AU), it's $12.49 which isnt much but hey if I cant get if for $5 why not.

Profile name - n_gulati 
Did You Play Portal Yet? 
Seems Like It's $5 In US Too 
so request open to US people too.

And no havent played Portal yet. Still making my way through Far Cry 2. 
nitin If you add me to your flist then I will gladly give you the gift of BioShock 2. 
Cardo has your copy. Please ask him for it. 
Is there any singleplayer FPS that has maps like Quake has? Semi- but definitely non-realistic abstract maps with hints at reality but overall making no sense at all. Following no realistic themes (Quake 2, Painkiller do that for example), no story to speak of. Environments that are just gameplay.

Well, in terms of combat they do things very differently to your typical FPS, but I'm rather fond of the Metroid Prime games. MP3 was built for the Wii; MP1 and MP2 were made for Gamecube but now have slightly updated versions available on the Wii.

It's all about the environment with these games, to the point that combat often gets completely sidelined to make way for long stretches of first-person platform/puzzle gameplay in really bleak/tranquil/crazy alien environments. Because they are wierd and alien, the environments are generally pretty abstract. They are also pretty hardcore games mostly because of quite a few grindingly frustrating "brick wall" boss combats, but if you can stomach those without throwing your console out the window you will be rewarded with some pretty cool and unique shooter/platformer/puzzler gameplay. There's nothing else really like those games to be honest.

I still think MP1 is the best, and certainly has the most atmospheric and remote feeling; a real sense of being completely isolated on a forgotten alien world. 
will do it when I get home from work. Please tell me where to send the money.

Thanks heaps! 
No monies necessary. 
I mentioned painkiller as an example that is not what I am looking for. First of all it is very 2D, secondly the levels follow distinct themes and iirc are rather realistic and last but not least the combat is horde stupidity. The same applies to serious sam (maybe not the second one? That one felt more like a console rails shooter when I played the demo.)

Portal is not a fps. It is a first person puzzle game.

some third person games are really more like it. I thought of tomb raider too (hey gb!) but that game has realistically themed levels. Alice is more like it (actually seeing the new Alice's gameplay made me think of this question). I look for fps though.

prey I tried the demo once and it turned me off. isn't the rest of the game some quake2/4/doom3ish alien environments?

will check out the new wolfenstein!

playing metroid x(?) on the gba was an amazing experience. abstraction and gameplay-oriented layout is obvious though as it is a 2d platformer. unfortunately I got stuck at some stupid boss fight and lost interest. Quake and games like metroid have a lot of similarities (which many people overlook) and one could make great fresh Quake thing if orienting on metroid's game design patterns. talking about 2d here but from what I heard/saw so far of the 3d ones they managed to transport them well. gotta try playing them or at least watch play videos. this really could be more like Quake. probably still following an overall theme though. thanks! 
might be suitable spirit. Levels are themed to an extent but themese vary enough arbitrarily. 
And Zwiffle 
you're a champ! 
Yay <3 
#func_qmap cross-continental gay gaming love in!

Also. The new WOFLMAOSTein was cool but not arbitrary. I think it is well worth playing, lots of nice details. Enemies get a bit boring but that's all really.

I need to look at my games box later... 
Humble Bundle 3 
Nitin Was This You? 
Playing Bioshock In Win7 
Is a PITA. First, run in compatibility mode for vista (the sp1/sp2 versions didn't work for me), and make sure stereo mixing is enable if you have a mic (it's funny because bioshock doesn't use a.fucking mic). 
Preload Portal 2 
DAnyone who has preordered Portal 2 can now preload it :D 
unfortunately not. But we get shafted quite often (eg content locked L4D2).


I ran Bioshock 1 fine on windows 7 without any dicking around. 
I suffered the exact same problem with you on Bioshock. Same solutions too. Bioshock 2 installed and runs perfectly though, so they must have learned something....... 
Bioshock Froze... 
And deleted my save game data, i was only at the Medical Pavilion, but that was enough for me to uninstall it and install bioshock 2. Now, I'm experiencing the wonders of Games for Windows Live. I'm at my third sequential update. This is retarded. 

