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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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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 
Thats how long I've played it for. Finished the SP campaign. 
9 Hours Is A Bit Short For A �30 Game 
But You've Only Played Half The Game 
True I Havent Touched The Co-op Game 
Looking forwards to it TBH. 
I Re-played Portal Last Night 
an hour and a half, tops? I didn't remember the puzzles that well AND I'm an idiot.

I haven't played Portal 2 yet, but doesn't 9 hours sound like an appropriate length for that sort of game? I can't see it being something that would benefit from a more-than 10 hour playtime. 
Multiple Replies 
Ricky: Yes, I think that 9 hours is a bit short for a �30 game. My first playthrough took me less than 8, though, and the 10% pre-order discount isn't enough to make up for that.

Daz: Not convinced that the co-op game really counts towards game length. Yet to try it, though, as the person I'll be playing with hasn't finished single player yet.

starbuck: Hour and a half??? Took me 2:20 on my 3rd playthrough, so you must either know some sick speed tricks, or got your timing wrong... 
It Took Me 12 Hours 
But I also went for the achievements and replayed certains bits (and sometimes the wrong ones). It's definitely and conceivable longer than P1, though 1.5 hours seems too extremely fast. This game is also nicely varied with old and new test chnmbers and different industrial bits inbetween. Plus it still looks very good even on the aging Source engine; some quite epic scenes or areas.

I agree the writing is great and the puzzles much fun. Some had me stumped for a while but when seemed actually easy after I had figured them out. Nice secrets and extra puzzles, e.g. the rat-man's dens and the chamber monitors. Too bad discovering all the dens wasn't an achievement - sometimes a 1/12 counter would have given me extra satisfaction in a trigger_secret way.

The Borealis dock is a nice little hint at the HL series and of course the few implicit and explicit Black Mesa references. The year prints on the old test chambers felt a bit 'off' maybe (although they were also nice to establish a sense of historic/scientific development or something, along with the modernization of the equipment) - is it really supposed to mean they had a portal gun back in the 50s? Or at least 70s? 
It's Entirely Possible 
i guessed my time wrong. Short though. Very short. But pretty much the right length for what it was. 
How Long Is The Coop Campaign? 
As Long As Rhe Sp Campaign 
I think. 
Portal 2 
I got through the SP portion of the game in about 8 hours at my regular pace and was entirely satisfied with the experience. 
L4d2 Addon Campaigns 
So I'm downloading l4d2 campaigns, are there any i should take special intrest in? Right now i have Satan's Little Helper, Overkill, Haunted Forest, Precinct 84, Tour of Terror, I Hate Mountains, Dead Series, and Open Road. 
A Happy Game For Happy People 
L4d2 Maps 
Dead before dawn 2
dam it
levillage 3
deathaboard 2
helms deep reborn (hilarious survival map)

Dead before dawn 2 is particularly awesome, you'll probably recognise the setting from a certain film remake ;) 
helms deep reborn haha, is it really helms deep? kind of makes me want to get the l4d series! but i know i'd only play it a few times on single player. :P 
its a full size helms deep, you start on the long wall down one side, and zombies just stream at you from the horizon :) There are a few miniguns and pickups along the wall to help. Eventually the wall explodes and you eventually fall back into the keep and fight there for a bit.

Very entertaining stuff :) 
Far Cry (2004) Review 
First off, this is a review of an enhanced version of Far Cry with the 64bit patch applied. This gives better textures and graphics, apparently. It's also played using a quicksave mod, so there's no replaying checkpoints over and over again.

Now, I'm not sure how good this game would have looked unpatched on a 2004 spec computer, as there's no way you could run it at maximum settings. However on a brand new 2011 spec computer built specifically for gaming, this game can run happily with maximum quality and resolution. There was one point in the game, in front of a boat in one of the first levels, where it ground to an almost complete halt. Not sure why it did it there, but the rest of the game ran smoothly.

Now Far Cry was a hugely popular game from a brand new gaming studio, Crytek, based in Germany. It's not often that a new startup releases a game of this quality using their own engine. It's a fairly amazing feat, especially compared to most of the games Germany puts out.

However as amazing as Far Cry looks for a 2004 release, I do have to bring it back to earth as there are other weaknesses in this game. But I'll talk about the graphics first. Now Far Cry is the first so-called sandbox game i've played. Games like Call of Duty, Medal of Honr and Vietcong had some sandbox elements where you weren't stuck on an absolutely obvious linear path, but even Far Cry isn't as open as I was expecting. There's still 20 levels which you can only play one at a time. You can't decide to return to the island from the first level at the end of the game. And many of these levels are quite linear, especially the indoor ones. There's a few where you can pick a path across an island, but your destination is always the same. Of course this is kind of a good thing for me, because I don't mind some linearity so I know where I'm supposed to be going.

The outdoor levels all look amazing. No game I've played up until 2004 (and for a couple years following Far Cry) comes close to the huge scale and tropical beauty of Far Cry. No other shooter comes close to the awe-inspring scenic scenes, as you climb a mountain and can look back at the ocean and cliffs you just climbed. It's truely epic. 
Funcs Character Count Is Screwed. 
Unfortunately this quality isn't carried through to the indoor levels. Ships, catacomb, factories, bases... everything indoor sets the par back to average. In fact every time an indoor level interrupted my enjoyment, all I could think about was getting back to the lush jungle in, hopefully, the next level. The indoors are just plain, lacking detail and you really see that the CryEngine doesn't come close to id Tech 4 or Unreal Engine 2+ at close-up visual eye candy. What it does well is huge sprawling levels. But everything does look a little cartoony and unrealistic, not helped by the average CryEngine lighting.

What Far Cry also fails at is a story. You're thrust into a game after an epileptic low quality intro apparently trying to save an oddly clothed women with some random person helping you on the phone. Perhaps I was supposed to read the readme to get an idea of the plot, but as you start the game you have no idea who you're supposed to be or why your trying to save the girl. And none of that really changes throughout the game. Ultimately, the story is an afterthought.

Other weaknesses are the models. The Trigen look like they came from a 90's shooters, even the human models look average.

Now, I played Far Cry on medium difficulty with a quicksave, which in same cases I used enough to make it worthwhile. I imagine this game, in it's later stages, would have become very frustrating with limited checkpoints. A couple times my quicksave corrupted and I had to use checkpoints. One of which took me back almost 10 minutes of gameplay. So playing this game with checkpoints, I repeat, would have been painful. In particular the last level where you'll get obliterated in a couple of seonds by enemies which are too far away for you to shoot if you have the wrong weapons (which I did). So I threw god mode on, ran out into the open where I could actually see the enemy because once they get too far away the engine doesn't render the characters even though they're still shooting at you, which itself is another major flaw in the game. And with god mode on slaughtered everyone as quick as possible and kept notice of how many times I would have died without god mode (a handy feature of this particular cheat). 130 times was the answer, which is ridiculous with no quick save.

So overall the last couple of levels were very poorly done, but overall the gameplay was all standard realistic shooter type action. Not too difficult, in fact quite easy for the first half of the game. Apart from driving sections because Crytek failed miserably at providing a usuable vehicle.

So for 2004, Far Cry is one of the best games and renders non-linear outdoor areas like no other game before it. It's worth playing just for this. In all other aspects (gameplay, indoor levels, story), it's just another shooter. 
yeah agree with this.
the quality of the game always seemed to take a nose dive when you went indoors. also, i recall getting frustrated very early on about not being able to save and got THAT fixed really quickly.

my favourite map is the one where you have to blow up 3 or 4 islands but you're basically just dropped into the ocean on a little rubber dingy and told: do it.
it really showed off the whole non-linear aspect and is probably the reason why i remember that particular one out of the whole game 6 years later.

the ending is totally stupid though. that bit where you sort of get chased through this goofy open terrain where everything is on fire and then that huge open silo type place was just insanely hard. 
Yeah the level with 4 little islands is easily the best. I don't know why they didn't have more levels like this one. 
I like the indoors in Far Cry, gameplay wise, although they remind me more of Tomb Raider (or a number of console games' indoor parts) than Quake. I wish Crysis had more indoor type stuff actually.

It's no Doom 3, true. Brushwork in the Cryengine games is extremely limited, the Solid tool is really crude compared to something like Radiant. But the indoor layouts were between OK and enjoyable. "Bunker" might be my favourite level, actually. "Treehouse" was great, as well as "Rebellion".

Lights are super expensive in Cryengine for some reason, more so than in Doom 3. I guess it was really built for sunlight and atmospheric effects etc. instead of proper indoor lighting.

Vehicles I found adequate.

I like the main character because he is not a super soldier, but a boat rental guy in a Hawaiian shirt with a Die Hard attitude (that was his yacht they blew up in the intro, I find that quite humourous actually). I want more Jack Carver games.

Then again, I seem to have a different taste sometimes. 
that was me btw. Got error 42 and copy pasted around it. 
Re: Hawaiian Shirt Guy 
i loved this aspect of the game. it felt like you were john maclain die hardin' it up. really badass. like playing riddick. 
Portal 2 Coop 
Anyone up for it? Preferably one who hasn't finished the coop campaign yet (as apparently most people in func_group already have).
I also wouldn't mind some L4D again...

necros, are you on Steam btw? Or do you only play WoW. 
Portal 2 Coop 
I'd like to try but haven't got time until later this week. My special copy is supposed work. 
I'm Down For Some Coop 
BetterThanUNIX on steam. 
Me Too... 
I have an account, I'm just too lazy to log in when it's not required. 
Portal 2 On Sale For Like $20 Off 
Far Cry 
also, it was obvious they weren't even taking themselves serious with the story or the setting or the characters. And i think the cartoony look to the models and lighting is done on purpose and plays well with that. Your playing a douchebag on this clich� tropical island with random bad guys and 08/15 monsters running around.

Also, I really really liked the gameplay :o just the accuracy of some enemies was annoying when they were a few miles away (sniper, rocket ships, etc) 
i'm on steam, but i don't have any of the games you guys are playing like l4d/2 or portal2. the email i use for steam is my old email necros at rogers dot com.

i haven't played wow in a couple of years though. stopped a few months after wotlk and cataclysm didn't manage to convince me to start paying again. 
StarCraft 2 Win Stats 
For those of you complaining that zerg is hard to use, I have some news for you.

They are the weakest race according to these stats. So maybe that's not news, since we all knew this anyway. 
Maybe they did a typical fear-driven over-nerf on them. "Oh no, people always complained about zerg, let's nerf them a little more just to make sure".

-> over-nerf. 
I think I will have to get SC2, though. Or at least reinstall SC1. I feel like zergling rushing. 
Fat Chance 
Couldn't make it yesterday, but I'll be out of internet from tomorrow on. At least for a couple of days until I've decided which of the UMTS dongle prepaid deals I'll let myself being ripped off by. 
Errr, And Now In Proper English: 
Heh, You Said Dongle 
Enjoy your life! 
Dragon Age 1 
yay or nay? 
I say yay. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite its flaws. If you like a strong story driven game and exploring/uncovering a pretty huge world you'll probably like it too. Be warned, that combat can get stale near the end, since they essentially just start throwing larger and larger numbers of fodder your way instead of spicing up the combat, and some classes (mage *cough*) are totally broken at later levels as well.

Took me ~60 hours to get through the game on just ONE class, there are like 6 different openings to play based on what race/sex you pick iirc, so there's a bit of replayability there as well. 
60 Hrs 
geesh, dont know if I need something that long!

How's combat? 
Ever played Baldur's Gate? Similar to that. It's mostly a top-down style micro-management semi-turnbased affair. Combat happens real time among all your characters, which you control simultaneously, but you can pause combat at any time with spacebar to issue commands or assess the situation. I myself paused a LOT to make sure my rogues were in the right places for back stabbing and that my warrior guy was taking the damage and that my mage was casting the right spells. I think you can configure their behaviors to what you like, but I find that cumbersome.

It's more strategic on your end, but on the enemies' part they just have a ton of weaker bad guys to slay, and every once in a while they'll throw in a giant ogre monster or an enemy mage or something. 
Ever played Baldur's Gate? Similar to that.
except only in a general sense.

the classes play a lot more like MMO games, which, i firmly believe, is a good thing here.

I myself paused a LOT to make sure my rogues were in the right places for back stabbing and that my warrior guy was taking the damage and that my mage was casting the right spells. I think you can configure their behaviors to what you like, but I find that cumbersome.

one of the best things about this game is the AI. more specifically, the way you control the AI. you don't just tell yours guys to attack or stand still. you set up priority systems for how they should behave.
so, for example:

for your mages, you can tell them to heal your tank when his health falls below 50% for the first order. then the next order can be to heal anyone else when they fall below 30%. then the third can be to just autoattack whatever you are attacking.
so it would check order1 first, then 2, then 3.

then for your tank, you can tell them to use area effect taunt skill when surrounded by more than 2 enemies, to attack the one with the lowest health, and so on and so forth.

the only thing that really requires player input is rogues for backstabbing. sadly, the AI does not control positioning at all. once you move them into position, they're fine, but if the mob moves, you'll have to reposition them.

for mages, you can usually just leave them to the AI almost entirely, and just switch to them every once in a while when you need to use a heavy nuke or a CC spell. warriors can basically be left alone unless you're trying to do something very specific.

it's the rogues that require the most baby sitting.

the one problem with it is that you get more 'command slots' by spending skill points to get them, but i feel this is not right. you shouldn't have to spend in-game skill points to influence the gameplay mechanics.
thankfully, there's a simple mod that unlocks the AI command points and gives even more 'if checks'.

uh, so yeah, i guess i'm firmly in the 'yay' category. :P 
Tried to play Soldier of Fortune Payback, despite the bad reviews. It wouldn't install on my old computer, but new computer installs fine. Framerate is probably under 5, but the patch fixes that. What the patch doesn't fix is the void which is supposed to be a sky, strange textures and my bullets going right through enemies as if they're invisible.

What a fkn piece of shit. Should of torrented it instead of buying it. 
Dragon Age 
tell you what, for the time deprived, that sounds far too daunting to commit to. I might pass I think. 
Dragon Age 2 
Check metacritic's user ratings for dragon age 2. The critics are all 82% aggregate or something, the users (of which there's 1000's of reviews/votes) are like all 0 and 1's out of 10. It's complete shit apparently. 
I'm not too far into Dragon Age 2, but so far I like it. They gave it the Mass Effect 2 treatment, in such that they streamlined the game quite a bit. You level up all your characters, but you only really outfit Hawke. Combat is a lot faster and more actionish, which is a big change from the first one. I mean they really just kind of throw 20-30 guys at you for combat. Be prepared to have 1 or 2 healers in your party.

The visual style is also a lot different from the first one. I think it looks refreshing, but I can see how people might not like it.

The biggest complaint I've seen is that the dungeons are repetitive and recycled. I have not yet experienced this, as I'm only maybe 6 hours or so into the game.

So far I don't think it's a bad game, a lot of the changes make sense to me. The story is alright too. I have yet to encounter the 'meat' of the game because I've been busy with other things. I definitely don't think 0s or 1s are warranted, and are probably just fanboys who are upset with the changes. 
Imo is a totally overrated and shitty way to see if a game is good.

User ratings in particular can just be gang fucked by the minority but very vocal entitled pc gamers.

It happened to dragon age 2. It happened to portal 2 at release because it had that "don't turn off your console" message when you saved or something. I wouldn't give the user ratings much credit at all to be honest.

Really, if I want to know if a game is good, I'll just ask about it right here :) 
More Rage Footage 
Also, I Lol'd 
Rage looks good. I mean, that gameplay doesn't look revolutionary, but it looks reaaaaaally good imo. I love when the guy comes up and kicks the turret away. Cool stuff. 
that looks really cool. i like that you can carry around gadgets that are more than just ammo or health kits. the remote control car is a bit gimicky, but the turret and spider machine look fun to use. 
ME2 is 10$ atm on steam. (ME1 is 5$). wasn't really interested in the sequel but for that low price i feel tempted...

also, if anyone else was hesistating... 
I love Mass Effect, both of em. They are seriously awesome games. If you like losing yourself in a sci-fi space opera universe with BioWare's typical emphasis on story and character development, these games are really awesome.

The first game is way more complicated than the 2nd one, but the 2nd one's streamlined character development allows you to get back to playing much more quickly. I was able to beat the 2nd one in about 30 hours by bulldogging through the game.

Those prices are fantastic - really worth it. 
I get the impression Rage will work. Still think the weapon models look awful but it looks a solid shooter. 
i went ahead and got it. 10$, even if i only play half of the game i won't feel bad.

still, i really like the whole level up stuff, weighing the choice between a bunch of abilities and stuff. i liked being in the level up screen for a minute or two. :P 
Done And Done 
I hope this isnt a 100 hr investment though :) 
Over both games you could probably spend 100 hours if you get everything, but really both games can be beaten fairly quickly for open worldish RPGs. 
Games Are Currently Being Downloaded 
for once they didnt shaft us with the prices in Aus.

Graphics look decent from screenies, what engine is this? A game specific one or some variation on Id or Unreal tech? 
for dragon age? or are you talking about mass effect?

dragon age is a new (or heavily modified version of the nwn2) engine.

mass effect is the newest unreal tech. 
On Second Thought 
i'm pretty sure dragon age is an all new engine. 
I Was Talking About ME 1 And 2 
Crysis And Crysis Warhead 
going for $7.50 combined on Steam if you havent got them yet. 
wow, i didn't even know there was a third deus ex coming out until i saw the add in the steam start up thing. -_- i'm so out of touch with the game industry these days! 
Welcome to the 3rd millenium. 
Mass Effect 2 
holy fuck the fov is small. how does anyone play this thing??? 
Only Checked Out The First Level 
and it is off putting but I hope more of it is actual gameplay and less cinematics. 
Finally Picked Up Dead Space Too 
need to clear my gaming calendar again. 
yeah, the intro cinematic is stupidly long.
and then you play for 5 seconds, and the game laughs at you and makes you watch MORE cinematics.

it's just... i dunno. is this because it's made for consoles? what the heck happened to bioware. 
after some dicking around, you can fix fov to non-stupid values but it really fucks up in-game cinematics (the cinematics don't reset the fov from the user setting) so you get like zoomed out cinematics and sometimes there's some kind of near-clipping on the camera. so yeah... you need to make another keybind to reset to default fov, which you need to hit before starting conversations.
but that does nothing for conversations that are triggered automatically.

it's just sad that bioware somehow managed to fuck this up.

oh, and the best part is that the .ini file you need to edit to add keybinds and such is essentially encrypted. so you have to use a user made program to 'fix' the ini or the game crashes.

honestly man... who sits there and thinks of this shit. 
Honestly Man... Who Sits There And Thinks Of This Shit. 
That's a pretty fair response to some of the moronic decisions in various games (fixed bad fov, no key-remapping, limited graphics settings, no quicksaves, etc etc) that are so utterly and completely in your motherfucking face blindingly obvious to everyone that the mind just boggles how any developer could possibly consider it a valid (let alone good) idea to hamper their customers in such a way. 
You Forgot 
non-skippable cutscenes 
I'll concede that there are too many cutscenes in the first area of ME2, but stick with it - it's one of the best games of the last 5 or 6 years in my opinion :)

Necros, wow I had never even noticed the fov, and I've finished the game 3 times.