Once you have your account and client set up properly, it's not too bad (apart from being completely unnecessary) - I remember having real problems getting it working for GTA4 when I first got that. Same thing - seems to just update and fail over and over. I think the solution was to un-install Game for Windows Live and then go onto the microsoft website and download the latest client. Although with GTA4 I had to fuck around with VCC and .Net Framework redistributables too.............. 
Steam Extra Copies 
I have extra copies of TF2, Amnesia, Audio Surf and Super Meat Boy if anyone would like a copy on Steam. 
Alpha Prime (2007) Review 
Alpha Prime, developed by European studio Black Element Software with their own engine, is another of the lower ranked 2007 action titles with a 59% aggregate. However in some ways that's quite a generous score.

I'll start with what's good about Alpha Prime; the looks. Both the engine and level design look good, well up to 2007 standards. It's your typical corridor shooter with very few outdoor areas, but there's plenty of details and nicely built indoor areas, akin to Doom 3 and Quake 4.

The story received some criticism, but I thought it actually wasn't that bad. How it was told was the problem, as there's no cinematics so everything is told over radio. Which brings me to the first major issue; the sound. On Vista and Windows 7 the sound does not work correctly. Apparently a patch is supposed to fix it, and putting the sound on low quality improves thing, but it's still very buggy. Most of the talking throughout the game doesn't work, you simply don't hear it and instead have to rely on reading the subtitles. There are likely to be many other sounds throughout the game which I never heard because of this glitch. Apparently it has something to do with the game not supporting Direct X 10.

What ruins Alpha Prime completely is the gameplay. There's not enough ammo, there's not enough health. The enemies are all hitscan so if you jump out in the open you'll go from 100% health to dead in about 3 seconds. Now this would be okay if you want to play the game more carefully like you would a war shooter. However the weapons aren't built for that! The shotgun is useless at almost any range, the machine gun has too much recoil and sprays bullets all over the place. The flamethrower is useless unless your a few metres away from the enemy. The sniper rifle is the only effective weapon, but there's little ammo for it.

Even with an unlimited ammo cheat, the game is still too hard on normal and it turns into a save/reload chore.

I played through to the end as the level design was decent, but the gameplay is too frustrating to be any fun at all and not worth the budget price of a few dollars. 
I wouldn't mind taking a look at Amnesia! 
I wouldn't mind taking a look at Super Meat Boy myself, especially after finishing VVVVVV some while ago. Another difficult platformer game could is always a fun challenge. 
Dead Space 2 
Is scary. D: 
All I have left is TF2, which, if you don't have it, you really should. 
Holy Shit 
Battlefield 3 is looking incredible. Probably not my kind of game, but Frostbite 2 looks to be a beast. The quick shots at the end of the trailer look especially badass.
1080p 60fps
Should Probably Have Mentioned 
it's a 12 minute gameplay trailer 
that does look good. seems like a ton of voice acting too.

wish we could see more interesting shooters though. i'm so tired of war games. i just don't understand how they keep selling. 
What You Both Said. 
Graphics and environments look awesomely well done. Style of game and stuff looks as boring as usual. 
Yeah the graphics are awesome, the battles are quite epic. Love the building falling down at the end. Shame it'll be way too hard with no quicksave and bullshit tactics to get in the way. Although in that demo there was no ordering of teammates, and he seemed to be fuckin invincible with the amount of times he got shot. maybe battlefield is becoming more like your normal fps. 
Maybe this will be the first battlefield game with a passable single player portion?

Though it doe's look quite bland in places, that melee fight with an enemy, is that just a cut-scene or do you have a say in what happens?

But really, who cares about the single player in a Battlefield game? :) 
Say in what happens? I'm guessing if you mess up you'll start over at the last checkpoint to do it until you succeed. There's only ever one way to play these games. BF:BC2's SP is plagued with invisible walls and 'you're leaving the combat zone'. Boring experience. 
Degrading Weapons 
so what are people's thoughts on this mechanic. I have to say I think it has great potential (probably the only Far Cry 2 mechanic I'm enjoying), adds a bit of unpredictability into the mix, yet something you (or the mapper) can control to an extent.

Of course it needs visible degradation to be fair. 
I disliked weapons that broke. It gave me incentive to get the higher quality weapons, but every single time that a weapon I used broke in a gun fight, I was a severe disadvantage through no fault of my own. And it really sucks that if you're far from somewhere to buy a gun, in the middle of a mission, you're stuck with other shitty guns that are likely to break too. It was very frustrating imo. 
You are reminding me of STALKER. 
I think the idea is good, but its implementation into games has been rather poor thus far.

Stalker is a great example, your weapon will just suddenly stop working and you are pretty much boned at that point. What if your weapon perhaps lost rate of fire as the condition got worse, bullets travel less quickly and do less damage with lack of repair. Maybe you have no way to repair your weapon before a fight, but you would know before the fight happened that your weapon will be less effective and could plan accordingly.

Complete weapon failure should only happen when the weapon is completely fucked! 
Yeah maybe a warning or something - 'weapon degredation: minimal damage' etc would be better than just having a weapon break apart in your hands. 
perhaps something like the damage HUD in the mechwarrior games, where parts of the mech would turn from green through orange to red and black when they fell off :)

Just something visual that you can check to see the condition of your equipment and any negative side effects from the lack of repair would be very welcome. Right now its like you are playing a lottery every time you fire your weapon when its below 100%. 
In FC2 
it jams a few times (ie need to press reload a few times to unjam) and visibly gets worn down.

So when it eventually stops working, its not that much of a surprise. 
weapon degradation didn't bother me at all in FC2. in fact, i liked it as it gets the whole scavenger vibe going and you sort of get into a routine where you regularly go swap out your guns at the shop.

stalker bothered me. mostly because unique weapons degraded. you'd get the uber rifle of awesomeness and then it'd be gone with no way to replace it except with an inferior normal gun.
thankfully, there's a mod that removes weapon degradation from uniques. mind, i wouldn't have cared if you could repair your gun. i mean, we're playing a character who spends weeks at a time out in the wilds and apparently never heard of cleaning out firearms??

as long as there's a good warning that the thing is going to fail, i don't mind very much. it's when the weapon just disintegrates in your hands and you're left holding little dust piles that it's dumb. 
STALKER never bothered me much, though honestly speaking I barely noticed it at all.

System Shock 2's however added a lot to the tension, especially if you're not well versed in firearms and repairing. Didn't mind it here much either since otherwise, it would feel like I can shoot without a care in the world besides ammo. Would lose that survival aspect and tension.

Generally speaking, it works if it fits. Wouldn't be fun to have paper quality guns in something like Quake or such for example. Horror shooters work though, or things like FC2 and Fallout (haven't played the former) because of the scavenging aspects. 
Is It Realistic? 
How fast does a gun degrade in reality?

I think the stalker mechanic is actually nice, because it encourages hunting for better gear. And as i remember the special guns weren't that much better than their normal variants, were they?

Maybe a mechanic that simulates dirt/water/humidity for on the weapons would make much more sense. 
weapons do not degrade to the point of not working if you keep them clean and dry. To avoid random malfunctions which are frustrating for the player, the game would have to include a "clean and dry weapon" action so that the weapon remains usable during fights. But that sounds like a chore. We already have to reload, now we also have to maintain the weapon? Why not also add actions for "take a piss / shit", "eat", "drink" etc. to keep the character's health?

It's a shit idea if you think about it. But then, most realism enhancing concepts are shit in games. 
Your gun collects dusts over time when walking, more when swimming, when lying down in mud, etc. That in itself is not bad and can just be cleaned, but if you shoot while dirty, your weapon degrades.