Also, on a different topic. Anyone else pre-ordered / will buy Brink when its released? With the drop-in drop-out single player could be a laugh to group up for some manshoots. 
I've got it preloaded on steam already, looking forward to shooting people in a couple days. 
I want it, but I can't justify getting it right at the moment. I am jealous :( 
Necros, wow I had never even noticed the fov, and I've finished the game 3 times.

the default non-action fov seems to be 70, which is bearable. it's the 'gun mode' fov that's the worst. and it's usually where you're concentrating the most on the screen. the fov seems to shrink to maybe 55 or 60 in 'gun mode' and then when you 'aim' it shrinks further to 40ish.

i can only play ME2 in short 1/2 to 1 hour intervals... the super low FOV (especially when you're in 'gun mode') gives me headaches. :(

so yeah, it's not just me being a dick, this kind of thing actually prevents me from playing.

i may have to accept broken cinematic cameras in order to get to the end of this.

i was on the fence with getting dragon age 2, but this is the kind of shit that makes me stay away from modern games. :(

also, this is the third game where you can't skip the company splash videos (the others being Borderlands and Bioshock).
this is like the new thing now where you have to go and delete the intro videos.

oh but it gets better. you know those loading screen videos? pretty nice right? keep you entertained while the next map loads? guess what-- if the loading finishes before the video is done, you have to wait for the end of the video! if you delete the loading videos, you can usually speed up loading times by a lot (for small maps like the normandy).

fucking ridiculous. i'm sure some guy on the team worked real hard to minimize loading times, and then some other asshole put in the forced loading videos. XD 
I guess i'm either blind or lucky because I never seem to notice fov in games unless I read somewhere that it is very low in that particular title in which case I will look for it :)

For instance, I got about 30 hours clocked in bad company 2 multiplayer before I read on some website that the default fov is 55 or something, I increased it and it feels a lot better now! Would have been left at the default value without even thinking about it if I had not read that article :P 
I guess i'm either blind or lucky because I never seem to notice fov in games unless I read somewhere that it is very low in that particular title in which case I will look for it :)

not ragging on you or anything, but obviously this is why companies get away with it. :(
that and it's probably a lot less obvious on a tv screen sitting a couple of meters away.

the thing that's just weird about it all is that normally low FOV is used to speed up framerate. but the unreal 3 engine is insanely fast. it's not like this kind of thing is needed. 
The last time a low FOV actually bothered me so much was in Borderlands which actually made me feel sick and get headaches after playing it. I had no idea that BF:BC2's was as low as 55 though, I honestly barely even noticed it since I've played for hours at a time and not get bothered by it... 
except in borderlands, you can just bind a key to change FOV and, while the engine will sometimes reset it to default (when you get out of the cars), it doesn't fuck anything up.

i just bound the fov setting to my move forward key, the as soon as i walked, it would switch back.

but ME2 is the opposite: the fov sticks no matter what. i would be perfectly fine if the fov reset to default after a cinematic. :\ 
I did actually notice the fov in borderlands, it felt extremely low but I was too lazy to fix it :P

Quakis, I believe the fov in bc2 (and Crysis 2) is based on "vertical fov" rather than horizontal, so 55 isn't actually as low as it sounds, but still low enough to distract for sure. There is actually a website you can go to that will do the math to convert a desired horizontal fov into the needed vertical fov number. Have to google it though I can't find the link atm :P

Also, for BRINK people, is going live in approx 1hr 30 mins from this post and will be shoutcasting brink tournament games for most the evening im guessing, so if you want to see what the game is like on pc you might find it interesting! 
Question About Crysis 
cos I cant seem to find a straight answer.

32 bit vs 64 bit, any noticeable differences? 
Not Really 
Brink Reviews 
Seem unfavorable. Can anyone attest?

Yeah, yeah, metacritic, I know. I was expecting more around like 80-85% average, but 72% seems surprisingly low. 
I think that the 64bit does have a further detail distance or something, but not so you'd notice. The 32bit version was proven to be faster than the 64bit version, so I use 32 :) 
Official Portal 2 Authoring Tools 
Are out now. :D 
I didn't play it, but the entire TF2 competitive community before it came out was all 'OMG this is going to be amazing, TF2 is dead now' and then a day after it came out all said in unison 'wow this is total shit, back to TF2'. 
Just wait until Brink introduces HATS.
Moar Hats 
More On ME2 
i've realized something interesting.

often, the term RPG is abused in that a game is mostly just about stats. leveling up and assigning stat points, getting new weapons and armor for more stats...

ME2 has gone in the opposite direction. they've pretty much removed stats.

i guess this makes it more a true RPG than say Diablo, but then again, we're mostly left with a shooter with dialog trees.

i guess it's more action-packed this way, but i'm not sure i like the super dumbed down RPGs direction. 
Serious Sam HD 
is it much of an improvement/upgrade over the standard version? Currently $7.49 at Steam for 1 and 2. 
Try The Demo First, 
then realize the games are actually pretty stupid and not nearly as fun as they were when playing them the first time back then. 
Nah I Still Find Them Fun 
so unless they have changed gameplay in the HD version, I'm still up for it provided the upgrade is actually worth it 
Can't believe I never posted about this:
Frogatto & Friends is an old-school 2D platformer game, starring a certain quixotic frog. It's a big adventure with all the classic fun - you fight monsters, collect coins, talk to people, and buy new stuff.

It is free and open-source and of fantastic quality. 
Played 2 hours of Portal 2 coop yesterday and am super disappointed. Boring puzzles, no story to think of, loading extra double plus. Part of the frustation surely was playing on half a tv screen (left/right, ugh) and with a ps3 controller. But still, even more disappointing than the sp game for me so far, maybe because it is just more of the bad aspects. 
I should add that it sure is a very good game but the icing is missing for me. 
Yeah, Whatever 
I think you're the only person who found the puzzles boring. You must über smrt or something. 
Split Screen Portal 2? 
Yeah, I hate anything split screened. Try it the right way next time, k? 
Did You At Least Spoil The Game For Your Friend? 
Please Post In Portal 2 Thread! 
I'm just downloading the game now, no spoilers please! 
Frogatto owns btw 
Shameless Spoiler :P 
I Liked Steelstorm 
Haven't played it in a while. I preordered episode 2 a long time ago. Maybe i'll finish it this week. :p 
I played the first episode (demo?) a while ago. The levels looked cool. The gameplay was okay but it kind of got stale after some time. I died in the presumably last level after foolishly testing if it was possible to jump/fall down the cliff, and then didn't feel like restarting from the beginning. It's a nice little indie game, but doesn't interest me enough to pay for it. Originally I thought it was a classic spaceship shooter taking place in the air, not only just above ground. 
Brink 1st Impressions 
After about 9 hours played.

It really is a team based game, moreso than any other shooter I can think of, if you go running off you are just going to die over and over and over until you learn to stick with your team mates!

Maps are gorgeous! Some real nice architecture and very clean lines. Presentation in general is A+. Special mention to the sound too, really really nice.

Gameplay on pub servers can be mixed, if you get a server full of Call of duty players then it will suck bad. The game really shines when you actually work as a team and if you can find a server with players than lean to teamplay then favourite it quickly :)

I would say if you and a few friends want to try brink then go for it, if you play together and coordinate its a fantastic shooter, if you buy it just for yourself or dont know anyone else that plays you might walk away bitter.

Parkour stuff is pretty neat and works well. Smart button is not cruise control for cool as people were worried about that. You navigate faster by pressing smart key at the right time, holding it down works but you will navigate slower. 
League Of Legends 
Anyone else play this? It's a DotA based game (made by the creators of the original DotA for warcraft 3 iirc). I forgot how much i liked this gameplay. 
I play LoL. It's very fun, but like any DotA game it's stupidly frustrating how easy the game can snowball into one team's favour. I also hate the random idiots who make up it's community so much that I basically never play it except with my normal crew of friends who all got into it together. 
at least it's free! 
Scampie Summed Up The Original Dota Pretty Well 
I bounce between HoN and LoL tbh. Really hope Valve does a good job taking the best bits of both (LoL's meta game/better ui/slight reduction in agi/ad carry reliance vs HoN's item design/couriers/greater risk&reward/denying) and creates a sick game out of it. And doesn't just use all the DotA champs like HoN.

But yeh, as Scamp says, you're kinda forced to play it with a set group of people (or at least 2 or 3 you know) due to the ability for 1 person to ruin a game, both in terms of balance and with the gutter level communication prevalant in both communities. 
What's HoN? 
Heroes of Newerth 
Han Solo's Brother 
He works in a bar collecting glasses. 
Crysis For Dead

Can't really complain can you?? Will be interesting to see how they make it scary given it mostly looks fairly bright. 
if you buy a game like Quake or Half Life on steam, I take it you lost the cd tracks. Or do the steam versions still allow for that somehow? 
Wow, this trailer is purely awesome ! 
I Was Wondering The Same Thing The Other Day, Nitin 
I think you just lose them... 
I can at least confirm that Quake via Steam does not include the soundtrack. 
as the soundtracks for both games are a huge part of the experience. 
I should probably listen to them then. 
re-installed and am enjoying very much so far - but really surprised by the occaisonally clunky framerates on my computer, which runs other, newer games just fine.

Any good levels/mods etc to download, besides duct tape? There is that quake one, right? That looks pretty awesome. 

So, Left 4 Far Crysis 2 really. Sold! Don't like the look of the wobbly movement tho. 
Resurrection of Evil is about the best set of addon levels for D3. Try these also:;80168

There's more good stuff in the Filefront D3 section. 
Dead Island 
don't call it gameplay trailer if there's a cut every five seconds. That way you can't get a good impression of the gameplay at all. 
2D Point & Click Adventures 
There are numerous nice amateur P6C adventures based on AGS. Well worth checking out - there's a list on

Apart from Yahtzee's John DeFoe series I posted about some time ago, I can for instance recommend The Infinity String (medium length, scifi setting), The Apprentice 1 and 2 (short, medieval/fantasy), and A Tale Of Two Kingdoms (medium, medieval/fantasy). ATOTK is especially cool because there are optional side quests, many puzzles have multiple solutions and there are several endings depending on how you solved them, all of which fairly unusual for an adventure game. 
Love this kind of stuff, thanks for the reccomendaiton negke 
So That's Where You've Been 
That African Semi-sandbox FPS Game... 
...that is definitely not a sequel to Far Cry in any shape nor form especially not developers, engine, spirit, characters, protagonist, enemies, weapons, settings, theme or goddamn anything.

Anyway, I like the following things about it:

+ Looks great in almost all ways.
+ Setting (including characters and scenery) is refreshing.
+ Atmosphere is strong and holistic and enhances setting (including music and weather).
+ Gameplay works adequately well.
+ Plentiful gameplay touches (vehicles, collisions, buddy rescues, wound healing, diamond finding, weapon degradation) enhance the gameplay rather than detract.
+ Blowing things up is very cool.

Things I don't like:
- Too many Caucasians.
- Can't take multiple missions at once.
- Takes a while to get places.
- Too much jungle not enough desert.
- Fighting enemies in foliage is annoying.
- Despite being Africa it's not bloody bright enough.
- I keep forgetting to save.

Overall I'm really rather liking it. The pros are all stronger than the cons. 
"Can't take multiple missions at once."

This is one of my main gripes (85% done), apart from the missions being repetitive as well.

As for saving, same here, althought he buddy rescues address that issue most of the time. 
WTF Is Frozen Synapse 
I wish it had better graphics, but this looks pretty bad ass 
Yeh, does look really nice zwiff. 2for1 price deal atm too... 
Ahh Looks Really Good 
that's a tempting purchase 
Frozen Synapse

Spent an instructive hour or 3 playing it last night having gone halves on it with a friend (ingenius sales scheme they've got going, means it's a very reasonable price but they sell 2 at a time. Although, it does mean you always have someone to play your first few multiplayer games with, generally useful for learning the game).

Thoroughly enjoying it. The multiplayer is highly strategic, both in light and dark modes (light = always see your opponent's men, dark = gotta have LoS), in light mode is surprisingly chess like, in that you're having to plan your moves several turns in advance as well as predict all your opponents since it lacks the element of surprise. Dark mode is tense, action packed and surprisingly fast for a turn based game (each game generally only lasting half a dozen turns before everyone is dead) and has some beautifully gripping moments (my personal favourite being when both my opponent and I had a shotgunner crouched either side of a box without line of sight of the other, leading to a game of guess work as to which way (if at all) they were moving to try and get the drop without being blasted in order to win the match).

Singleplayer, I'm only a handful of missions in (5th or 6th iirc), but so far there's a good variety of different mission types (I've only played elimination multiplayer, but I believe a lot of these are variantions of the other multiplayer modes, which bodes well) and the procedurally generated levels means that replays of the same mission continue to require planning and thought, rather than just memorising patrol patterns. Oh, and the plot is very nicely done, little cheesey at times, but mostly well written and with lots of detail to immerse yourself in.

Yeh, it's good. If you like strategy, especially smaller, squad sized strategy then I thoroughly reccommend it. Just make sure you have a friend to split the two copies with (all giftable on steam, so I'm sure y'all can work something out if needed). 
It looks very interesting will pick it up for sure. Also, the soundtrack is fantastic! Reminds me of Deus Ex and UT'99! 
Email notifcations mean the game can effectively be "played by email"
Shame they do not have a proper Linux version. 

It reminded me much more of UT2004, personally. Especially the "The Plan" track sounds like taken straight from some ut2004 typical snow-themed bombing run map.

(Now to play the game itself...) 
Old Adventures 
Played Apprentice 1 (deluxe)

Very well made, nice characters and humour, too bad I was only able to solve about half the puzzles myself. They're very far fetched, albeit logical. And of course there's one of those fucking door timing tricks in there... and it's even harder to guess / react properly than usually. I had to look twice in the guide: first for skimming over it to see that there's a door trick needed and then again after failing to get it right even with knowing the basic trick :(

Was a fun little game nonetheless, and very nice graphics/sound/voice 
Aliens : Colonial Marines 
try not to feint. Still no gameplay footage though? 
Nope :( 
But my mind is imagining something akin to AvP 1999 crossed with l4d and is having nerdgasm's :) 
Hmmm that's possibly the worst trailer i've ever seen. It's a video of msdos and a logo.

That being said, i'm sure it's going to be an awesome game!!! 
Tried to play Clive Barker's Jericho. Only got a little over 1/4 in before it came to a game stopping halt, with no way of skipping levels. So that's the end of that.

Gameplay was repetitive, switching characters was awkward to do a a lottery on the who the hell you select and when you selected them you've got no idea which of the FIVE attack keys works for them. Running around reviving cunts because their AI is shit is boring.

Design and engine looked decent, as did the story, but very linear and no wow-factor set pieces, as usual.

Oh and poor checkpoints and no ability to set mouse buttons is a console joke. I did it anyway through the config file (and it worked) but then screwed up some of the other keys and mini-games (which themselves were beyond stupid).

Clive Barker should have actually played this fucking game, because it's arse compared to Undying. 
yeah, i didn't really enjoy that game much either. it looks really cool but plays poorly.

ai is poor and, as you said, you spend most of the time reviving team mates. there are a fair amount of monsters that require you to shoot 'weak spots'. and the ai is basically incapable of doing so, so it's basically you alone vs a group of monsters. very frustrating.

you pass through some areas that might look cool, but they are nowhere near as impressive as painkiller, a game that was released 3 years earlier and used only dx8 (iirc??). the mapping is just very dull. 

....will be a multiplayer game only.

Cool, thanks for saving me �20 and plenty of time (including time I'd have spent watching the rest of the trailer). 
With a team of what, nine guys I think, doing SP would be a very bad idea given the standard they've set themselves. 
So... perfectly timed for my getting a new machine. The definitely not leaked by the producers, not in anyway an extended demo that has increased demand for the game. Terrible piracy, not amazing viral publicisity/massive pre-order booster that's going to get someone a bonus.

OH MY GOD IT'S AMAZING! I admit nothing. But oh my god it's amazing. Proper successor. All the MSD stuff people were worried about works really well (the augemented reality style outlines, the health regen) and avoids falling into the CoD action movie style. So much choice is bewildering and much save/load/replay inducing. Beautifully involving, intriquing characters, well done dialogue system, brilliantly in depth upgrade/experience system, jaw dropping and varied animator's demo reel, slick and non-cumbersome cover system, incredibly well implemented non-linearity. I could go on, but I want to explore every nook and corner of the first hub. Again. This time with different abilities.

Definitely don't suggest you play it. Or pre-order it today (I did do that). 
Negke, you don't have the link to the newer Doom map you did on your quaddicted site, do you? 
Tales Of Monkey Island Complete Pack For $12 
Worth it? 
Drew: If you're refering to the one I posted screenshots of a long time ago - that one never got finished.

Zwiffle: I'd say wait until it drops to 6-8. 
Easily worth it zwiff. 
what game were you talking about in #4706? Hawken? I am probably out of the loop. 
Bal determined nntt was talking about the Deus Ex leak. That's the only thing that makes sense in the context. 
Bal is right. 
And by leak, it's the press demo that was sent out to all the journalists last month, so the first 15-20% of the game (rather than a full leak) and various clues point to it coming direct from Eidos/Squnix 
Prey 2 Trailer + DNF Demo 

DNF Demo - Yeah it's pretty fun, I take issue with a couple of the changes like your melee isn't your boot anymore, and you only carry two weapons at a time. You hold down E to pick up a weapon, which I guess is standard for console shooters but feels cumbersome on PC. Pretty much every weapon is in the demo - pistol, shottie, ripper, rpg, shrink ray, devastator, and in place of freeze ray there's a rail gun. They feel alright, the explosions are toned down a LOT from DN3D. So the RPG won't kill you in one hit at close range it feels like.

There was a weird depth of field thing going on, either that or I'm just super blind. I will have to change that. The levels in the demo were pretty fun overall, a bit slower than Duke 3D with a lot of the modern fps changes (regen health, if you like/hate that thing, it didn't bother me much since it just lets you keep pace without getting 'stuck' because of low health.)

If they release an SDK this could be a pretty spectacular game. Seems worth $50, I'll be holding off due to overwhelming # of games I already have to play though. 
Between that and the Tomb Raider trailer, it's been a day for pre-rendered advertising. Very cool pre-rendered advertising, but still, would love some gameplay footage.

Not tried the DNF demo (no BL2/D4E pre-orders), but I was quite looking forward to it based on what I'd seen, nice antidote to the more serious modern shooters. Although the weapon carry limits worrys me (I actually quite like regenerative health, it makes as much sense as health packs and is more _fun_ (assuming it's not OTT)) 
Oh, and ever since I read a preview a while back, really like the concept of Prey 2. If it's implemented/designed well could be a great game (ofc, I'm a sucker for blade runner style future cities and hunting down contract targets). 
Rage Trailer

LOL I love the Quayola Quayons! Favorite part of the trailer, which is saying something, as it rocked imo. 
i just noticed that rage seems to have the same weird 'tunnel vision' black faded corners that mass effect has... wtf is up with that? is it some kind of console thing? bad enough we're running at lower FOVs now, but we're also dimming out the corners?
like playing the game with horse blinders. 
Trailer was great :) I'm starting to really look forward to it.

I've noticed the darkened edges in a lot of shooters recently, most notable in l4d2 developer commentaries they said they added it as it forces the players vision to the center of the screen where the action is.