Might make sense in a game like stalker. 
Weapons Degradation 
I think it can be ok in more RPG-ish type games, like I didn't mind it at all in Fallout 3. You obviously need some kind of system to repair them, or to slow down the damage. 
No, Bal 
It's shit. But of course the french welcome any excuse for surrendering in a fight. ;-) 
o/ \o 
Cant Beat That Post 
but like Necros, I enjoyed this mechanic the way Far Cry 2 implemented it. But it's not for faced paced action shooters. Although, again, creatively used, it forces players into weapons they wouldn't otherwise use which could be an interesting tactic even in a quake map. 
Forcing players to choose underused weapons is an interesting side effect. But in Quake, you can do that by intentionally leaving weapons out or giving them to the player late in the map. Guns & Ammo for Quake 2 was a DM map that forced the player to use the Chaingun and Railgun, and it was a ton of fun! 
Degradation, Not So Much. 
Aside from my personal opinion, which is that guns in games in which you're supposed to be some sort of world-saving-super-soldier/fighter/etc. should be reliable, consistent and accurate...period.

My real world experience (purely anecdotal and by no means, approaching or pretending to be knowledgeable on a professional level) is that most games get guns mostly wrong. I have an M1 30 cal. that traveled through terrible times in terrible places in the Pacific theater as well as a 30-06 Mauser action LR that spent a load of time in the wilds of Eastern Europe, it too went through harsh times. Both were carried by the same man who to my utter surprise passed them on to me.

I've used both weapons extensively for hunting, sport and varmint shooting over the past 30 years in all kinds of climates and conditions (make that 20 years, ammo has been way too costly for those two the last 10 years)and they are terrifyingly accurate. I wouldn't even claim to be much of a shooter but when I put the sights on a target within a reasonable distance and have reasonable muscle/breathing control, that target gets hit practically every time. I define "reasonable distance" as about 100 yards with iron sights. Most action in modern games that I've played is closer up than that.

This topic is why I've generally hated/disliked the Brothers In Arms games and most others of that ilk. One other recent worst or the worst example would be the two Resistance games, rubber-band and or water guns have more consistency and accuracy than those designed into the games (hyperbole much?). I couldn't believe they were from the same folks that made the bounty of amazing weapons in all of the Ratchet & Clank games.

Don't get me started on bullet-sponge enemies, I'm looking at you Gears games. 
Re: Weapon Degradation 
sleep: you seem like you're posting under the impression we're talking about quake? i don't think anyone here is suggesting we should have weapon degradation in any kind of all out action shooter.
but i really do think that it adds stuff to rpg games especially.
quakis mentioned SS2 and i agree that it's really awesome in there. i think the guns degraded a little too fast, but when i modded the gameplay, i only ever decreased the rate by a small amount.
it's part of the game-- finding a maintenance module so you can prolong the life of your gun for a few more shots or playing the repair minigame when a monster could stumble around the corner and attack you while you're still trying to fix your gun.

another thing about it is you don't get too attached to your guns. take stalker-- you basically just toss a gun when it stops working and i think that's ok. the availability of guns is very high unless you're in one of the mutant labs (and even then, soldiers always show up after you beat the mutants so you replenish your guns and ammo from them).

i think weapon degradation adds a lot to the right kinds of games. i'd say it's down to testing to see if it is good or not, really.

nothing added more to the tension in FC2 than hiding in some bushes or a busted building while i knew there were 3 or 4 guys searching for me, and i look at my gun model and it's all beaten down and scrathed. 'shit, will my gun hold out long enough to get those last guys?!' 
Those games are a different beast I guess. I thought you were talking about action shooters. So I take it all back. Except what I said about the French ;-). 
Prey 2

It's gone full Blade Runner on us. Boner. 
Boners for everyone! 
Skyrim Looks And Sounds Like Its Gonna Be Great Here: 
Some footage of a full level from Rage, can't believe I missed this :P 
I'd take a 10 hour corridor shooter over a 200 hour RPG any day. Looks like I won't care much for Prey 2 :( 
If That's Your Thing 
Rage is looking a lot better in that video than the gun showcase one we saw before. The environments look rather nice too. 
I feel as though I'll be totally happy with that. 
Sounds cool to me. Much better than more Prey, I think the reviewer has that spot on. I also think the old D3 engine will suit that sort of atmosphere and gameplay well, rather than hampering it.