Tbh I wouldn't have noticed it in that Rage trailer had you not pointed it out, so I guess that means it's doing it's job ;) 
Other thoughts on DNF demo

He actually makes a lot of valid points. Some things I didn't know from my playthrough - like someone mentioned you run out of breath after running for 3 seconds. That does seem kind of lame. If there is an SDK, I expect maps that force health kits, infinite run, etc. 
Rage Trailer 
Quayola Quayons :D nice little tribute to the king 
as it forces the players vision to the center of the screen where the action is.

oh jesus.

well, if the engine is modifiable, i'll be removing that shit... -_- 
Rage trailer looks awesome. Although there's a lot of fucking around changing weapon type. Supposedly that's more because it was a weapons showcase rather than normal gameplay.

DNF... only 2 weapons at once? FUCKING COCKS. That means i'll be carrying a shotgun and machine gun throughout the entire game and there's no point playing with any other weapon. 
Apparently no one at work liked the DNF demo, but we showcased on XBox. The XBox apparently has shit controls, like it was hard to aim and whatnot. I didn't have any problems like that on the PC with my good old mouse.

They also had poor AI, the pig cops would just run up to the player and stand in front of Duke. I didn't have that problem on PC, but then again I was able to aim at the fuckers and take them out pretty quickly.

It looks like that although I accept the faults in the game, other people are less forgiving. 
why the fuck don't they market mice for consoles??
you could totally hold the controller in one hand and mouse with the other.
they have friggen guitars and drumkits but no mice. 
DNF Demo Take 2 
Hmm playing the demo again with a more critical eye, I think DNF is probably not all that good. That's based just off this demo, which admittedly is pretty bad and may not be indicative of the whole game.

The depth of field is very obnoxious in this game. It makes the majority of what's on screen look blurry. At first I thought I was just going more blind than I already am, but no, Duke apparently needs to get prescription sunglasses.

The AI is in fact pretty bad. I just didn't notice because I killed the enemies quickly, but they are very basic and don't show any signs of intelligence that I can tell. This might be okay, but at least pig cops in Duke3d would go prone every once in a while. These pig-men (they can't be called pigcops, because really they're just pig men in blue, ripped pants) just run at you guns blazing. Sometimes they're stationed at a chaingun, but that's more of a scripting thing than an AI thing I think.

The other enemies are some weird bug things, which are annoying to shoot and I think are meant to take the place of the ooze monsters. They are pretty shit. They are not fun, they are just 'filler' enemies as far as I can tell. They are accompanied by baby octabrains, which ... also suck, and are also there just for fodder. Very lame.

The last enemy is a gun ship, which drops off some pig cops on a ledge, then when you kill those it comes in a shoots you. This is the most telling part of the demo. You HAVE to hide from this thing behind cover, darting out to lock on with your RPG, then duck back into cover. You can't strafe to avoid rockets like a pro, you can't use anything else but the RPG. This fight is fucking SHIT BORING SHIT. If you run out of ammo you go back to the conveniently (?) placed ammo crate, stock up, then shoot some more. It's also very generic looking. If you don't hide behind cover, you will not win. This is not the Duke I knew. I think the Rock, Paper, Shotgun article got it right when they said Duke is a wimp, because he kind of is in this one.

OH yeah, when you kill it, the wing falls and makes a ramp up the small ledge, so you can now progress. Pretty ho-hum kind of stuff.

Sooooo yeah, I think I was hit by nostalgia early on when I first played the demo, hearing that sweet Duke theme song just brought back fond memories. I told Vondur it would probably be okay as a $50 purchase, but really based off the demo with a critical eye, it probably isn't. $20 maybe, but not $50. 
Necros - Mouse Idea 
never thought of that but it would be fucking wonderful. I love shooters but hardly play any on consoles for that reason. 
Wonderful? I think instead of supplying mice for consoles so people could play FPS better, it would be a more logic step to stop making FPS games for consoles. Plus they wouldn't have to be so dumbed down then.

The DC actually had a mouse and a keyboard. I got the latter when I bought mine on ebay. Don't know what the big deal behind those. Quake 3 could be played with it and I guess that unbalanced many online matches. And there are some weird typing games ("Typing of the Dead", a zombie spelling/typing trainer or something similarly wtf). 
Far Cry 2 finally, took longer than expected because I had to take breaks due to the repetitive nature. Good fun but needed more variety.

Portal is next. 
I wish this thing had taken off :E

I could deal with playing with reduced keyboard space as long as you have a fecking mouse :( 
WTF were they playing with keyboard only via a cordless keyboard in a different fucking building??

Looks okay tho, exploding bodies are cool. 
Typing Of The Dead 
I actually really like the idea of that. 
Until You Play It

"The word is stonger than the sword" taken too seriously... 
yeah, basically the sort of thing i was thinking about there.

just a portable pad you can sit on your lap or the coffee table or whatever.

they're porting most of these games to pc anyway, so mouse support is going to be in there from the start. for things like xbox, where (i think?) you can plug in any usb device, it should just be there as an option by default!
you should be able to use your regular mouse even, no need for anything special. 
IBomber Defence 
In Steam, cost me �3.15, great fun. Reminds me of Command & Conquer old-school. 
Tried to play Shadowrun, some multiplayer based (but with single player bot matches) fps from 2007. Played 2 maps and decided i'd rather go take a shit then play it again.

Gameplay was crap, the game looked crap, don't know what the critics/reviewers are on about saying it looks good. It looks shit. Quake3 looked better. Next (which I believe is going to be Hellgate: London... my first attempt at an RPG). 
Was crap, btw. The company that started it was bought not too long ago and the new peeps are trying to fix it so it's not so much suck, though. 
hgl is fine. there's a memory leak bug that was never fixed, iirc. if you have a lot of ram it probably won't bother you though. i have only 3gb and i never had any problems when i played it again, although i did when i only had 1gb.
i do recommend you take a look at the aforementioned peeps's work on the SP mod. basically adds in some missing stuff from multiplayer and other improvements. 
Well ultimately it doesn't matter, because it appears to be yet another game where you can't remap the mouse buttons. I've never used WASD & i'm not going to start now. Don't know why these developers just assume everyone on earth uses WASD and is fine with the mouse buttons being set to whatever they think they should be (shoot in this case). 
you can change movement keys to whatever you want, and you can change the button to shoot to whatever you want.
just go in the controls menu.
you can also drag/drop any ability into the mouse 1/2 buttons to use, and remove shoot completely, if your class doesn't use it much. (evokers/summoners tend to rely mostly on their powers, and rarely need to shoot except to break crates or to finish off a mob). 
Are we both talking about Hellgate London here? There' no shoot in the controls menu, supposedly because it can't be changed, and when I click on any other function and try to rebind it, clicking mouse buttons 1 or 2 does nothing, it won't accept it. Only mouse button 3 and the scroller it accepts, and all keyboard keys.

Unless they fixed it in an update, but I doubt it... 

Good game but design was a little too basic for my liking. And a bit short.

But good original game. 
well, you should always update your games, regardless. that's just good practice.

anyway, i was wrong about shoot though, sorry. you can't change mouse 1 and 2, those are always action buttons. you can bind jump to mouse 4 or 5 (if you have a mouse with the extra buttons on the side) if you want a mouse button for jump, otherwise, spacebar is a decent one (and what i use).

you can bind your active slots to whatever you want though. for example, my active slots 1-6 are bound to number 1 - 6, slot7 and slot8 are mouse4 and mouse 5, slot9 and 10 are q and e. etc...
and if you want to assign a skill/spell to your mouse1/2, just click and drag the icon (ingame) in your skill menu onto the icon on the left and right sides of the screen.
for example, my evoker has mouse1 as spectral lash and mouse2 as firestorm because they're both spells that need to be aimed while being held down.
other spells like arcane shield, which are one shots, i assign to keyboard keys. 
unless you are finding the game really hard, i recommend putting elite mode on. the game is too easy on normal mode. 
Elite Mode Being The Proper Way To Play 
That smells like producer fear. 
i dunno, i just figured it was to stop newbies from getting destroyed, but it's not like elite mode is a huge leap in difficulty either.
there's more modes after you beat the game (nightmare i think?) where it is pretty nuts though.
isn't this par for these kinds of games? to get you to replay and all that. sort of the same as achievements 'oh, you beat the game, so now you can play it again, only harder. :D' 
I meant where the prototypes of games are usually much more hardcore than what gets released, and then things get simplified, a lot in the case of consoles.

It's not so much upping the difficulty level, but rather changing the basic game rules.

The one we're doing now is a top down shooter with some melee, and, indeed, unlocks a harder difficulty once you complete the game on hard.

This reminds me of the 'realsim' mode in L4D - where some features of the first concept survived, like the witch killing in a single hit.

Granted the zombie health is stupid in that mode though. 
ah ok. and yeah, that sounds like a possibility. the game is fairly tame on normal difficulty. you only encounter the more interesting monsters on elite. you also get better loot though, which makes it totally worth playing on the harder difficulty. 
how many people finished Portal in one sitting? Just curious, I did but only because I was fooled as to how long Test Chamber 19 was :) 
I Did 
~8 hours 
The first time i finished portal it took me about 6 hours, the last time i finished it it took about 3.5 hours. 
says 3 Hours for me all up. It felt longer though, I would have guessed 4.5-5.

How long is Portal 2 comparably? 
and thanks again for gifting it jt. 
Portal 2 
Is a lot longer. Took me about 8 hours for the first play through, just in single player, i haven't finished coop yet. Definitely worth the $44.99 i paid for it. 
haven't played coop - Negke and I keep not being on at the same time to do so - but SP alone is, in my opinion, worth the money. It isn't as long as many other SP campaigns, but is of consistently high quality. I loved it dearly.

replay of portal took me about 3 hrs, last time. But I've played it 3 times now... 
You Should Check Your Friends List More Often 
I asked a few people about p2coop but it hasn't worked out yet. I didn't want to pry and annoy them with frequent chat inquiries. If anyone wants to play this (not the whole coop campaign in one go, just a few levels/chapters at a time), message me if you see me online.

Time zones are a problem. Usually the only way for us/US to play is when it's evening my time and around noon or early afternoon yours. 
Prey 2 Gameplay 
You're Right 
I'll be on line tomorrow around noon, EST time zone, if you want to get started 
Clive Barker's Jericho Review (2007) 
I initially started playing this game, got to episode 2 (out of 5) and hit a game-ending bug. Up until that point it had been a confusing, challenging mess. After a short break trying a couple of other games, both of which I quit even sooner than Jericho, I decided to return and give it another shot (having found a fix for the bug) because too many games lately i'm having to not finish due to major glitches. And i'm glad I did resume - it actually turned out to be a very refreshing and memorable game.

Now I remember Clive Barker's first game; Undying, fondly. Sure it's really only his name and story attached, he isn't actually directing any of the gameplay since he doesn't even play games. But it had a great, spooky setting and was a really chilling game. Not to mention under-rated by the critics. So Jericho comes along six years later, again with average reviews with a 61% aggregate. Great looking screenshots so perhaps this one is under-rated as well? No. What it does well, it does very well, but it falls flat in too many other areas, which i'll cover below.

Firstly what makes Jericho very unique is that you can play with any of six characters throughout the game whenever you want - all of which have their own weapons and abilities (powers). And it's even part of the story that you're playing through the soul of a dead soldier that is able to possess the other characters. So it's not just an explained part of the game. The problem here is that swapping between characters is very messy.

On top of that you have five attack keys (two for weapons, one melee and two for your supernatural abilities). Only the supernatural abilities are added as the game goes on. So every time you switch to a character you're having to remember what their attacks are. You'll get halfway through the game before you start to figure out who your preferred characters are. For me it was Delgado with the chaingun, Black with her sniper rifle and Church with her sword. Once you do, things start to get a bit easier. Nevertheless the characters are all worthy of some use throughout the game and are quite well-balanced. If I were to play through again I'd probably try to use some of the other characters more as well, as they all have interesting attacks.

And then there's the storyline, a very unique plot in which you travel through time to stop The FirstBorn, a creature God created prior to Adam and Eve that wants to escape from it's hell and destroy mankind. Fairly epic and well told throughout the game, only to abruptly end in one of the weakest game endings ever. Very odd considering Clive Barker is the writer. I can only assume it was left this way to leave room for a sequel, which will probably never happen now. 
Jericho Cont. 
The atmosphere in Jericho is very unique because you get to play through some very unique settings such a Sumeria and the Tower of Babel, Rome 38AD, The Crusaders 1213AD. The other two episodes that start the game are Al-Khali, which appears to be some old middle eastern setting and WWII. And it's these first two episodes that let the game down slightly as they' look nowhere near as good as the last three episodes. The engine itself is standard 2007 with all the bells and whistles you'd expect. Playing on a 2011 spec gaming PC, everything was happy to be on full without any framerate drop. Now the problem with the level design is that it's very, very linear. You're on a tight path throughout the entire game, with no deviation, and this path itself just feels like one open outdoor corridor scattered with rocks and barricades after another. The outdoor areas get repetitive very quickly. The game also suffers a similar fate as Gears Of War; there's just not enough colour. Everything is very desaturated and drab. However there are some good set pieces every now and again, and despite the extreme linearity and drab colour palette, their is always plenty of detail on screen. You won't find bland cube rooms here like F.E.A.R. had. With the engines lighting abilities, the game does look quite good.

The difficulty level is the main issue. Too often you're madly running to each team-mate reviving them after they died for whatever stupid reason. Their AI is abysmal. In some situations you need to shoot enemies, usually mini-bosses, in certain places to kill them. Your team-mates just don't understand this concept, nor do they try to retreat to avoid explosions. I eventually threw on the 'fast health regeneration' cheat, which made the game much easier (too easy in fact as I only died 4-5 times after that), but replaying from checkpoints over and over again because of useless team-mates is not my idea of fun.

Furthermore, there's no easy way to reconfigure the mouse buttons without hacking the config file. Which in turn, for me, broke my movement keys in relation to these little mini-games, where you have to press one of the movement keys in a certain order to proceed. Without any keys responding, I had to skip past each and everyone of those mini-games. And most of them were terrible anyway.

So overall we have a memorable storyline and setting, great set of different characters you can play with and a decent looking game. The linearity is extreme, but the difficulty level and having to replay from checkpoints ruins the game. It's only saving grace is putting a cheat on, pumping up the difficulty slightly and we've got a much better game. 
I Always Looked At Jericho And Thought Of Buying It 
But I never did, mainly cause of the reviews being so mediocre. 
Drew: Cool, I'll try to be there. Though we'll have to see if it works - my internet speed is limited to 7k/s until Saturday. :( 
Ricky: There's a demo. Gave it a try back then and it totally put me off. I think it was there that I really became aware (and got to hate) forced quicktime events. 
make it 12.30 
More Prey 2 Gameplay 
Flash Game Roundup 
Some of the better flash games I've played in the last couple months:

Realm of the Mad God -- a stripped-down MMO roguelike where you pretty much just shoot monsters and collect loot. Unlock player classes as you play. Free except you can spend real money to buy perks (I never have, and never will.)

Soul Brother -- a nice puzzle-platformer where your ghost can inhabit different bodies (each with different capabilities) to get past obstacles.

Lesbian Spider Queens of Mars -- a pitch-perfect retro arcade game. Also has a sort of Flesh Gordon/Barbarella vibe.

Upbot Goes Up -- a solid puzzle game with some challenging levels. I have beaten them all except #31. 
Upbot Goes Up 
WOW this game is slightly addicting. This is a fantastic puzzle game! 
Soul Brother 
is great. 
did any of you guys ever play this game back in the 90s?
it had like no graphics beyond a few little icons and ran as a windowed application in win3.1

very deep and complex 4x game. had hours of fun on that thing. 
Good For A Laugh 
Need for speed : the run

I have such fond memories of the original need for speed underground, to see the series reduced to that is just..well... :( 
NFS:U rocked! 
Torchlight 2 Woo! 
soooo... quicktime event driven completely linear gta ripoff? wut?

what happened to racing for money and upgrading your car and such. i loved that in nfs underground. 
Dust 514 
E3 2011 
Lets do this dance!

What impressed you from the show this year?

My top picks would have to be battlefield 3 and Skyrim, with an honourable mention of Dust 514, ccp are batshit crazy to try something like that but it sounds very, very interesting!

"WHY NO PC" qft zwiffle, I was sad :( 
There wasn't even a mw3 mp trailer. 
Ahh Yes, Mw3 
can't say I was so impressed by the single player portion they showed. After seeing New York beautifully realised in Crysis 2, mw3 looks absolutely terrible in comparison.

Waiting for some multiplayer details too I guess! 
the concept of dust 514 is awesome. i love that it affects their other mmo as well. 
Yeah, the sp footage was less than thrilling. Although, I'd be willing to conjecture that 90% of the people who play duty could not care less about it's sp. :p 
Space Marine 
Looks pretty promising

Being down on the battlefield in warhammer 40k universe sounds right up my alley. 
Ooh Yeah 
I had totally forgotten about that one, reminds me of darksiders! 
Space Marine. 
Graphics look so-so.

Coloured lighting effects look like ass.

3rd person perspective looks awful and pointlessly detrimental.

Gameplay looks quite decent tho. 
Space Marines 
sock is working on that, I have faith : ) 

Arkham City.
Battlefield 3.
Bioshock Infinite.
From Dust.
Prey 2.

Tomb Raider (I really hope that that was just the intro/tutorial level and not entirely indicative of the overall game. I want this to be good).
Mass Effect 3.
NFS: The Run.

Stuff I liked the trailer for but not sure how much I'll like the game (or 'Ugly' for sake of consistency):
Farcry 3 (have I ever told you the definition of insanity?).
Brothers in Arms 4.

Special award for 'wtf is the point and how/why is it even being made':
Halo 4.

I also really liked that game with original IP. You know. That one. 
what's wrong with me3? 
Bioshock Infinite 
Forgot about that. Thanks for reminding me. 
Half Life 2 
Finally getting around to this, about 1/3 of the way in I think.

Nice game but way too much driving/boating till now. 
TimeShift (2007) Review 
If I counted all the times every game I've ever played has crashed, it still wouldn't add up to Timeshift's. This thing crashed probably every 2-3 minutes. It wasn't a game stopping crash, more a graphics crash and it would spit me to the desktop. But the game would still run so I'd just have to alt-tab back in.

During installation it gave me errors that my drivers are out of date and need updating. My drivers are approximately five years newer than this game, so there's no way they're out of date. What it really wants is for me to backdate my drivers to probably something from 2007 for it to be compatible. That's not happening; so I'm forced to play with the desktop popping up every few minutes.

That being said, the fact that I still persevered and finished this game while thoroughly enjoying it, must mean even more than normal. Indeed TimeShift could be considered slightly under-rated when you look at it's many mixed and average reviews. What I'd compare it to most is F.E.A.R. Sure it's missing the dark horror scares and a story, but the gameplay is very similar. While in F.E.A.R. you're forced to use bullet-time constantly during combat, TimeShift takes bullet-time one step further and turns it into proper time control. You can slow time down, completely pause time or, at some points during the game, reverse time - which is very, very cool. To balance things out from being too easy, your ability requires recharging so you can't just use it constantly. But you do need it all through the game in order to survive. The gameplay is fun and well-balanced, although the enemies and weapons could have done with some more variety.

On the other side of board, the 'looks' of the game hold up well. And this respect it completely demoralises F.E.A.R. The art direction, textures, level design all look great. The engine is well up to 2007 standards; not the best around, but adequate enough. There's also enough variety in settings that it never becomes repetitive. You battle through the usual military sci-fi settings with a bit of snow and outdoor areas thrown it, capped on either end by a city setting. All good looking with the occasional set-piece.