Looks great, really liking the atmosphere and style and stuff, and some proper monsters as well. Weapons are still meh but that trailer has me more than convinced. 
never played any Elder Scrolls game but Skyrim looks amazing! 
And Rage 
looks excellent concept art wise and I dig the player speed which is faster than usual for a modern shooter. 
Gears Of War (2006) Review 
After almost a decade Epic Games finally created a new franchise to add to Unreal. Unfortunately, it only lasted one game before they moved exclusively to the Xbox, but I'm glad we got at least one single-player game in Gears of War. Obviously Unreal was a classic, but Unreal II was critically disappointing, so Epic really had to create something special, in my opinion, to live up to their grand reputation. Did they suceed? Probably not, but try telling that to the Xbox crowd.

This seems to be becoming a common trend in each game I review - it looks good. In this case, fantastic. As to be expected from Unreal Engine 3, the environments are chocka full of detail with backgrounds of epic proportions. Too many games turn into claustraphobic corridor crawls missing any kind of grand, imposing environment. Not true with Gears of War, as there are some massive looking levels. This is, of course, just part of scenery because the very linear path you follow is quite tight and small. There's very little exploration or wandering off course. Basically Gears does share those simularities with corridor shooters, but at least you've got some large scale eye candy around you. In fact, while this is a sci-fi shooter, the level design felt almost fantasy-like much of the time. Fantasy-Sci Fi perhaps? The one negative of the art and design is that everything is very dull and BROWN. Where's the colour in this world?

Now there are some other nitpicks with this game, some of which are more personal that general. No quicksaving is present; always a bad thing. Only two main weapons at a time, a nasty gremlin copied from Halo I assume, which developers really need to stop doing because I hate having to play through a game with the same couple of weapons. Sure I could pick up another weapon, but why bother if they're not as good or only suit certain situations? Instead I equipped myself with a machine gun and a... machine gun. Oh such variety! There's also almost no story. Sure you've got your mission, you've got regular team-mates who spit some quick funny lines. But what is this war and who am I fighting? There's no backstory at all. Would it really have been too hard to make a two minute intro on what the hell this game is about, like a lead up to how this war first begun? It wasn't until I finished the game and Wiki'd the plots to the sequels that I realised it wasn't supposed to be earth!

The difficulty was just right for me on casual, as I don't need too much of a challenge. Only a few instances did I have to reload the same checkpoint more than twice. However for the less skilled players, there needs to be an easy difficulty. Some could say this game is a little difficult.

The gameplay throughout Gears was consistently fun with enough variety in battles and bosses. In fact some of these enemies I really liked, especially the Boomer and Beserker. It's been a long time since I came upon a semi-boss I hated so much as the Beserker. However I think the lack of quicksave contributes towards that feeling, as I know if she gets me I have to start all over. And while that means you really fear her, it's also damn frustrating when you do have to start the battle again.

So, 2006 comes down to Prey vs Gears of War for action shooter of the year. And I've got to give it to Gears because, while it doesn't do anything new, Prey's antigravity and portal ideas became ugly and irritating after a while. Gears at heart is just another action-shooter, like I said with nothing new, but it does it to a very high standard with great looking design and fun gameplay.