Overall a good looking game, decent gameplay. It's just a shame it runs so poorly with it's constant crashing. 
Timeshift Was Very Cool IMHO 
and I dont remember too many crashes. Patched up kona? 
So, Duke4E 
Has anybody tried it? I hear it's pretty crap. 
It Does Look Awful 
wait for it to hit the bargain bins :) 
My main issue with ME3 is that it appears to be a Halo game.

"We fight or we die! That's the plan". 
Good game. No crashes. Boring enemy but good gameplay with meaty-feeling weapons IIRC. 
S'okay - I've been playing it. It's actually kinda cool and fun. It has great environmental effects. 
Timeshift & BF:BC2 
Timeshift was a decent, solid game. Had no issues with crashing though. I played it during xmas last year, it had been sitting on my shelf for years and decided to give it a spin after Singularity. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite some of the quirks here and there.

Talking about crashing, anyone here getting problems with BF:BC2? It get several random crashes whether its hangs the PC and need to reboot, or it'll CTD without any errors. Othertimes during gameplay the performance will drop considerably out of nowhere. (And I even have everyone on low just to get optimal results during MP...) I checked the official forums and it seems there are many who also suffer from this.

As a result I probably won't even bother with BF3 if this isn't looked at, doesn't guarantee BF3 will perform any better... 
Could be an overheating issue perhaps, with sudden degradation of performance could be a symptom of a hardware piece throttling itself to avoid exploding :) Could explain the system hangs etc also. 
Tomb Raider 
Lots of screaming. However, the game could be good. It's... novel.

TR's gameplay mechanics are solid gold at the core (no pun intended), but it doesn't always shine :-/

The only "new" TR game I'd totally recommend is Anniversary. But then that's a remake.

Lose the quicktime events though, Crystal. And I fucking hope I can BIND JUMP TO A MOUSE BUTTON THIS TIME. YOU KNOW THAT THING THEY HAVE ON PCs. 
Also, fuck publishers that wreck games. Ahem. 
seems like the whole trend of bigger teams for fancier graphics and such just means publishers get more weight when it comes to design decisions. :( 
so how does one play Lost Coast? Finished HL2, but that doesnt seem to unlock anything. 
You add it form your steam Library tab. Half-Life 2: Lost Coast. 
What Zwiff Said 
It's its own seperate game on steam. 
After That 
download Mission Improbable from 
Couple Weeks Ago 
started amnesia -the dark descent, so far its impressive 
Comes out on june 14 (in north america)! Not sure if i want it in the pc or 360. 
Cant Download It 
I must be an idiot, can find the page etc but nowhere can I see a link do download/purchase/add.

Drew, thanks for the tip. 
And By Download 
I mean torrent :p. I was just informed by a friend that alice: madness returns comes with a code to download the first game on whatever platform you buy it for. Nifty. I'm getting it for thw 360, i don't have the hd space for the game. 
HL2 custom map recommendations?

Minerva and the one drew mentioned are in the queue. 

Minerva series is by far my favourite hl2 sp release.

Research & Development is also fantastic but is far more puzzle and environment themed. 
yeah I can get to that page but how do I add it??

Downloaded a heap of HL2, Doom 3, Quake 4 and Crysis custom stuff. Will see how they turn out. 
I Wouldn't Worry Too Much About Lost Coast 
it's quite short, and while it's a nice little coffee break sized map, it's not nearly as fun/impressive as you might think. 
let me know what D3 stuff you play and what's good 
nitin: lost coast isn't just showing up in your 'all games' list? it's free and comes with hl2, so it should already be on the list and you should just be able to click and install it.
for me, it's right under ep2.
i don't think you can download it outside of steam. 
there've been at least a couple of good doom3 releases here on func. check the news archive for them. 
no it's not. I just have HL2, Ep 1 and Ep2 showing. 
GB reccomened some as well. still haven't finished - I just have hoarder tendencies. 
@ Nitin (HL2 Maps) 
You could try the stuff in this list as a reference; 
i haven't seen some of those and they look great! 
Pretty good so far. Very nice set pieces, lots of secrets, but almost completely linear. 
So Was The Original Though 
yeah I found that and have downloaded almost all of the maps/packs listed there. Hopefully the standards are high. 
played human error last night.

very cool concept and storytelling.
new assets (npc models, voice acting(!), props). usually fairly high quality. some are slightly goofy though.
mapping is so so. some areas had very poor performance (this is source engine which usually has no problems running on my machine, so it seemed like they forgot to vis the map or something) and some areas are pretty mazelike.
i also think they based this map on a real place, so there are a lot of really long corridors that lead to dead ends (where all the doors are locked) which just makes things more confusing.
i'll play some more tonight. thanks again for that link! 
Painkiller: Overdose (2007) Review 
This was originally intended to be an unnofficial fan-made mod for Painkiller. And it that respect, it's pretty amazing. That was until DreamCatcher allowed the developers to turn it into a full stand-alone game. If that meant sequel then in that respect, it's doesn't live up to sequel expectations - considering the content it's still just an addon - a double-sized expansion pack.

It's still the same engine and same gameplay - nothing has really changed since the first game. Many of the same enemies make a return, along with some new ones, some new weapons and 16 new levels.

The only big problem with Overdose is that the gameplay isn't very balanced. For instance you get to the third (final) episode, and the first two levels are probably the easiest in the entire game. Then the next level is the hardest in the entire Painkiller franchise (in my opinion) minus boss levels. The first couple of episodes you would often be forced to switch to whatever weapon has enough ammo, then when that's out switch to whatever you have left! In other words ammo is in short supply. Of course I never ran out, but I was also often forced to use weapons I didn't really like. And the weapons are another problem in Overdose; they're all fairly average. The Bonegun (Shotgun) and Crossbow are great, but the rest are not very inspiring to use. The weapons are all very similar in damage, rather than the old-skool style of shooters where you get more powerful weapons as you go.

There are lots of new enemies, in fact almost every level has a new enemy set, much like the original. And this of course is fantastic that they can not only create 16 completely unique settings most with their own set of enemies. However, the enemies actual attacks are all fairly similar. Many of them probably have the same attack, just with a new model. 90% can be taken down in two or less shots with the Bonegun. Which makes them fairly repetitive.

The engine might be a few years old now, but because each level is nicely detailed and so creative, the game ends up looking good and (only just) up to 2007 standards. Let's just say the engine has aged as poorly as, say, 2004's F.E.A.R.. There's a lot of imagination put into Overdose and the level design is almost up to the same high standards as the original - which is a decent feat considering this was originally just a mod.

End of the day, however, this isn't a mod anymore. It's marketed and priced as a full game. And as a full game it does nothing different to the original. The gameplay is slightly more unbalanced, the enemies are repetitive and the level design isn't quite as good as the original. I was always a big fan of the original

It's only worth playing if you can find it cheap, and don't go in expecting a true sequel. Two expansions packs down - two to go - at least DreamCatcher really supports it's community! 
i like your reviews, but one thing bugs me:

You seem to be using the term "quality level design" as an equivalent to "polished visual geometry", which is really, really wrong, imho.

If somebody else reads this and starts using the term that way... Evil EA bosses will never even have the chance to understand what level design is and will start using it as a marketing term instead. Please, at least refer to the visual qualities of level design, if not switching terminology completely.

Thanks for the nice reviews! 
Glad you enjoy the reviews! Eventually I'll have reviewed just about every decent FPS from around 2003 and up. I actually put them all on my website... direct link here

And yep when I refer to 'level design' i'm talking about the visual geometry, which I suppose to those mainstream critics their 'level design' means something different. My reviews certainly aren't supposed to be compared to 'pro' reviews - I actually do them for myself, so that when I decide to play an old-skool game in 20 years time, I can read my reviews and know exactly what was wrong with each one. 
...If you liked Overdose, I suggest you play Supernatural. It is a standalone conversion custom made up of a mix of Overdose and Resurrection levels and weapons. It's so much better than the originals. I played it to death last winter and imo it takes Overdose levels where they really belong.

Lots of secrets (one of the really fun things of Painkiller) are added, Tarot cards conditions are a bit more balanced and hard (not too much) and the majority of levels are VERY atmospheric, if a little bit straightforward(but hey, open level design seems to be dead in 2011, right?).

I'd love to have some opinions from people hanging around here on this mod... 
Level Design 
don't know about mainstream critics, but the term refers to the more technical aspects of making levels-- monster placement, layout and flow and sometimes small amounts of scripting. it has little to do with visuals at all. 
I miss you!!! *sob* 
It's Tough 
real life shit got really real the other day - co-worker's dad died in a car crash, so had to pull a double shift. Then some other shit... soon Negke - we'll make this happen, and it will be glorious. 
The Silent 
So are the levels exactly the same as in Overdose/Resurrection just played differently, ie different monster placement and order? Or have they actually changed the design of them? 
So who creates the geometry, structures, architecture in a video game level if it's not the level designer? I understand that artists do the texturing and will draw up certain set pieces, but it's still the level designer that ultimately builds the structures in the level, isn't it? 
not really. at least, not in the games you're playing, so AAA or at least near that level. it's very compartmentalized.
from what i understand, the old school doom/quake mapper who does everything except making textures (and as far back as doom/quake days, they did their own textures too) doesn't exist anymore.
when you've got a team of a hundred+, you'd rather higher a guy who's downright awesome at textures than someone who's average at everything i guess.
min-maxing in a corporate setting. :P 
In most companies, you have level designers who take care mostly of the gameplay aspects of the levels, layout, item placement, scripting sometimes, etc. Then you have level artists, who actually build the visuals and structures, most of the time using pre-made assets made by environment/prop artists.
These three jobs kind of overlap weirdly and/or blend together depending on the company, but yeah nowadays it's rare for level designers to actually do much visual creation. 
Yes, same architecture, new gameplay.

That means new Tarot conditions, monster placement, loads of secrets and some minor route change. With the weapons being a mix of PK, OD and Hellgun Mod. 
More Here 
I saw your comments on there too silent hehe. Sounds cool, although i should probably get Resurrection and play through that first, then play Supernatural :) 
I loved it.
Well, not all of the time, but imo it's well worth playing.
And I even started writing a walkthrough with some annotations about some serious design flaws you encounter ingame, when/if you get to playing it and want to share some thoughts, drop me a mail. I'd be interested in knowing what you think, given your mapping experience.

Me, I just installed resurrection+redemption. Don't have high hopes, but I'm diving in tonight. 
I can't believe they said that. 
I am coordinating with Frik to apply pressure to people at id to make that happen. 
That could be pretty sweet, although I'm not holding my breath just yet. Here's hoping that if they do go forward with this though, that they also bring back a touch of old-school gameplay. 
Fanboys Will Hate It Anyway 
If it ever happens, it'll be like Quake 4 is to Quake 2. And it'll be linear and scripted and with a story and dumb NPCs. And fiends will have ears and shamblers mullets and there won't be tarbabies and no secret areas and no wizmet1_2. 
That's all fine, as long as there are tools released with it.

Why, you ask? Well, that's a stupid question. 
Dungeon Siege 3 Preorder On Steam 
If you preorder you get Dungeon Siege 1 and 2 as well - is this a good deal? Would anyone else spend $50 for all 3 Dungeon Sieges, or is my obsessive-compulsive gaming traits taking over? 
Is Quake V An Other PC Game? 
I Should 
Read the bottom before I post! 
If It's Not 
I don't give a fuck about it. 
I Hope They Don't 
instead, I hope they come up with something original and exciting for a change. Come on, revisiting the Quake world can only be a disappointment for hardcore fans like us. Look at what they have done with Doom! 
Release Rage and it's SDK god damn it... looks like there might be some fun enemies and weaponry in that thing, and damn I want a fucking current gen FPS that is also fun to map for (or even has tools to begin with) :p 
id has long ceased to be a company where another Quake could be done well. Don't get excited, it'll just be a cash grab that will rape your memory of a good game. 
Probably As Always 
Interesting new tech, with an alibi game around it. 
I think Rage looks pretty cool tbh, albeit not entirely original. It is at least original IP for iD. And will (I assume) have an SDK. Unlike Deus Ex 3 :(

And I dunno. I like the idea of a more modern update of the Quake universe. I know, gameplay wise it won't be Quake (that'd be more painkiller than any iD game you're ever going to see), too much publisher control and market awareness to release something like that. But a scripted, storied version of Q1 with pretty graphics. I'd still take that over yet more modern/near future/WW2 warfare or yet-another-dystopia (and I like post apocalyptic dystopia).

Just remember. It won't be Quake. But it might be something good. 
This Will Never Happen 
but I'd like to see them take Quake in a more Call-of-Cthulhu direction. 
You're Shitting Me 
Why would you want that? There's already 4 call of duties, another one on the way (looking forward to that, actually), and then there's battlefield and socom, which are both duty-esque. What would duty-ifying quake bring? Quickscoping shamblers? That kind of sounds fun but i think you get my point. 
Um, He Said Call Of Cthulhu 
Call of Cthulhu: Modern Warfare... 
I Can't Read, Apparently 
This Is Id Software Remember 
It will be violent. And cool. I predict that it will remain authentic. The fighting will be old-school. God I want something like STALKER but with better voice-acting and more scope. And cooler combat (passes out....)****/* (hic) 
Better Voice Acting Than 

but quake5 is so far into the future, it's not even worth worrying about right now.
and rage looks like it'll be pretty cool at least. 
Rage will be at least cool and/or somehow nifty. The vids online at least show that some of the weapons don't suck, and imo the enemies were pretty cool. 
Call Of Cthulhu: Blackest Ops 
Soap, bring down that chopper!
Soap, get the c4!
Soap, hold still while I open the door for you!
Soap, grasp the unfathomable reaches of your futility in the wake of what lies between the feeble mind and ever dying stars!
Soap, escort the VIP!

That aside, I am moderately interested in Rage, the weapon selection looks rather satisfying (mind-control bolts + self-gibbing and turrets). 
+1 internets for Scarecrow :)

While I certainly hold no hope that Quake 5 would play like the Quake we all know and love, I am certainly interested to see the environments and general aesthetic re-imagined with modern technology. I think something like ziggurat vertigo in a state of the art engine with some crazy local gravity physics would be an awesome level.

Shamblers with actual fur! ;)

Rage is actually looking better and better with each level playthrough they release. The Wellspring level playthrough was the one that got me really excited for it in particular, the movement and weapons have that signature id feel to them, meaty and with real weight.

Has anyone seen or heard anything about the editor for Rage? Is it the same deal as in doom 3 where the editor is within the game itself? What about working with megatextures? 
Has anyone seen or heard anything about the editor for Rage? Is it the same deal as in doom 3 where the editor is within the game itself? What about working with megatextures?

i recall seeing a video of this in action.
essentially it's the same as d3-- the engine is the editor.
megatexture was i think basically just painted on in the editor, so like you'd look at the terrain, pick your brush and go.
also, you could import bitmaps to paint a repeating pattern or something? 
It will be violent. And cool. I predict that it will remain authentic. The fighting will be old-school. God I want something like STALKER but with better voice-acting and more scope. And cooler combat (passes out....)****/* (hic)

If their remake of Quake 1 contains any human voices I will personally throttle everybody at ID. 
Is Brandon James still working at id? If so, there's still hope for a properly Quake Q5.

What would duty-ifying quake bring? Quickscoping shamblers?

I have a hunch that Doom 4 will be more or less this. 
Is Brandon James still working at id? If so, there's still hope for a properly Quake Q5.

nope , afaik he's at splash damage or human head whatever 
That question came 11 years too late. 
2011 Is Pretty Great For Pc Games 
I'm buying way more this year than usual:
Portal 2
Torchlight 2
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Duke Nukem Forever (ok, so it's not awesome, but whatever)
Minecraft (bought alpha last year, but out of beta this year)
Bioshock Infinity (also 11.11.11?)

Normally it seems I only have one or two titles to look forward to and also end up buying a bunch of stuff that I kind of sorta wanted in the end of year sales, but there's a lot I'm buying at full price this year.

They also aren't all pc games, but it seems like the definitive version of all games will be pc at least. 
I Know I Won�t Be Happy Unless They Bring Back Shamblers 

I'd be happy with them trying to revisit Quake in some form. Sure it wouldn't be as good as a true remake of Quake, but I liked Doom3 and I liked Quake2 and aside from the ultra-linearity I thought the latter was a pretty good Q2 remake. 
Dunno How I Missed That... 
A Quake 1 reboot would be amazing even if it wasn't as good as the original game. I'm sure we'd all love to see what today's id could make of Quake's Lovecraftian world with their current tech. Just thinking about how it could look gives me a boner and makes me want to do some mapping.

I just hope to God that whatever they do, it doesn't become too heavily inspired by modern shooters with all their pseudo-realistic bullshit (slow movement, 2 weapon limit... story) 
Forgot To Add 
"and ultra scripted tunnel levels with rigid objectives" to list of things I hope id do not do with any potential Quake reboot. Hopefully Rage is going to demonstrate id's skill in nonlinearity (fingers crossed) and Doom 4 is going to show off their ability to take the gameplay back to the old skool (I heard they wanted to make it less of a horror and more of a shooter, but that was ages ago and I'm sure they probably changed their mind a hundred times since then.) 
Call Of Duty - World At War 
just finished this, pretty impressive really. Some of the setpieces are jawdropping. And for a WW2 shooter, I liked the feel.

Got some strange lag in some levels, no idea why as he rest of the game ran smoothly. 
I Spose 
I'm optimistic about a remade Quake1.

Not sure why though since the id of today seems to put little emphasis on design, or have the general chaos that existed in 1996 when Quake1 formed.

It'd be nice to be surprised, but I have bad memories of what was done with the rather nice Doom3 engine and initial concepts. 
Quake Reboot 
Sounded like they're were just talking about it and nothing was firm, so it could be 10 years before they decide to do a remake. Or maybe they'll decide there's more money in Rage 2 instead.

Even if the gameplay isn't like Quake, I'd just love to see the gothic, medival lovecraftian worlds in a modern engine. It'd no doubt look fkn awesome.

And making Quake more story-driven I don't think would be a bad thing. Mindcrime's movie was great. 
this: "Even if the gameplay isn't like Quake, I'd just love to see the gothic, medival lovecraftian worlds in a modern engine. It'd no doubt look fkn awesome."

If they could bring that bleak feel of the Lovecraftian universe as well as bringing to life some of the insane creatures Lovecraft imagined I don't think I would be too upset if the gameplay wasn't 100% authentic.

Having said that, I would like it if the game had a story that was coop compatible and didn't add too many contrivances that stop you having fun (speed running, rocket jumping etc.). It would be really great if the main game was coop compatible. Then again, Rage is doing separate coop missions based on the main game levels I think - maybe that would be fine, but I am longing to play Quake coop again. 
Alice: Madness Returns 
Just bought this and played it for about an hour and a half.

So far I'm loving the absolutely gorgeous artwork throughout the game. It might not have arse-mapping and parallax gonad tessellation, but the artwork is sumptuous - particularly the environments, which are incredibly alive with detail and colour.

The gameplay seems pretty much like the original game, but with more modern sensibilities such as enemy targeting and extremely forgiving platforming (triple jump with floating.) I quite like how easy it is so far.

Currently I've managed to reach the first eye-pot enemy, but I don't know how I am meant to defeat him. I can dodge his attacks and hit him forever, but I don't know what I'm meant to do to beat him. Surely I don't have to just keep clicking left mouse and hitting shift for 30 minutes? 
good to hear, have been looking forward to it. 
You need to hit him in the eye with the pepper grinder. Just aim+shoot and circle strafe around him. When he goes into his pain animations hit him with the vorpal knife. Shouldn't take long. 
Yeh, shoot and then stab. Then fight 3 of them and a giant baby head monster and various smaller slimes at once (combat starts getting a bit trickier from that point on basically, you'll quickly develop a love/hate attitude to the targetting system).

And yes. It looks wonderful. Even the 'weaker' bits like the starter areas to each chapter are pretty. Oh, and without spoiling too much, the in between chapter bits are a very nice touch. Will discuss more, but waiting till I actually finish it and letting the Q1 remake chat die down a little first.

Also, special mention to Alice's hair. Just sit on a steam vent and watch it... 
It does look very nice, and the gameplay seems to be a nice evolution over the original. 
Don't forget about the bombs. Enemies are attracted to them. Then can be pretty useful. 
<@Sundaybler> so
<@Sundaybler> alice
<@Sundaybler> no shadows
<@Sundaybler> uber low-res textures
<@Sundaybler> wtf is that all about? 
There's shadows, and even on the 360 th textures aren't über low, though they can look like that for a second while they're being loaded. 
hehe, the descriptions of the monsters and weapons make me want to play. :D 
Dunno Why I Was Being Such A Tard 
but I wasn't even using the pepper grinder up until Vondur told me how useful it is for taking out the eyepots. I'd basically forgotten about it. Also, the eyepot seemed to be taking damage so I assumed it was a boss or something.

I've now gotten up to the part where the Mad Hatter is back up and running again, but my PC has been playing up lately and I couldn't get it started today, so I haven't played any further. I'm guessing it's quite short.

There are some quite relentless combats in the factory levels. I quite enjoyed that. Lots of platforming and nice interesting paths around the levels instead of just A-B make it feel like a game from 10 years ago, gameplay-wise. That's no bad thing though :) 
Overlord/Overlord II 
worth getting? 
Humorous games. The first Overlord has a lot of variety concerning the locations you visit and offers a puzzle/strategy-like feel to the different scenarios. There's also several optional areas to visit and makes the world feel more open which is missing from Overlord 2. The second game mostly focuses more on the action side, which can get a bit tiresome when fighting against the Empire. Didn't have as much fun with it as the first but it's still a good game. 
Far Cry 2 Again 
sort of a mini review for cardo:

22:37 megmn: cardo imho fc2 is pretty shitty
cardo: how so?
22:39 megmn: cardo the generated missions are so generic
22:40 megmn: cardo and there's not much else there
megmn: even though there ARE a few mildly interesting locations on the map, they're just all the same regarding gameplay/setting
megmn: cardo like, you come to the cool location but there's nothing there but the same random buddies that you meet around every corner
megmn: and everything else on the map is boring
megmn: cardo it's totally NOT like stalker, where it's simply aawesome to discover new areas
22:44 cardo: i never played stalker either
megmn: cardo and everything in the gamedesign puts emphasis on the genericity of it
megmn: like the weapon decay
megmn: you cannot find a good weapon
megmn: you have to do generic missions for the weapons dealer and then buy them
cardo: and that's good or bad?
megmn: cars are totally generic
22:45 megmn: they are around everywhere, so you just don't really bother
megmn: i think there's a cool looking buggy in a few places, but ultimately it's not any different
megmn: etc
rebb: you also get attacked by at least one jeep-patrol on every mission
megmn: yep
megmn: all convoys are exactly the same all the time
22:46 megmn: there are outposts at every 2nd corner which repopulate after a while, and all are basically the same
megmn: then there are generic save houses that are also the same
22:47 megmn: sometimes they are in a cool location, but it doesn't matter, because once you cleaned up the three guys at a house, there never will be any other enemies there (so leveldesign really doesn't matter)
megmn: also, level design from a gameplay pov is meh
megmn: it basically feels like diablo at lvl 80
22:48 megmn: you've seen everything, you always do the same shit
megmn: but contrary to diablo, there are no rewards as far as i can see 
Crysis 2 Dx11

Download links don't work yet, but shit son it looks pretty :) 
22:44 cardo: i never played stalker either

Cardo! WTF!

Don't know what else to say... :P
I grabbed fc2 when it was on sale on steam, played about 8 hours then got pretty bored. I basicly agree with Megaman, by far the most irritating thing for me was that whenever you got a mission, the objective always seemed to be on the other side of the fucking map. It's the most ham fisted and annoying way to get you to travel I have ever seen. 
Blacksite: Area 51 (2007) Review 
Last year I played 2005's Area 51 by Midway Studios. It was a decent effort for 2005 which led to expectations for Blacksite that it could only be even better. Strangely, despite the title this isn't related to the first game at all. It's a complete standalone title and mostly a different setting. Not for the better and expectations were not met.

Firstly the game runs Unreal Engine 3, so it's going to be hard to make a game that doesn't look good. For sure it looks good - levels are occassionally well-detailed, although sometimes it can get bland. Textures and art is average and there aren't very many set-pieces. The layout is very linear. The main pro is that the settings are a little different to a lot of recent shooters - you spend a lot of time in the American desert where Area 51 is located. Large canyons and roads, deserted caravan parks and a massive Area 51 base. The highlight of the game for me was battling a giant octopus-like creature on top of a bridge while your helicopter circles around it with you firing furiously to take it out. Other helicopters are doing the same. I normally hate on-rails levels, but this was very epic, possibly the best on-rails battle to date. Of course once you get to control vehicles it's the normal bad-handling rubbish.

So overall the game is helped a lot by the Unreal Engine 3 and some of the different settings, but overall from a purely artistic viewpoint, it looks pretty average for 2007.

Gameplay is where Blacksite really struggles though. You only get two weapons at once, of which there's only really one weapon you'll use throughout the entire game because the rest are rubbish (apart from the mandatory rocket launcher battles); and that's your standard machine gun. You'll also spend most of your time zooming in and attempting headshots, because there's no quicksave and checkpoints don't appear very often. I only actually died in the game a few times on the middle difficulty (which they call hard). Even the final episode of three levels I didn't die at all. The final boss is possibly the easiest final boss in the history of shooters. What I'm getting at is that Blacksite is a fairly easy game. This isn't helped by enemies that just stand around getting shot at, which will be by you not your team-mates since their AI is just as bad.

Just one main weapon, checkpoints and only 4-5 different regular enemies (not including bosses) make this a game you won't be playing for it's gameplay. Nor will you play it for it's visuals unless you're running out of shooters.

Perhaps in this respect the very short length of around six hours is a good thing.

Rating: 6.5/10 
Fkn GTX560 
No mention of 'level design' this time :D

Turns out the constant freezing of Timeshift wasn't the game, because Blacksite did exactly the same thing. It's the old "display driver has stopped responding and has recovered" error message that happens every couple mins, something which 1000's of other have had issues with and it could be just about anything causing it. Any of you guys had this error before?

Spent a day trying to solve it then eventually took my GTX560 out (which is only a few months old) and put my old 8800GT in and the problem went away - no more crashing on those games. So I guess my card is faulty. Gonna take it back tomorrow and demand at worst, a new one, and at best something that ISN'T Nvidia. Probably the Radeon 6870 would be the equivalent. 
The 6950 Is More Of An Equivalent 
I've had a lot of luck with the Radeon cards lately, for once on the performance scale AMD and NVidia are totally evenly matched. 
Far CRy 2. 
45% through, really enjoying it. Megman is entirely correct about it's repetitiveness and Daz is entirely correct about tedious travelling across the map.

But it's still a good game...

The atmosphere is good and the graphics especially at sunrise and sunset are great. The setting is strong and quite different to other FPSs I've played. The combat is decent and well balanced. The way vehicles and stuff work is functional. I like little touches like being able to look at the map and look behind when you're driving and really fuck your driving up ;). Blowing things up is great fun too. 
The combat IS fun, I like the fires etc and the explosions feel really good, it's just there is way to much "filler" between them. There really is no reason to go and explore the world because there is really only 5 things you will find.

- Checkpoint guarded by dudes.
- Dude in a vehicle.
- Assassinate some dude mission.
- Unlock new weapons mission.
- Diamonds!

While that sounds reasonable, it feels very very predictable after a while. Every time I see another vehicle on the road, I KNOW it will attack me if I get to close, every time I approach a checkpoint I KNOW it will have a few angry dudes there. There is just no variation at all.

I think if there were friendly checkpoints or friendly vehicle drivers that would help a good deal, certainly break up the encounters better.

I do love the bolt action sniper rifle they have in there, it feels very satisfying to use! 

I think more variety in enemies / NPCs would definitely work better with the atmosphere. The "this is a covert mission so our dudes will attack you too" is a pretty lame excuse for the world being full of hostiles. Wandering into friendly bases or established conflicts would be much better. 
Far Cry 2 Is A Flawed Diamond Alright. 
But it's the flaws that make diamonds sparkle.

Sorry, that was a bit gay. But it's true. I can spend hours hapilly bouncing around Far Cry 2 in a jeep from one repetitive mission to the other. Some people find the relentlessly hostile AI tiresome and unrealistic, but I find it adds to a constant feeling of tension in the world. On top of that, I might get paralysed by malaria or have one of my weapons jam on me during a firefight, but it's oh-so-satisfying to survive something like that!

It's a game of mini-games really, but the player has to be imaginative enough to find them. I always enjoy sniping a guy from 100 yards away and then see if I can sprint after him and finish him off with the machette before he can equip his pistol. It's also pretty fun to sneak right in to the center of a large shanty town and then unleash hell to see how long you can last.

That's just the nature of sandbox games really. If you want something different around every corner you need to play something more on a rail like Biocock or Gears of Poor. 
I Disagree 
I think games like Stalker and the elder scrolls series do open world much better than fc2. Stalker in particular as you never know what your going to find around the next corner, even if you've been to an area 100 times before, the 101st time there could be a bloodsucker hiding in a mundane corner that rips your face off when you least expect it. Or a gang of stalkers fighting off a wave of mutants that you never saw happen before. It's random and unpredictable and that is what makes it work.

I guess that is the key thing that fc2 is lacking, the unpredictable and random element of it's open world. The checkpoints are always in the same place, guarded by the same npc's. Nothing ever changes. Even something as simple as enemy patrols wandering from village to village would spice it up some, as you would never be sure when or where you would encounter them. Add friendly patrols also and perhaps some sort of war for territory and it starts to get a lot more interesting!

Maybe it's a limitation of the console hardware, keeping track of all these different elements in an open world certainly isn't cheap on the hardware side I would imagine. Maybe Far cry 3 will improve things in this regard, who knows :) 
I Found Stalker A Bit "meh". 
I bought it in a Steam sale a couple of years back but I got bored after an hour and haven't touched it since. Maybe it's just one of those slow burners that you have to play for a while to get in to it, but the early weapons were unsatisfying and there wasn't a beautiful landscape to hold my attention in the meantime. I'll give it another try sometime.

As for Elder Scrolls, Morrowind is probably my all time favourite sandbox game because it does break the mould in terms of variety. Then they made Oblivion and it all felt a bit too LOTR for my tastes.

I guess the other major SandBox game to mention would be GTA, of which I had the most fun in GTA 3 because once again you had to make your own fun. These days it's all about pretend girlfriends and horribly scripted set pieces. Dull dull dull. 
It's Another Flawed Diamond :) 
Accessibility and pacing are two of the numerous faults that stalker had. It's a curious game for me as the combat when you get right down to it is fairly boring, you basicly hide behind a wall and peek out and shoot the guy looking at you. Or just run backwards while shooting wildly and hoping for the best against mutants :)

Where it scores its biggest win though is the exploration and atmosphere, and the random unscripted elements. I swear I've never been so thoroughly absorbed into a game like I am with stalker, when its dark and storming, and i'm creeping around some barren russian facility with no idea what I'm going to find around the corner. it's pure gaming gold to me :)

Not to mention that abandoned industrial buildings are like architectural pornography to me, I'm sure that helps it's case ;) But I guess not everyone feels the same way.

GTA and Just Cause 2 (I guess) go about the open world differently I think as they give you a lot of tools to play with and make your own fun, as you said. That's probably another area where far cry 2 falls short perhaps, but I guess it wasn't the focus of the game to create a playground. Starting fire's that set off chain reactions around enemy camps is always fun though :)

Makes we wonder if the strong focus on story, setting and companions in Fc2 hurt it's open world design somewhat. It's hard to give the player some fun toys to play with when your dealing with some fairy serious and current topics regarding Africa. 
Usually I'm not a fan of realism shooter and slow gameplay where you crouch around, run from cover to cover and aim with iron sights, but it Stalker I totally enjoyed it. The atmosphere and the desolate style are great. It even let me not care about the glitches.

FC2... already forgot about it. But what you say sounds about right. Good looks, but generic gameplay that fun in the beginning but gets tedious after a while. I probably posted about it somewhere in this thread. 
The first game (shadow of chernobyl) is even better if you install the oblivion lost mod. It just nicely tweaks a lot of things like the gun-handling, and fices a lot of the broken story stuff that was in the game.

I loved all three of the Stalker games. It is a game which I often think about playing over and over (though I never do) just because I am convinced that there was a lot of stuff and exploring which I didnt manage to do the first time round. 
had a mixed feeling about that one. on the one side there's fantastic atmosphere and sense of place, those abandoned industrial buildings made me want to explore them because i just enjoyed wandering thru them. and nights were very moody. but on the other hand the gameplay was not my cup of tea. combat is slow and hard, quests (apart from the main line) were boring and repetitive, so after 1/3 of the game i focused on the main quest only.
i'm sure the game has found a plenty of true fans. 
Solved my game freezing issues by turning my GTX560 clock speed from it's factory 900 to 800. Thanks Gigabyte. 
How did you do that exactly? Might solve my 460 freezing issues too. 
You Can Use 
AMD GPU Clock Tool to set graphics cards clocks. 
I used Evga Precision - it does memory, shader and fan speed as well which is handy. 
Homefront $25 On Steam 
Good? Worth $25? Yes? No? 
Team Fortress 2 
The best multiplayer hat simulator of all time, is completely free to play now on Steam. Those silly ignorant fools who have never gotten around to playing it should do so now. 
Oh And 
Could Be Called 
Teen Fortress too 
Not Really 
I thought with all kiddies who play it, especially now that it's free....
Okay, admittedly I haven't played it for ages, so no idea really. 
Re: GPU Clock Speed 
Thanks for the tips. I appears lowering it a little does solve the issues with Crysis 2. Will have to play for a bit to be sure. Anyone got some savegames so I don't have to start from the beginnging? DAZ??? I think I got as far as that research facility with the big 'aquarium window' in the hall. 

I think these are the right files, put them in C:\Users\**name**\Saved Games\Crysis2\SaveGames

Not sure what level that was so ive got savegames for all levels :) 
Got em. 
Nothing From Me, Sorry. 
i finished on for entar's terrain mapping thingy, but i just don't have any energy for another one. 
wrong thread. i was responding to neg's sm pack. 
Right Then 
So who wants to play some TF2??? 
I'm raping who's ever on my server. 
Karoshi Suicide Salaryman

Puzzle platformer with some clever puzzles, that escalate in unexpected ways. 
Just finished Duke Nukem 3D. What a fantastic diverse and fun game. I love how in pretty much each level you blow up shortcuts all throughout the map. And the subtle jokes like a pig cop standing besides a pack of donuts. The sounds and effects give a great feeling of power.

The "suck it down" lines from those flying fatties felt out of place, no other monster talked iirc. 
Or DNF? 
Didn't You Play DNF? Should Be Obvious That I Meant What I Wrote. 
Er..... No. 
Gee I Wonder 
diverse and fun game

subtle jokes
What a biggot. 
Aside From The Review Comments 
i thought it was obvious based on the facts that (1) it wasn't posted in the DNF thread and (2) he wrote 'Duke Nukem 3D' 
Also Because It's Spirit 
Have you seen him playing a newish game? 
You're my hero. Lowering the clock speed to 580 I could play Crysis 2 without any freezes. I wonder what this means - a glitch in the card, insufficient or unbalanced PSU, some incompatibility? 
I Think It Means AMD's Cards 
Are better :) 
It's always the brand one does NOT currently have. 
Lol - TBH 
Im talking rubbish. The NVidia Cards have more stable drivers, and in a lot of games they give more stable framerates. For example on Crysis my 5850 gives avg. 28-29 fps, and a GTX 460 will give 24-25 fps, but the NVidia card will only deviate by +/- 2-3 fps, whereas the Radeon card will sometimes go as low as 19, but it will go higher sometimes too, like 32-33 fps. So the NVidia card give a more stable framerate (and a more fluid gaming experience) even though it has slightly less raw power.

The Radeon 6-series and the NVidia 5-series are very close performance wise, which is maybe why NVidia have been a little over zealous with the clock speeds. 
Yeah it's weird aye... my card shouldn't be overclocked, i've never done anything with it. But on Timeshift and Blacksite it would start freezing after 10mins and Crysis in about 30secs even on medium settings. I tried tonnes of things to try and fix it that people had mentioned (of course no one mentioned clock speed) and was on the verge of taking the card back to the shop, then as a quick last resort turned the clock speed down 100 and it completely fixed everything. Crysis on very high without any problems at all. Why a card should be a complete piece of freezing shit at factory clock speed then run perfectly by lowering it 10% I don't know. They must have just had it too high, but then the temp was fine on it even at slow fan speed. My PSU is new and 700w so should be plenty.

In older games, even Far Cry, it doesn't freeze at all. But then I can get my old card an 8800GT and it's able to run Timeshift/Blacksite without any freezing when the 560 can't at factory speeds.

Oh and Crysis with max settings and natural mod looks pretty fkn sweet! Shame about the gameplay. I'll do a review in a day or 2 once i'm finished. 
Crysis (2007) Review Part 1 
Ah Crysis, my beautiful shiny brand new toy which, doesn't work very well. At it's release regarded as the best graphics in a game ever. For this review I should state the I played Crysis (for the first time) with everything set to Very High and with the Natural Mod added for that extra eye candy. So this is Crysis at it's very optimum.

Firstly I'm not sure how much of a difference the Natural Mod makes. But loading the first level without it looked good, then reloading with Natural Mod looked absolutely awful. All colour was gone, there was little contrast and it was quite hard to see. However the first level starts at night and, apparently, Natural Mod works best during day. I'm sure it does, because once the day finally shone bright ten minutes later it indeed looked fantastic.

But enough about the Natural Mod. Being that it's only been a few months since my first playthrough of FarCry, I'll be heavily comparing the two. Sure they're three years of development time apart, but Crysis could quite easily be considered FarCry2. The settings and gameplay are the same.

FarCry took outdoor design to whole new level. The island paradise setting was fantastic. But FarCry had it's flaws. The first of which was that for a game famous for it's beautiful scenery, there were far too many bland, ugly indoor levels. The outdoors levels were more memorable because there simply weren't enough. Crysis fixes this problem with only 2 out of 11 levels taking place indoors. The first of which, Core, is the inside of an alien mountain where a spanner is thrown in the works by making it zero gravity. And the indoor areas are quite huge anyway. The other is Reckoning, the final level on a ship with it's claustrophobic corridors. But at least it also has an epic battle on the deck. Ignore the brief but painful flying level Ascension and you've got 8 sprawling, unique, scenic adventures around this huge island.