It's a shame Epic decided to shit on the PC crowd and go make Xbox only sequels, especially considering it's the PC crwod that made them what they are today. 
Portal 2 
Hey, any Brit care to gift me the game (I'd payal the money in advance)? I pre-ordered it from Amazon uk, but costs 1 EUR!!!!!!! more and I'd only receive it in two weeks. 
Ill Do It 
No worries ;)

my normal email is my paypal..... 
This Was A Triumph 
Thanks a bunch! 
agree on the prey2 change. when i think back on the idtech4 games, i have fond memories of d3 scaring the shit out of me and the clean polished look of q4 with more varied locales.
prey... i have absolutely no feelings for at all. there was just nothing all that interesting about it beyond gimmicks (portals, gravity change and spirit walk).
a new direction is a good idea because more of the same would have sucked.

skyrim and rage.. holy shit. daz, that video you linked shows rage off MUCH better. obviously heavily scripted for the purpose of the demo, it still looks fantastic. i only hope all the maps look as good as that deadcity one. looks like a slightly roomier kowloon.
couldn't really seem to work up to giving a shit about 'shouts' or dragons in the skyrim video, but that's never really been what elder scrolls games are about anyway-- i just want to go and explore that world because it looks awesome. :) 
rage looks a bit overexposed and dull/grey to me. level design looks awesome though. good to see it's more standard shooter. i can't be bothered with driving crap. 
i just hope getting in and out of the vehicle will be very fast.

i hope you basically just disappear/reappear or at most do a hl2 'camera moves into position' thing.

a thing that drove (heh) me crazy in borderlands is the extended entry/exit animation. you can't move at all during, nor can you cancel midway.

hl2 doesn't bother me at all, even though it has an 'animation' (with the camera) because you can start driving before the 'animation' is complete.

so yeah, comes back to the age all 'responsiveness' thing. 
Was a daft idea in the first place really. ID just trying to shoehorn something different in to show they can do different stuff.

BUT it has potential to be absolutely fine. Will it revolutionise the game and elevate it from a good/great shooter into a cutting edge example of game design?? Of course not. Could it be a fun addition that adds some variety and scenic/action interest just like HL2/FC/Crysis?? Very probably.

Overexposed, blah! How many people were moaning that D3 was too dark?? 
The vehicles in Rage have aircontrol and a stabilising boost. Sounds good! 
Okay So What FPS-ish Games Do We Have To Be Excited About?? 
Rage (looks cool)
Duke Nukem Forever (should be fine)
Bioshock Infinite (looks cool)
Prey 2 (sounds good)
Deus Ex 3 (maybe)
Battlefield 3 (boring but pretty)
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (pretty timesink)

Any others? 
Portal 2 
This game is awesome, despite the aging Source engine, the levels look great and the designs are very refreshing.
The writing is really funny, wasn't expecting I'd laugh so much playing this, I'm loving it.
Best singleplayer I've played in a long time for now, looking forward to trying out COOP this weekend.

I'm a bit sad they removed the challenges, loved those in Portal one, wouldn't be suprised if they were released later on as a probable (free) DLC.
I also wish there were less loading screens between sections (it's ok with the elevators, less so when you're actually walking down a hallway), even though the loading is very quick, it kinda breaks up the pacing sometimes, feels like this should have dissapeared from games by now. Again, this is probably a syndrome of the aging Source engine. 
Oh And By The Way 
<3 Valve <3