Beaches, jungles, a military port, a mining complex (with just a little indoor action), snowy winter lands; it all combines to make one fantastic gaming setting. The problem is there are fewer set pieces here that in FarCry. Or fewer moments of awe. What I believe is the cause is that Crysis is much flatter than FarCry. There's not enough height to the game. In the predecessor there were moments where you'd be standing mountaintop gazing upon valleys and beaches below. The rope bridge, the hand glider, the lighthouse. Crysis just doesn't have this. Sure there's a few scenes such as Awakening, where a giant distant mountain is falling apart before your eyes. Or Assault where you're looking out across a bay to an enemy base under assault. Sure the graphics in Crysis are a big step up from FarCry, but these moments of awe, the truly memorable levels are lacking. Instead there's a lot of flat battles from village to village.

But that's only one small nitpick on a game that looks utterly amazing. This engine is capable of breathtaking scale as well as extraordinary detail on every piece of plant life.

Crytek have sensibly added quicksave to Crysis, another bad decision in FarCry. And the one thing that nearly ruined FarCry for me was the difficulty by the end of the game. Crysis isn't so bad. It does still have issues with it's final battle as it can be very frustrating when projectiles are constantly raining down on you and you can't even see where it's all coming from. But that's more an issue of a certain enemy in the game, the aliens, which I'll get into next.

Gameplay. And this is what I'm talking about when I say my shiny new toy doesn't work very well. This isn't the kind of game like Painkiller: Overdose or Timeshift where you can run through blasting those Korean bastards back to... Korea (Koreans are your human enemy in Crysis). Crysis is strategic. Typical gameplay scenario: creep around in the bushes until you get close enough to the next enemy village. Draw their attention, perhaps spray a few bullets then run like hell back to some cover and wait for said enemy to wander over. Kill a couple, then sprint further away to more cover before you're ass up in blood. Crysis human enemies take you down VERY fast, and you're usually outnumbered. It's not so much a hugely difficult game, you've just got to play very carefully and strategically. Sorry Crytek, but that just isn't that fun. And to poke a stick further into the wound, you're weapons are lackluster. The machine guns, even with zoom scope pointing directly at a Koreans head, are extremely unreliable at doing a proper headshot. No headshots in a strategy game? Bad call. 
Crysis (2007) Review Part 2 
The shotgun is decent, but not always useful since these are outdoor levels. Apart from handguns and rocket launchers saved for blowing up vehicles and 'copters, that's really all you get for fighting humans - both ridiculously bound to the same god damn key of which you can only carry two weapons at a time! You get to some cooler weapons later on such as the minigun, gauss gun (a big ass shotgun) and the infinite ammo alien weapon - but again they're all bound to the same key so you have to get rid of your fall back weapons the shotty and machine gun.

Now to the alien section of the game. I know this review is getting long, but it's an important game in the history shooters so I want to go in-depth. The Core takes you to an alien base built within the mountain and earth. It looks amazing. In fact it's the creepiest, most unique alien level I think i've ever played. Then the aliens turn up and ruin it. They look good - large floating octopus type aliens. But their attacks can be a little annoying. I do give Crytek props for changing it up though. It was a great twist to the game to give it some variety and differentiate from all the other realistic war shooters ala MOH and COD... neither of which come close the visual feast of Crysis. The snow level that came next was brilliant, and scary. However fighting octo-aliens inside a cramped battleship was not good. And the octo-alien is what i'm talking about in the last battle as I'm trying to concentrate on shooting the fat mothership while these bastard aliens just keep shooting at me and I can barely follow them in the sky since they move so fast.

Nevertheless, I'm glad the aliens did make their presence known because it did make the game more memorable; both from a storyline and gameplay perspective because another few levels of insane-strategy play against human enemies would not have won me over. Still, it's a love hate thing with the aliens for most players.

Okay so let's wrap this up. Crysis is a fantastic looking game. The Crytek engine is one of the best around, and certainly the best i've seen at doing outdoor scenery. There are players around who think this games' graphics are overrated. But for 2007, at least with everything maxed out, Crysis looks at the top of it's game. It's a shame that, just like FarCry, the gameplay isn't as polished. Inaccurate weapons and weapons limits, tough enemies and average aliens combine to make this a game that you won't be playing for it's gameplay. No, this is a game for the players that eat up beautiful environments and graphics. At least for a while because Crysis is quite a short game. I'm one of those players, so for me Crysis is a great game.

Rating: 8.5/10 
Absolutely wrong. Gameplay is the highlight of Crysis.

You don't have to play it sneaky; this is just the first impression that you get. Once you get more used to the game, and to the suit powers, you can go all out and absolutely annihilate enemies. You can fight groups of aliens out in the open with a shotgun. You can mow down an entire group with a vehicle mounted MG. You can cloak in the middle of your enemies. This is something that only comes with time though.

The assault rifles aren't inaccurate at all; you just have to go prone and/or use strength mode. Did you try the sleep darts?

The aliens are awesome IMO, as are the scenes where you have to defend some point against a horde of them. Intense stuff.

You can't play this like Quake, but it is one hell of a great shooter game.

Rest assured though that my first impression was the same as yours; I thought it was a stealth game because I found myself using the cloak mode so much. But it really isn't that kind of game.

I agree about the 3D-ness of Far Cry and that it's lacking in Crysis. It is pretty flat, true.

Give it a replay in a couple months. 
The main power I used with the suit was speed. Didn't find the rest anywhere near as useful. The shield was okay but you end up too damn slow. The invisibility thing I actually didn't use all that much. Maybe 5 times the whole time. Speed was awesome though. I didn't use strength much as I figured it only related to fist fights not weapons. Or does it actually make all weapons more powerful? That's cool if it does!

I didn't go prone much either, but i'll try that more if it makes the weapons more accurate. I didn't find them accurate otherwise, I don't know many times I repeatedly shot cunts in the head only to find them still standing. I eventually ditched the submachine gun to return to the FY-71 because the recoil was so bad.

But anyway I've got all the custom maps and mods to play through next, so I'll get more used to it. Playing Crysis through once isn't really enough to know everything about the gameplay - it's a pretty short game. 
Wow almost all 6 pages of Crysis mods on are dead.

Any good Crysis single players maps or mods out there to play? 
Crysis Maps 
I'd recommened checking out for such stuff, but their downloads section is no longer up right now (updating) Might be worth browsing the forums.

If you like adventure/puzzle, The Call of the Fireflies mod isn't bad. Wrote a review for it here. The Worry of Newport is another, Moddb 
Crysis 2 
I found Crysis 2 had refined a lot of the gameplay stuff, they made the suit-powers easier to maximise their use aswell. And I installed the DirectX11 patch and Hires texture patch (both official patches) yesterday, and there are still crusty stains in my pants. Like W0W!

So have either of you guys played Crysis Warhead yet? I find Warhead to be better than Crysis because of better graphics and more intense battles. And Psycho is a little more charsimatic than Nomad. 
Far Cry - excellent
Crysis - more excellent
Crysis Warhead - installed but not started
Crysis 2 - waiting for price to come down 
On A Related Note 
The crysis 2 sandbox editor is being released today, which is why is down for maintenance I think.

Crisis In My Crysis 
I enjoyed Warhead but it did feel like a much more "standard" fps, it lacked a lot of the grandeur and open feel of Crysis. A few of the levels felt downright linear in my opinion, and some of the turret sections were tedious. It doe's have some great moments though, the frozen sea area was very cool.

I'm on my 5th (!) playthrough of Crysis 2 now that the dx11 stuff is out, this game is like crack, it's so fucking good! 
Cryengine 3 Sandbox

The site is getting hammered so just use that link :) 
I replayed this per Spirit's recommendation. Last time was 15 years ago and I didn't really like it then. This time around I totally enjoyed it, however, and agree with his verdict.

The levels are not very large, but there's lots of potential for exploration and nonlinear progression. Often the way to proceed is not immediately clear, but then you find a way by blowing up a wall or using the jetpack. This was probably all intented but it made me feel smart.
Most of the levels have an insane number of secrets, both marked (=with message/stats, sometimes up to 10) and unmarked, and the way you can create shortcuts and make the map more interconnected by blowing stuff up is pretty cool. Apparently there's TNT in the flame extinguishers.

I now see how this game allows for lots of excellent custom maps. 
I now see how this game allows for lots of excellent custom maps

The best thing about mapping for Duke3D though is the varied and diverse texture set, and the insane number of ways in which you can use them, then throw in some palette changes and spritework. Best vanilla assets I've worked with so far. 
and on top of that, building basic areas is simple like doom. just trace some lines out and boom you've got all kinds of shaped rooms and corridors. 
Including ones that break the laws of physics. Or at least utilise more dimensions than the usual 3. 
New Rage Video 
Steam Summer Sale starts today.

Thanks For The Heads Up 
Though as usual the Euro prices/discounts are unfair compared to the other currencies and for Germans many games are unavailable.

I'd love to get the id Super Pack this time. And I'm so going to approach someone of you for another 'gift' deal... ;) 
Am excited, will buy. 
I'll step aboard this bandwagon! ;) 
Torchlight 2 
And also the commentator guy looks remarkably like czg.

czg are you him??? 
So If I Get Oblivion 
how many hours down the drain am I looking at? 
Several hundred maybe? Depends on if you actually beat it and explore.You can beat the main quest pretty easily, but everything else is going to take you quite a while. 
I've been wondering the same thing nitin. I don't want to play it if it's 200 hours - I get sick of a game after 10 hours normally. 
This game is a lot of fun exploring. There's a ton of stuff to do. It's not like the same thing for 20 hours - there really is a huge variety of things to do in the game. 
Floating ! on people's heads :( 
it really depends on what kind of gamer you are. if you stick to the main quest, i think it's over in a few hours. 10 maybe? if you do a few side quests, it can stretch to 15-20ish.
it's only if you start downloading mods and really exploring the entire map that you start to look at 50-100+ hours.
otoh, some of the best moments in the game for me was while exploring. sometimes without even a quest as a goal. just bought the fastest horse and started in a direction. :P
also, there's this great zombie mod that simulates a zombie apocalypse, complete with towns slowly becoming infected and spreading to other towns. the cool thing is that no matter what happens, you can just reset the mod and have everything back to normal when you get bored of it, without loosing your game. 
I think I'll play it causally and if I like it, we will see :)

Am I correct in remembering a couple of recommended mods? 
necros, I played it 100 hours without any mods (except for a few UI enhancements), I must be weird. :) 
By The Way... 
Can't wait for Skyrim! 
You ARE Weird. 
So is Kinn. But yes, a game like Oblivion takes time, especially if you explore every inch of. This is weird, because there are many duplicate areas (dungeons, caverns, Oblivion realms) that become boring to visit after a while.

An excellent and highly recommendable mod that was posted here some time ago is Nehrim.

I haven't followed Skyrim or watched any trailers, but I'm up for it too. Also, Risen 2 is due at the end of the year. 
Nehrim was nice, and I'm really looking forward to Risen 2, yar! Especially after the disappointment that was Gothic 4. 
Apparently This Happened

I think I will be purchasing Crysis 2 if it goes on sale ... 
Sandbox 3 
I've been messing with it and its very very similar to sandbox2 for the first crysis.

A nice thing Crytek did is include the maps for most (if not all) the single player, so you can see how they made it. Very handy! 
Stand alone version is still supposed to come out in August. 
Canadian McGee's Alice 
Out of extreme boredom I'm replaying this, as my copy of Madness Returns hasn't arrived yet. The levels are pretty crude, the Q3 engine obviously wasn't used to its fullest potential. Then again, okay 11 years ago and target specs... The chess castle levels, however, are awesome. Love the theme/style. I so hope I'll get to do my ever-imagined b/w abstract map some time... 
Fear 2 & Reborn DLC 
Finally got around to playing this and I enjoyed them immensely. Game generally 'feels' so right and smooth both visually and with combat, just like it did during Singularity for me. The mech sections were neat and I loved how you're not exactly forced to use it. One hatred I have for games is forced vehicle and turret sections. Unfortunately, this has a couple of turret segments, but they're very spread out. What makes these annoying (on Hard) is the inability to defend yourself other than being quick, kinda gets old repeating this segment several times just to get through it. I'd prefer them to be optional. As for the levels, I adored the first location with all the modern architecture and design going on. There tends to be a lot of underground stuff, ruined cities areas and levels which drag out a specific theme for some time - but I didn't exactly get bored either. The DLC isn't too bad, more of the same in a few different locations and also remained a good romp.

Now I'm tempted to grab Fear 3. 
I thought Alice was Q2-based. 
Based on the fakk heavy metal engine. 
Is the FAKK engine anything like the Q3 engine? 
The FAKK engine IS the Q3 engine. 
fakk is q3 but also has extra stuff, i think for model animation. i think it used md4 skeletal animation that was present in q3a, but not used. 
Speaking of q3 engined games, did anyone ever buy the full version of Dark Salvation?

I remember the demo being shit, but it might be an ok game. 
Looks Like It's Free 
wow it is too. 6 months ago they were still charging for the digital version. guess no one was buying it. looks like i'll play it at some stage then :) 
Dark Salvation 
Downloaded it and found the first level is the same as the old demo, which was too hard to finish. You need to bunnyhop to get through the first door in time, then in the next room a misplaced jump send you back to the start of the level because there's no quicksave or autosave, and back to the fucked up bunnyhop room. Both rooms of which looked like utter shit. I'd have thought they would have fixed this after the demo.

I wonder if anyone on earth has actually completed this game, apart from the guys who made it.

Just played Call of the Fireflies for Crysis which had cool puzzles. Proper puzzles like those = good. Bunnyhopping onto platforms = shit.

If the first level is this bad, and the intro was the worst i've ever seen, then this is probably the shittiest FPS ever made. Despite the cool gothic look. 
My Thoughts Exactly- 
Gameplay is seriously problematic. Not worth the time. 
if there was a save, it sounds like it would have been at least decent... 
Hopefully another nice full mod in the vein of Nehrim :
Hopefully for them (and me :D) they can release it before Skyrim. 
Oh nice there will be an English version!! Not only do I need to play Nehrim but I also need to FINISH Oblivion, and also play through Morrowind. 
That looks nice! And I haven't even got around to Nehrim yet which I've been planning to. Brings back the feeling of Morrowind to Oblivion, especially with the Dwemer ruins. I should reinstall Oblivion ASAP. Keeping my eyes on this. 
Where Is 
the best place to dl Q2SP maps? Like Spogsp, for example. 
and also play through Morrowind.

even to this day, i still have better memories of morrowind than oblivion. 
Drew, I'd visit

Can't think of anywhere else that still lists Q2.

Or even try my site on this page:

This has a list of most Q2SP maps worth playing, but the links could be outdated now. 
Need Working Links 
not on my real comp now but pretty sure the 104 ones are non funcitonal? 
use 10-4 for reiews, this might help for downloads. 
For Example 
spogsp1 is in the spog directory. 
I downloaded R1Q2 because the regular engine does not work on windows 7, apparently. It seems that it's sp only though. Am I wrong there? Any reccomendations for alternative engines? What is the fitzquake of Q2?

And for that matter, what is the fitz of Hexen 2? 
R1Q2 sourceport has sp, I'm just a dink I guess. 
Try Hammer of Thyrion for Hexen II, it's near-perfect. 
New Rage Video..thing

Lots of new footage, especially of environments. I'm getting quite excited now :) Some of those areas looks drop dead gorgeous 
Yeah I saw that, October can't come soon enough. But I'm sure I won't have beaten the SHIT FUCK TON of games I need to play atm, but Rage really is on my top 5 list right now. Only a month before Skyrim... 
Rage Vid 
looks awesome. i like the rocks 
Installed The Files For Hammer Of Thyrion, 
but, like the vanilla variant, it is not working with vista... probably just my computer skills again.
anyone know if you can make steam automatically launch a sourceport instead of vanilla? It's much nicer than having a desktop brimming with icons. 
Steam -> library -> add game (bottom corner) -> add non steam game 
Planetside 2 
Dunno, doesn't look all that exciting and I didn't play Planetside 1. =/ 
I'm probably thinking back to Planetside with the rose tinted spectacles of +4 nostalgia ;)

But it was really quite something back in the day, like battlefield only with hundreds per side. If SOE don't balls up this sequel it could be something quite special! 
Just Bought 
Darksiders. Looks like fun. 
Also Picked Up Entire 
Stalker series.

Now to find the time... 
They Are! 
I would recommend an xbox pad for darksiders however, the combat feels a lot better when using a pad to control it (one of the few games I feel comfortable saying that about!).

To be fair I only used the kb controls for a few minutes so maybe they are not so bad :)

Have fun with stalker :), SOC is awesome, clear sky not so much, and COP is awesome also. I think the first one is my favourite, so many good moments I remember having, one of the most atmospheric games I have ever played. 
Yeah so Planetside 2 seems to be a direct remake of Planetside with some new mechanics to fix broken things from the first one like generated missions. 
Bioshock Infinite 
Looks like it might be a diversion from the general meh-ness of games/first person shooters:

While I'm not a 100% sold on the art style it still seems a lot more interesting than all the generic stuff being pumped out.

(oh, and that rage stuff looked pretty nice too) 
yeah I have a gamepad I've been meaning to try but havent yet found a game I preferred it on. Will give it a go. 
Cold Stream (Beta) 
Just played through the Cold Stream beta campaign in l4d2, and it was pretty damn good for the most part. HDR was very nice in some spots. The last level was kinda bleh, mostly because the bots weren't doing much, the nav mesh probably isn't done or something.

There should be a l4d icon. 
So Why Do All The Stalkers 
run like dogs??

The gfx look good but not that good compared to other games which run fine. 
Alpha Protocol 
It's been out for a while, but I'm finally getting around to playing this, and it's really pretty fantastic, and I'm sad that it got shitty enough reviews that it looks like there's not going to be a sequel.

You're "the new guy" at the titular ultra-secret government agency, and you're first sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate stolen missiles, and then, when that's resolved, sort of, you have three safehouses in Taipei, Rome, and Moscow from which you can take a number of missions in any order you wish as you progress through the game, level up skills, and try to get to the truth behind a fairly complex plot and and broad cast of trustworthy (or not-so) individuals.

Good stuff:

-various ways to approach gameplay, depending on your specializations. Great feeling of progression as you increase your skills.

-various plot twists and aspects of the game that you may or may not ever even see with one playthrough, depending on the choices you make.

-very good VO (for games anyway), and an interesting dialogue system wherein you select the general "tone" of your response and see how it plays out.

-combat is fun and generally pretty forgiving, if not groundbreaking.

-the levels look good (UE3).

Not-So-Good Stuff:

-pretty iffy UI; you can tell this was made for a console first. (Which actually makes a few of the mini-games significantly easier on PC). Speaking of poor conversions...

-quite poor job of handling keybindings and suchlike, to the point where if a key does multiple things, it will sometimes only rebind *some* of those things, and you have to figure out what proper (default) key to use on others. There's even one tutorial where you are specifically told what (WRONG) keys to use. I had to go look up online what the right ones were. :( If you're going to play on PC, be prepared to get really pissed at the hacking minigame until you figure out wtf.

Highly recommended. I haven't finished it yet, but I probably will today/tonight. 
finally got l4d and l4d2. playing through, SP style since everyone else out there has beaten it a billion times and is on to difficult mode by now, I'm sure. only two campaigns in, but I think I'm fully addicted.So far I've completely avoided all witches because I'm absolutely terrified of what dealing with them might entail. no spoilers please - just sayin.

The only thing is that the bots seem a little too good at times for me. And NEVER use explosives, ever. 
Pikced Up Borderlands 
and the two latest PoP games too. I'm now officially a games hoarder! 
lol amateur 
i liked borderlands. :) i didn't bother with all those addons, but the main game is quite fun. 
I grabbed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. off the bargain rack on a whim. So far I'm somewhat under impressed, I got the idea that everybody hyped this game so much, but it really isn't very interesting.

The atmosphere is sort of nice, but right now bandits are respawning all over the map, faster than I can loot their corpses, and I just run out of ammo. Apparently it's not possible to "clear out" a level, which diminishes the feeling of achievement. I don't like the bleeding/bandage crap either. Nor the fact that you have to eat in this game. Clicking on a sausage is neither very fun nor very engrossing. And having to use the inventory screen to equip another weapon is just horrible (say you're under fire and run out of ammo, do you want to fuss around with the inventory while they take pot shots at you?). Same for the carrying limit and the fact you simply cannot move when you're burdened. How are you gonna move the loot to the trader when you can't carry it?

I also forget to save, and in this game you have to save all the time. Can't stand shooters without checkpoints anymore, all the manual saving breaks the immersion for me.

NPCs are faceless and forgettable. So are most of the "quests". You help an NPC by giving him a medpack, he becomes your friend, and a minute later he lets himself be killed by bandits (NPC AI is pretty bad, the stalkers just sit there and let themselves be shot).

The radioactivity feels like a gimmick. Hey, you have to drink vodka to cross the next 5 meters of the map! OK...

Some gaudy items in the game as well, just like in RE4. Dog's tail? All right... it tells me that some of those things can be used to create anti-radiation medicine, but I apparently can't do that myself. Or at least I haven't found out how. Just atmosphere?

The overall production value seems to be on an indie developer level. The weapon animations suck. The UI is seriously flawed (the inventory, argh...) The NPC dialogues are largely uninteresting. "Flawed brilliance"? Maybe... it's hard to trace the brilliance, though. Somewhat reminescent of Mount & Blade in that respect, only M&B was less flawed and more brilliant.

I might continue to dabble in it, but I'll also be honest and say I found even Bioshock more entertaining, despite its entire gimmicky linear art-deco adventure-ness. 

I enjoyed vanilla STALKER, but there are problems. I mean the game isn't Quake or Painkiller. It's gritty, realistic and unforgiving. BUT it get's irritating.

Install Oblivion Lost Mod! Just try it, it's great. It 'fixes' STALKER. 
That Version ^^ 
Was chuggy on my Radeon card, because of the ridiculously hi-res textures. This version might be better:;93039 
There Is A Huge Debate 
That publishers shouldn't release games in an un-finished state, I know this. I was really annoyed when Stalker Clear Sky came out because it was full of CTDs and even BSODs and was aloms unplayable.
But the Oblivion Lost mod is nonetheless good :) 
I feel Stalker is one of those kind of games, if you can't get immersed in the world then you probably won\t enjoy it nearly as much. I love the game (vanilla) and a while back replayed some with the Oblivion Lost mod. Very atmospheric and tense. The feeling of hiding out in an abandoned complex during night or a blowout, then suddenly I can hear a creature or bandits taking shelter. Whether or not I should fight. Managing my ammo, food and other supplies. Or even hanging out by the fire with other NPCs while one plays his guitar, and minutes later we all get attacked and fighting alongside them. It honestly all felt like a big survival adventure where everything is out to get me. It's that kind of game I can immerse myself and just play it how I see fit. And because its unpredictable what happens and how many places change, it's worth going back for other loot and possibly getting mauled by a Bloodsucker since these places are never always left empty.

I have yet to play CS and CoP though. 
All This Stalker Talk 
and no one answered my question :)

Is it just my system or does this game (in all its iterations) run like balls? 
Stalker is a wierd one. I played it first time back on a (burning out) Radeon 9800 and ran perfectly fine. Upon upgrading my card, it ran like garbage and crashed everytime I stepped outdoors at the start. It wasn't until I got an extra gig of ram would it run well again. So I couldn't really say, perhaps the latter... 
Nitin - What Is Your Spec? 
STALKER Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat will run slow if you set all or even most of the graphics options to maximum. Clear Sky was one of the first DX10.1 (one of the only infact) games, and CoP was one of the first DX11 games. But IIRC all of the games will downscal to a DirectX 8 level. So try lowering some settings.

And what are your specs? 
I'll try that mod. 
you're trying to force the game into patterns (quake, diablo, etc.) you know. You won't have any fun that way.

Also stalker is a game that needs to be explored (e.g. dog feet). 
it's not super fast like source, for example, but source is a lot simpler engine.

on a 1.8ghz cpu + nvidia gts250 it runs great, but obviously that's overkill for what the game SHOULD run at.

that said, when i first played it with recommended specs, it ran fairly poorly and i had to set it to basically run in dx8 mode.

it's still one of my all time favourite games. the atmosphere and feelings it invokes are good enough that i can pardon the miserable ai, stupid voice acting, retarded excuses for quests and occasional crashes.

playing morrowind again actually, and i've found the lack of any voice acting does not bother me one bit. 
Haven't tried Stalker, but the discussion is reminding me of Thief 3. I forgave the dodgy game structure, small levels and buggy feel for the fantastic atmosphere, which I very rarely do Assassin's Creed is an example where the gameplay just pissed me off too much. Really tried to like that sucker but no. Perhaps it's better on the PC... 
is it weird that makes me want to play oblivion again? :P

i'll have to sort of nehrim's installation because it seems to interfere with oblivion... 
Hah, that looks like an awesome mod, I'll resist reinstalling Oblivion to try it though.

Kind of reminds me of Recettear, a jap style RPG where you manage an item shop selling items to adventurers 
AMD Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 GHz with 4gb ram and gtx 465.

Not super fast but can play most games at 1920*1080 at max settings including Crysis. What settings in particular should I turn down? 
All the stalker games generally don't run as well as you might expect from your pc, I guess some things about the engine are a little rough around the edges :)

In Clear Sky and COP they have an option to enable SSAO, turn that off and you've instantly saved yourself about 10-15fps for an almost unnoticeable visual quality loss.

After that, the 2nd most draining thing is the fully dynamic lighting, though it's a real shame to turn this off as it provides so much atmosphere (lightning w000000). Iirc there is a "dynamic lighting distance" slider so try messing with that instead.

Give this a read too

COP uses the same graphics technology as ClearSky so this should apply to that game also, apart from the new dx11 stuff in COP ofc :) 

just fyi :) The visual difference is not noticeable in gameplay and it can really kill fps especially on older cards. 
New Rage Vid 
Chubbies on all of my penises. 
wait what? rage is coming out this year? I assumed it would come out in some indeterminate future... maybe i need a new PC. 
I thought it was out October 4th, 2011, but the date on the video was October 7th, 2011. Either way, yeah, it's coming out roughly a month before Skyrim. 
Rage is looking more like a corridor shooter in that video. Where's the wow factor?

If Tim's favourite weapon is a boomerang style blade, that's not saying much for the other weapons. 
its not saying much about Tim. 
Resident Evil 4 (PC Version...) 
Went back to another of my forever-unfinished games.

This time I knew what to expect, so used a gamepad from the start (no mouse support Capcom?!). Still, my PSX-style controller doesn't support all functions of the original gamecube one. Oh well. No analog support either.

Anyway, on to the actual game. I remember being underimpressed with this when I first played it (probably due to the PC port issues and the slightly crappy combat controls). However, after reading some FAQs I can make better use of the game's combat system now (like leg shots and kicking). It's actually enjoyable after all.

Combat and enemy design are the highlights. Good "gun feeling". Aiming is still too slow and cumbersome - Leon takes ages to turn left and right. I feel that as far as 3rd person combat is concerned, the latest Tomb Raider games offer a lot better aiming and shooting while moving (impossible in RE4). However, RE has the edge in enemy design and the locational damage system.

It's debateable if locational damage really adds much to a 3rd person game with sucky aiming, though.

Inventory is OK since it actually pauses the game and the overall number of items in the game is thankfully limited. Matter of practice. UI is also OK.

The quicktime events are really, really crappy, especially in the PC version. It's sometimes unclear which buttons are which.

The whole escort type gameplay is well done; interaction with the escorted character is well thought out. She is pretty annoying, though; her excessive screaming "Heeeeelp!" is reminescent of Jen from Prey, another damsel in distress that I found highly annoying. The sequence where you control the weaponless Ashley was just superfluous in my opinion (let's not talk about the slider puzzle - that was horrible). Who wants to control a defenseless 15 year old girl in a game that is otherwise about brutal combat? Every time she got abducted, I welcomed it because it let me concentrate on combat. At least once she was out of hearing distance. There are not many sounds more irritating than a woman's high-pitched screams for "heeeelp". Don't they realize that it really doesn't help?

The game looks, in part, shitty on PC (low-res textures and UI, very ugly and generally almost non-existant menu system). Overall the atmosphere and especially the enemy design mostly makes up for it though. A slightly "meh" experience, but the gameplay and storytelling keeps it together.

The environment design was enjoyable in the village part. Unfortunately, the castle that I've almost finished was mostly a linear corridor shooter with pillared walls and flat floors and ceilings. Almost simplistic. The hedge labyrinth that you're supposedly "never leaving alive" is ridiculously simple. Admittedly, labyrinths usually aren't good for gameplay. The sewer with the insect creatures was surprisingly short. The castle also really suffers from low-res textures and cookie-cutter corridor design.

The NPCs are pretty good in this game, even Ashley (apart from the "Heeeelp, Leon!" part). I look forward to playing Ada (and killing Saddler).

Let's hope it gets better again. 
U.S. House Of Representatives 
The NPCs are pretty good in this game, even Ashley (apart from the "Heeeelp, Leon!" part). I look forward to playing Ada (and killing Saddler). 
Soon there will be a Quake Injector(tm) like tool for Source maps (mostly HL and HL2 I presume) from 
This makes me wonder if and how well the Injector works with a Steam installation of Quake. Can anybody share that information? 
they don't even mention injector :( 
@MegaMan, That's because I didn't know about Injector until after I started working on the MapTap idea. 
/me Slaps Megaman 
The idea really is nothing special or unique at all. ;)

I wish more games had tools like this, especially Doom. 
I'm sure some maps are not Half-Life enough. 
The steam installation of Quake is literally the same as any other installation, it's just in steam's directory (on windows, C:\Program Files\ Steam\ steamapps\ common\ quake\) rather than wherever else one might put it. I don't use Quake injector (sorry), but I would assume as long as the end user specifies the directory Quake is in in Quake injector, there wouldn't be any problem. 
Nice, Thanks Scamps! 
Well, Black Mesa Source surely is. :-)

By the way, I have not seen any input from you on my question about mod categories. Why not do something useful instead of whining? 
Nice, Thanks Scamps! 
Well, Black Mesa Source surely is. :-)

By the way, I have not seen any input from you on my question about mod categories. Why not do something useful instead of whining? 
Agree About Doom 
Gap Monsters... 
Flash puzzle games that plays with the figure/ground ambiguity. 
That's really mind bending. Also, the music is terribly addictive. 
There went a couple of hours.

I got to the end with four skips left (having used one).

Pretty cool. 
Soldier Of Fortune: Payback (2007) 
The third Soldier of Fortune game was developed by Cauldron, instead of Raven Software who did the previous two. The original 2000 game was great; a purely fun action-packed shooter. The sequel in 2002 was still a good game, though not quite as good as the first. So why hand the game over to Cauldron? Well the surprise sleeper Chaser from 2003 was a good, long game developed by Cauldron using their own engine. This same engine is used in Payback, a game released four years after Chaser, so they must have made some hefty upgrades to the engine.

Ironically, that's the only redeeming factor for Payback - the fact that the game doesn't look too bad. The engine has all the usual bells and whistles you'd expect to 'pretty' it up. Of course, what game post-2007 doesn't at least have decent looking graphics. There's actually only 14 levels in this game, most of which aren't even big. You could probably rush through the entire game in a couple hours. For me it would have been about five hours game time, which is very poor. However each level is a new setting, from jungle and cliff settings, farming villages, middle eastern outposts, even a hotel brothel before finishing in an awfully designed car parking garage and nightclub. Some levels look poor, but others are fairly well polished. In particular the outdoor jungle levels. Unfortunately, the game doesn't hold a bean to Crysis, released the same month. Their outdoor capabilities and size, level of detail and realism are not even comparable. Payback doesn't look bad at all, but it's only average for 2007.

And that's the highlight. The low point of Payback is just about everything else. Poor checkpoints with no quicksave, jumpy controls and unrealistic movement, especially when firing weapons. Inconsistent difficulty where often you'll breeze through a level, only for some enemy to suddenly take a potshot from out of nowhere and drop you instantly without any chance of survival. There were a few times when I had to take on the same enemy several times over because he'd blow my head off within a micro-second of eye contact.

The boss fights, which are all too common, are simply the same enemy you face throughout the entire game just with insane amounts of health added on. The standard fare enemy are all the same, just with a different weapon and model. They unrealistically drop dead with a mere fraction of bullet spray in their general direction. Their heads pop like balloons and limbs just fall over the floor. There's no sense of power or enjoyment when your weakest gun unrealistically mows through an opponent like that. Blowing off limbs used to be fun, back Payback has lost that somehow. Then you get the sniper scope weapons which only hit enemies 50% of the time. The rest the bullet just vanishes and misses it's target, despite pointing clearly at the enemies eyeball.

The biggest problem with Payback was the insane bug where enemies are invisible to bullets. Yes, the bullets just go straight through them as if they're not there. This happens with probably 15% of the enemies in this game... by the time you realise it's another invincible enemy you're dead and replaying from the last checkpoint. This time in god mode or you have no chance of moving forward. It quite often happens with enemies that are on higher ground to you. But it's a ridiculous bug that ruins the already bad gameplay.

Overall okay visuals for 2007 but the levels are small, extremely linear with clipping all around you. The screenshots make the game look better than it actually is. Then again, it's hard to judge any games' visuals as that great after you play Crysis.

The gameplay is easy for most of the game until you get hit by a pot shot, but the invincible enemies bug ruins this one. Not really worth the playtime or money, but at least it doesn't go for too long.

Rating: 5.0/10 
Still Half The Pints? 
Hard Reset

Could be interesting, the developer says they are going after a "doom, quake, painkiller" style shooter. 
Could Be Interesting 
could be cool i guess? not much to see in those half second clips in between the bleeding guy.

since the trend these days is to remake old games, i really wouldn't mind seeing a straight up simple shooter but i don't know if i would really enjoy more painkiller gameplay as even that was worse than doom slaughter maps. so yeah, more doom/quake, less painkiller.

otoh, if they mean they're making the maps LOOK like painkiller, than i'm totally behind that! 
Hard Reset is a futuristic first-person shooter that isn�t afraid to buck the trends of its modern-day counterparts. This PC exclusive harks back to a time when exploration was necessary and regenerating health was a luxury.

I think I just understood where the name "Hard Reset" comes from... 
If it actually allows you to avoid damage via fast movement and has level design beyond Serious Sam's basic arenas or PK's corridors then it could be interesting.

Without that it doesn't have the essence of old iD shooters. Wait for demo I guess :) 
I'm keeping my eyes on this if what they say is true. 
Hard Reset 
looks cool, though i'm not a huge fan of futuristic sci-fi with disco lights everywhere. 
Yeah, i'm waiting to hear what people say about it before I dive in on that one, I heard from a few sources that it's quite buggy atm (sadface) but that patches are incoming.

Did anyone pick this up? Thoughts? :D 
Hard Penis. 
Needs more screenshake and flashing lights. I can just about see what is going on in a couple of frames. 
Looks like a combination of the blandest bits of Deus Ex Human Consolisation and Bulletshitstorm, remade in a modded HL1 engine. 
Demo should be incoming soon, will wait for that first, looks pretty weirdo otherwise... Shambler describes it well. :D 
My Thoughts Exactly 
fuck off world of goo

Haha... it gets pretty infuriating, but when you beat the fucker it's ok again. I'm up to the epilogue trying to build an f-ing impossible bridge. Game's got lots of style. 
Quakecon 2011 Steam Pack 

Too bad I already own ... nearly everything in that pack. 
hehe yeah, but that reminds me... has any one tried brink out? as it as good as it seemed way back when it was previewed? 
Seemed very underwhelming at work, all the talk I've heard seems to echo that. 
wow, that's disappointing. :( hype videos and such looked like a lot of fun. 
New Rage Trailer 
i wonder... will this actually be a proper game from id this time? trailers seem to indicate it's more than just a tech demo this time!

between this and skyrim, Q4 is gonna be packed! 
I Hope I Can Quick Scope In Rage 
Call Of Cthulu 
any good? 
But buggy as fuck. It's a rushed console port.

The game itself is very good, lots of atmosphere and generally cool stuff going on, for a fan of Lovecraft.

One particular bug is when you're running away from (something) and depending on your graphics settings, you running speed may be 50% of the normal - resulting in death on every attempt.

Over bugs come in the form of AI glitches when sneaking through innsmouth - even though that sequence in itself is great.

Not quite better than Amnesia or Eternal Darkness, but worth a look. 
The Stanley Parable

A HL2 mod, interesting experiment, worth giving a try. Not reading anything about it before playing helps appreciate it I'm sure, so don't. 
will check out the hl2 mod later!

in the meanwhile.. it only took about 6x as much ram as the minimum requirements ask for and many many community patch interations, but gothic3 runs perfectly at highest settings on 6gb ram + nvidia gts250 1gb.
maybe i can finally beat this damn game. i've had it lying around collecting dust for years, because i've never been able to actually run the damn thing. -_- 
Playing Crysis On Full 
at 1920*1080 with 16xAA and 16xFSAA. Bloody hell this looks amazing!!

And so far its tremendous fun too. Could easily be one of the best games ever if it keeps up. 
Yeah I've been playing a lot of Crysis mods and maps lately, working my way through them all, and there's some really good ones. In some ways a lot of them have better gameplay that the actual game. Either that or I'm just getting used to it more.

Re Call of Cthulhu - read my review drew. On my website or in the archives of this thread. 
Any recommendations for maps? 
Is badass. The way the suit allows you to play is totally cool. 
I Just Think 
the way it lets you switch between stealth and action modes, without forcing it on you and leaving it completely in your hands, is very very cool. 
Crysis is cool, the warhead standalone expansion is pretty badass also. Though it doe's feature some annoying turret sections. Worth sticking with it though.