Since I got the Golden Potato, Valve gifted me ALL THEIR GAMES, and for the ones I already had (90% of them pretty much, heh), I got a giftable copy of the game instead (including even Portal 2).
No one can say Valve doesn't treat it's fans well. :D 
Alice 2, Rage and DNF for me. DNF well at the top of the list. It'll probably disappoint a little, and just be a typical sci-fi shooter, but it's the memories i'll have of the original Duke 3D, and getting to see the old monsters and guns again at 2011 quality that has me excited. It's not just a fun shooter, it's homage to one of the first great fps'. At least I hope it will be. 
How did you get the Golden Potato - by excessively playing all games on the Potato Snack list? 
By getting all the potatoes yeah, it wasn't always easy, but most of them are quick to get. I admit there are a few times when it felt a bit like a grind, but I mostly had fun. Most of those games are at least ok (and some are quite good), and it was just fun jumping around the ARG wiki site and IRC to figure out the easiest and fastest ways to get the potatoes, felt like a treasure hunt. 
Alice 2 
yeah pumped for this, really liked 1. 
It's funny some think Rage is overexposed, while carmack posts "Sometimes I want to put window tint on the artists and designer’s monitors to get them to build brighter levels" on his twitter. 
Portal 2 Coop 
So who wants to coop with me? :p 
Im Stuck @ Work 
For another 3 hours, then I have marching orders for another hour (dog), then some procrastinating for another hour, but after that im game :D Murderer. 
arkham asylum.

How about this then! Took me a while to get to it, but dammmmn I'm having a blast with it so far!

I didn't even know it was a free roaming game, and was very pleasantly surprised when I finished the intensive treatment "tutorial level" and it threw me onto Arkham Island.

I picked it up on a steam midweek madness sale for �3.75, but its definitely worth the full price entry fee if you missed that sale!

Coming from Darksiders (also excellent!) to this, I guess I have a thing for modern platformers that I never knew about :) Any other games in the vein as these two that I should check out? 
Dont Know 
But I picked up GTA4 + the expansions in the sale last week.

Been playing The Lost and Damned stuff. I have to say that so far it is a lot more entertaining than the GTA4 plot. There just seems to be much more racing around shooting stuff, and the characters and plot are a lot darker. And there have been no stupid nonsense missions yet either. Even the first couple of missions have a lot of action in them. 
Daz AA rocks. AC should be plenty amazing - it's supposed to be 5x as big or thereabouts and you start off with the gadgets you got from AA. It's on my radar. 
Looks like it uses the Alice1 engine >:( 
Is murderer your steam account name or something else? 
Its A Portal 2 Reference. 
GLADOS is taunting the player. I just got over excited is all, it wasn't aimed at you. 
Have you played Portal 1? I could imagine P2's story and maybe a few of the initial puzzle to be a bit confusing for those who don't know the background. 
Well I Started Playing Portal 2 Yesterday 
And I went to bed this morning at aroun 3 or 4am, and it was the beginning of chapter 8, so no major problems here. I have to say that the game is exqusite. 
And Yeah 
I played P1 but I never quite finished it..... I had it on the Orange Box on the 360, and I got so far into it then I got stuck. Then I stopped playing it and never finished it.

Im finding the sequel is more fun due to less confusion and also having a couple of 'freinds' to talk to...... 
That Rage Video 
Hmmmm...I was expecting more from that to be honest. With the exception of the Doom 3 tentacle guy (lol wut) - id have only really shown combat against piss-weak melee attackers that run suicidally at the player in a straight line, and usually die before getting within 20m of him.

It would be the equivalent of pimping Elder Scrolls V by only releasing videos of the player beating off slightly over-grown rats in sewers, and nothing else. 
Beating Off Slightly Overgrown Rats 
Sounds messy. 
It's Worth It 
Sounds like something you'd do in daikatana 
Portal 2 
Perfect 10? 
Pretty Much 
I still haven't finished it yet, classes have ben getting in the way. It's a lot longer than portal, even with just the single player campaign. Cave Johnson is my hero. 
I think so. I also haven't finished it yet tho..... 
Michael Abrash is the first person listed in the credits. 
Portal 2 SDK 
Finished It! 
Great game - good ending. Loved it. Was a little short, either that or im very clever....... 
I'm suprised there's no portal 2 thread yet... 
I Don't Think It Was Short 
I have nine hours played on steam. It's a puzzle game, not an rpg. You're not going to get 25 hours or more play time out of it. I need to play the coop campaign, anyone else want to? 
I got a little over 8 hours from the SP alone, still need to do coop and I'm anxious for the actual SDK to be released. 
I Got 9 Hours From It