Crysis 2 did the suit powers much better imo, so much easier to use and you can do things like use stealth and speed at the same time, though it drains your energy much faster as a trade-off. I never really understood the complaint that C2 dumbed down the suit powers, if anything they are better than ever and each mode is always useful in every situation. 
Dead Island Win? 
Digital Download Win? 
no crap included. 
Lol Dead Island Fo Sho Mo Fo 
Crysis For Quakis 
i'm only about 1/3 through the ones i downloaded (about 4gb worth).

try these ones, the brackets are rating out of 5. 4 and above is definitely worth playing, 3.5 is so-so. you'll have to look on filefront or moddb for them though.

theharbour [4]
fcfort [4.5] (can't destroy AAA guns at end?)
crysissingleplayerpanama [3.5] (no ending)
coldmountain [4]
2011_04_29_Oasis [3.5-4]
CallOfTheFireflies_v2 [4]
2011_05_21_Uncharted_SC [3.5] (got majorly lost)
vulcanassaultv2 [3.5] 
Why Is 3.5 So-so? 
3.5 should be very good IMHO. 
i guess it depends on if you define 1 as utter crap or 1 as average. :P 
1 should be crap, 2 below average, 3 good, 4 excellent and 5 amazing. 0.5 increments to add further adjectives :) 
I quite like reviews that don't bother with some score at all but just give it in words. It's not hard to say 'crap'. :p

A rating is good to get an overall average opinion, but anything more than the five star system is pretty meaningless. 
Yeah Maybe My Ratings Are A Bit Flawed 
I rate 2.5 as average. So anything below that is deleted.

5 = amazing
4 and 4.5 = great, definitely worth keeping.
3.5 = just good. playable just the once unless you're really bored, or at had a flaw which prevented it from getting a 4 (ie no ending or getting lost).
2.5 to 3 = average so it's debatable whether you'd play a level on that score. not worth keeping.
2 = crap. not worth finishing.
1 = utter crap. rare, i've never rated anything that low because i'm not silly enough to download it in the first place, let alone keep it. 
agree but if you have ratings, they should mean something. Part of the problem with most commercial game reviews, I dont think I've seen anything scored less than 80!

kona, yeah I thought thats what you meant but describing 3.5 as so-so gives the impression that its not really worth bothering with.

anyway, enough semantics from me. 
The new Deux Ex will have in-game advertising. Deux Ex. In-game advertising. Oh dear. 
Dino Run Multiplayer 
how do u become a moderator im desptrate for the colours thx:) 
Frozen Synapse Demo

I'm totally hooked :D Will definitely pick this up! 
Gift me your 2nd copy? :) 

Valve's CoD? Based on this report, it sounds like it will give CoD/BF3 a run for their money. 
A really good RTS at the moment. Hopefully without too many tech requirements.

Got DOW2 and can run that on min spec. 
...bought The Witcher instead. 
Starcraft 2? 
Age of Empires Online comes out on the 16th - free to play with some caveats. Micro transactions to unlock some restricted civ gear, certain gameplay modes, etc etc, but at least it's free to try out.

Age of Empires is one of the best RTS brands out there, btw. Not as pro-gamery as SC or SC2, but still a very solid RTS. 
I Like The Witcher. 
got the EE version a week ago off GoG for 10$. 
I've heard StarCraft 2 is quite good...

Can run it on a cheap laptop on min settings with no problems. 
Far Cry 2. 
Finished it. Ending was pretty good especially since I managed to jump out of the penultimate "boss" "arena" and not fight any of the mercs.

Good game overall. Graphics setting atmosphere gameplay mechanics and all the extras all very good. Let down by being too repetitive, too long travelling across map, and too few friendly npcs outside towns. If it was tightened up it could have been a classic.

Next on the list: Dead Space 2, Crysis Warhead, Bulletstorm.

Next to buy: Crysis 2, Alice 2, Singularity. Maybe Bioshock 2 or AVP3. But then Rage will interfere with all of that.

Same feeling as being a Star Wars fan watching the prequels. Sometimes you wanna get up and scream, and you wanna curse and you want your entrance back, but you will still watch them. And you will grudgingly buy the special edition DVD set. That's how I felt playing this. 
whenever I try and get back into fc2, I take a mission and look at the map, see its on the other side of the fucking world and just quit :P

Which is a shame, because the shooting and stuff is really fun. 
I Never Got Into Tomb Raider 
I played the demo of the first one, and that was it :P

I always thought it was just an excuse for gamer pervs with watch some t&a, if I want to watch t&a I'll go to cardo's house. Only recently I've been getting into platformers/adventure games more (arkham asylum, darksiders, etc) so might look back at some TR games, anyone got recommendations for the best one of the series? 
Skip bulletstorm, it's complete shit. 
short breakdown:

TR1-TR4 are all good, but keyboard-only controls and really dated graphics. Challenge comes mainly from lining up for jumps on a block-based terrain and puzzles/traps.

TR: Legend was the relaunch by a different dev with WASD controls, nice looks, and sort of a James Bond movie feeling.

TR: Anniversary was a (very good IMO) remake of TR1. Pretty challenging platformer.

TR: Underworld is like a cross of the last 2.

I'd get any of the last three unless you're hardcore. Don't dismiss them as all tits, they're actually good games if you can get past that. 
Very glad the only series I'm condemned as a fanboy to buy are Doom and Quake. And they barely release any games so it's quite easy :p 
Dead Space 2. 
Started playing this cos my geek gamer girl told me to. She's too scared to play it herself.

Anyway. It's Doom3 bit with horrible control feel and perspective. Kinda. Okay the setting and the monsters and omg scariness are really well done. It's very stylish. But I wish more of the challenge came from errr scary monsters and less from wrestling with the annoying inconsistent and generally counterintuitive controls. Mandatory aim mode, no jump, no crouch, some things you can do in aim mode, some things you can't, non-bindable weapon switching blah blah. It's like they tried to make it scary by being a bugger to control, which they don't really need to as the rest of it works really well...

Up to Part 3 so far anyway... 
Dead Space 
Really fond memories of the original, for me it did dark sci-fi way better than doom 3. I never really had any issues with the first one but I haven't played the 2nd yet, need to pick it up!

But im reserving all my gaming time for DX:HR (not long now!) my god that game looks fucking amazing! 
is a very good game imo. i was playing it every day for about 3 months. tho i haven't finished the single player campaign because most of time i just play 2x2 or 4x4 on battlenet. my only complaint is that battlenet is separated by regions and if you want to play in another region you have to buy a game (account) of that region. 
Almost Finished Crysis 
the alien levels are awesome. 
Get on #tf, plenty of us on there annoy the rest of the channel by wittering on about it all the time. 
Hide - Indie Horror Fps 
Is my mouse not working or are you looking straight up?

Is sound broken or is it supposed to crack and pop?

ARE MY EYES BROKEN? Nah, just kidding. 
DOTA2 Screenshots 
Missed that one :)

Looks very tf2 in art style. Maybe they have even given each hero their own character traits like tf2, tf2 makes me laugh out loud most of the time when I die, I can imagine that is only a plus in a genre like moba where serious ragequits are the norm :P 
Metro 2033 
Very solid game. One of the brownest/greyest FPS I've ever played, but it's appropriate given the post-apocalyptic Russian snow scape/metro scape. Enough variety in game play so that it doesn't get boring, and some very intense scripted scenes and game play moments. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a very solid FPS with some genuinely tense moments, fairly compelling story and intriguing level design in most spots.

One negative is that it's frickin hard. I played normal, but ended up retrying many of the levels over and over because I just wasn't doing something right. Ammo is a premium in this game, I frequently found myself very low on ammo, sometimes resorting to melee when I had to. I'm not sure if that's really a negative, since it upped the tension a whole lot, which probably helped the atmosphere. Gas mask/filter management is something that also adds to the tension. Your mask can break on the surface or you can run out of filters, either one is deadly. Your flashlight loses juice the more you use it so you have to take the time to charge it in between, or even during fights.

Looking forward to Last Light now that I've played through Metro 2033. 
Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six: Vegas REVIEW 
I've been putting off playing Rainbox Six: Vegas for quite a while. These sorts of realistic tactical shooters just don't win me over. They all feature the same weapons - basically a machine gun. The enemies are all the same with similar health levels and drop with a headshot. The levels are always realistic real life settings. Still, Vegas somehow has an aggregate score of 84% of Game Rankings, slightly below what is arguably 2006's action game of the year Gears of War. The latter deserved that title, Vegas doesn't.

I can't say much about the gameplay beyond what I said above. There are various weapons in this game; all act and feel exactly the same. Sure you can put on a silencer or change the rate of fire. Sure you can use a shotgun instead. But the most effective is rapid fire with a sniper scope. You have several different versions of the same gun in this game. They're supposed to be completely different guns, they look different and have specific names. I'm not a gun expert but they just didn't feel any different at all. You'll also never run out of ammo as every single enemy drops almost full ammo.

The enemies, like above, are all exactly the same. As you progress some of them have slightly more armour, but it didn't make much difference to the difficulty. The first level plays exactly the same as the last level. That's not to say that there aren't any challenging situations in this game. The enemies have pretty decent AI and use cover a lot, as well as flanking you. They also take you down fast, so if you walk out into the open and have missed an enemy, you'll likely die.

There were a few frustrating sections in fact, made frustrating because of no quicksave. Most of the game was fine but there were 4-5 times where I had to replay from a checkpoint at least a few times, which was very annoying. One scene in particular where your team mate hacks a computer while a dozen enemies attack from both directions. It took me 4-5 attempts ON GOD MODE to complete. It's the only time I needed god mode, so the rest of the game is balanced well enough. There is a lack of any kind of end battle though. You beat the main antagonist with ease then expect a helicopter fight (how original) only for everything to suddenly end with "to be continued".

There were some unique features in the game that I really liked. The ability to 'snake cam' under doors to see what's on the other side, then assign your team mates to throw a grenade in while you attack from another entrance. This was effective and fun! As was when you're blinded by a smoke grenade and have to revert to infrared. Your team mates are adequate and useful at times clearing rooms out and usually not getting in the way.

The plot is simple and boring; hunt down the terrorists who have attacked Las Vegas and finish them off at the Nevada Dam before they launch a bomb. I don't know who I was playing as or anything about my team mates. Then at the end one of my team mates turns out to be the bad guy. I'm assuming he was a team mate because he had on the same military clothing, but beyond that it could have been any random character. Story scores a C at best. 
Tom Clancy's Rainbox Six: Vegas REVIEW Continued 
Now Vegas should look good; it used Unreal Engine 3.0. The only other game in 2006 that uses Unreal Engine 3 was Gear of War, which looked MUCH better than Vegas. Tweaking the game to look better wasn't an option, apart from blurring, shadows and something about long range rendering which put the game to an unplayable crawl in large areas. For some reason, the textures look really bad, like they were only limited colour gifs. They were very grainy instead of smooth. Perhaps the lighting had something to do with this, as it was very dull and lacked contrast. At one point I was supposed to be in a pitch dark room, but it was still only 70% black. In hindsight perhaps turning the brightness down may have helped, but this was the default setting so why should I have to change it? The entire game, a bit like Gears of War, looks very muddy and desaturated. Almost like the lighting creates a dirty fog over everything. It certainly isn't crisp and clear like Crysis.

The levels also never acheived greatness. There were a few neat set peices such as looking out across Las Vegas on top of a casino tower, Dante's Casino which is still under construction and the Nevada Dam at the end. Some of the casino's look really cool and life like, but overall there's a lot of corridor-room-corridor-room. And with weak texturing and lighting, Vegas isn't a great looking game.

That's about how you can sum up Vegas; good but not great. In some ways it's replayable because everything is professional enough. It's clear it's not built by an indy studio on a budget with major bugs. But the gameplay is the same old Rainbox Six tactical shooter with no variety, an empty storyline and the levels don't look too different to your local casino; perhaps with a slight architectural upgrade.

Rating: 7.0/10 
In hindsight perhaps turning the brightness down may have helped, but this was the default setting so why should I have to change it?


I think in the gun porn genre Vegas was pretty enjoyable. I remember liking it when playing it, but can't really recall what happened during the game, or what I enjoyed. 
Anyone else play this? I plan on picking it up on steam to hold me over until diablo 3. 
It's a great game imo. I'm looking forward more to Torchlight 2 than Diablo 3. 
I found it like junk food. Tasty at first but ultimately you do not end up satisfied. 
I had fun with the game at first, but I got very bored with it quickly - as I did with Borderlands I was playing around the same time, perhaps even more so - and it then felt like a chore to get through. Filtering through an inventory full of items every five minutes trying to pick out what is worth keeping or selling got tiresome fast too. It wasn't the game for me. 
Was a nice game, but yeah the loot didn't feel quite right for some reason, still felt Diablo2 and Titan Quest were better.
Still really looking forward to Torchlight 2 though. 
Kinda Enjoyed What I Played 
....but I agree that perhaps the loot system was off - I usually get really into just trawling dungeons looking for some awesome item, but in Torchlight for some reason I just didn't care. Gave up before I got too far unfortunately. 
Anyone Tried This? 
I'm really liking it so far, the gameplay is nice and smooth (best with a gamepad in my opinion), the atmosphere, visuals and music are great.

There are quite a few weapons to unlock and upgrade, with challenges etc.
The story is told by a narrator as you play, which is pretty weird, but works quite nicely (and the guy has a great voice). 
Re: Skyrim 
i think this game will be great, but personally, i wouldn't mind a less epic story line. playing as the great saviour in morrowind and oblivion is actually getting kind of boring. :P
it'd be cool to be more of a local hero or something. don't really know how to express this, actually. a hero, just not the hero of the entire world. 
like in fallout 2. 
I'm really liking it so far. I chose to play a berserker, and have a dog for my pet. trying to find this library had been daunting though. 
Zombie's Doom 3 map is coming along nicely then :) 
fuck that's look scary 
like in fallout 2.
pretty much. or even fallout1.
sure, your mission is important to vault 13, but it was a local problem and no one else really gives a shit.

but in oblivion... you're going around closing oblivion gates and kicking a huge demon's ass... but sure, i'll swim around in the lake and kill some fish for you, old random guy.

skyrim just looks like more of the same. one guy facing insanely powerful evil guys and coming out on top. like every other rpg these days, it seems.

which just makes it weird when, for example, a shop keeper is charging you top price for gear so you can go save his ass fighting the big bad about to blow up his shop. 
"Hey dude, I'm gonna go save the world! Give me that shit free!"

"Yeah okay, sure you are you ol' wino, go back to smoking your hash." 
"Yo yeah, I'm like, the chosen one and shit, and I'm gonna like, totally beat down this demon guy but, err, could you lend me a sword? Oh, and you'll need to give me a few months to train up." 
Oh Shit ! 
Aliens are always funny to defeat... I played the first Alien on Ps in 2D, and it was already great... I can't wait to play this game...

Wait.. I will certainly have to upgrade my computer... :( looks awesome! 
Diablo 3 certainly is coming along isn't it? Wait... Grim who?  
i wish there were more hellgate games... like, diablo gameplay, just in 3d. 
Space Marine 
played the demo last night, holy fuckballs it's amazing! Very, very satisfying combat - meaty as hell! And the executions and footstomp just fill me with glee every time I use them.

Fucking brilliant.

Should also mention, Relic did a great job with the pc version, supports like 6 different aspect ratio's, you can disable the windows key (heh) and lots of control options (you can disable mouse smoothing etc). 
So I want Space Marine for some #tf coop fun - who all is getting it on PC and who is getting it on Xbox? I would prefer PC I would think, but if enough people get it on Xbox then I may have to get it for that. 
Space Marine... 
I thought there was no coop? 
oh crap! (deus ex h r)
spoiler warning for the comments. 
Tomb Raider Anniversary (2007) Review P1 
Sorry Lara, but i'm going to rip you a new asshole. Through a review of course, rather than literally. Perhaps i'm just the wrong sort of gamer to be playing jumping puzzle games. Perhaps I should stick to shooters only. But I played it, so I'm going to review it.

Anniversary is the eighth game in the franchise, hot off the heels of Tomb Raider: Legend, both developed by Crystal Dynamics who have taken over the franchise. They went on to release another Tomb Raider game in 2008, then Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light which is more action-oriented than puzzle and our now working on a complete reboot of the franchise with 2012's Tomb Raider, yet to be released.

All previous games up until 2006 were developed by Core Design. I played one of the early ones, I'm pretty sure the original Tomb Raider 1 from 1996 or it's sequel. I don't think I ever finished it, so it can't have been a great game, but I do remember some awesome looking scenes.

Anniversary is a remake of Tomb Raider 1. Same story, same levels but obviously beefed up, same puzzles. You can definitely tell too, because the cliched 90's style of gameplay is present, such as find the key to open the door. Numerous levels in Anniversary have you trekking around hunting for, in essence, keys to continue your merry way. It's not ground-breaking material here, and i'm surprised the franchise doesn't get a harder time on it's simple old school puzzles.

What makes Anniversary and probably the entire Tomb Raider series fun, is the scaling and jumping your way through the levels. Getting to great heights and backflipping over to an almost hidden crevice behind you, all way above the ground. It's all very cool. Cool, but not exactly realistic. For instance in the third episode you spend three huge levels getting through this obstacle course to get the artifact, then Lara simply strolls out of the room through it's back exit, which doesn't even have a door, to her motorbike waiting 20 metres away. Why didn't she go that way in the first place? Who made all these strange obstacle courses and how exactly are the bad guys getting through them? It's all a little unrealistic.

The levels all look pretty good. Critics suggested Legend looked much better, which is a shame. Sequels should get better as technology progresses, but it is still the same engine. Sometimes it does feel like corridor-room-corridor, but the settings help to make the environments look great; Peru, Greece, Egypt and the Lost Island. All typical Tomb Raider themes. However it doesn't have much grand outdoor beauty or detail. In comparison to Crysis and it's outdoor scenery, Anniversary looks years older. In fact King Kong wow'ed me more than this game. The Crystal Dynamics engine definitely isn't the best looking from 2007, but it does cut the mustard at least.

Now to what really irked me off with Anniversary, if the above wasn't enough already; four things. 
Tomb Raider Anniversary (2007) Review P2 
Firstly the combat system. It's rubbish. Fighting animals is not fun at all. They constantly knock you over and you're swearing at Lara to get the hell up so you can attempt to resume the fight. You can shoot blindly, hold a key to auto-aim, which is unreliable at best, or go into shooting mode where it zooms in on Lara and you get a target, but you can't move. It's terrible! Just give me a normal target, none of this auto-aim bull. Lara also moves extremely slowly. I was forced to use a high speed cheat to speed her movements up. Especially when you're having to repeat puzzles over and over again. I also put god-mode on too, because after the first episode I was WAY over the awful combat and just wanted to focus on the jumping.

Which brings me to number two; frustration factor with some of the jumping puzzles. 90% of the game is fine, but there's just a few jumping parts where it doesn't seem to work well, especially using the grapple hook. One such jump with a grapple I probably repeated 30-40 times before I finally managed it. Another I tried a good 20 times before I managed to fluke it. It's not fun getting through 15 jumps only to miss the last one and repeat all over again.

Number three; checkpoints. This game features the most idiotic checkpoint system I've ever encountered. If you run over a checkpoint spot you've previously been to, it'll save overtop of your existing checkpoint. To explain how this is a bad thing take the T-Rex level as an example. I'm at the pit unsure how to proceed so I backtrack incase I missed something, suddenly falling down a slope and back into the T-Rex arena, which I'd already completed previously. And a new checkpoint saves, overwriting my last one. Now I have to spend ten minutes climbing out of the arena all over again just to get back to the top of the slope where I previously was. However, you can do manual saves at checkpoints. It doesn't save your currently location, just the previous checkpoint again. I was doing this regularly so I decided to go back to my previous manual save, which just happened to be right at the beginning of the T-Rex fight. Checkpoint. What?! Another checkpoint just got saved overtop of my previous one? Now I have to fight the T-Rex all over again and climb out of the arena because of this terrible checkpoint system. Which brings me to the last point...

The boss fights. There's four of them and in order to complete them you need to do bullet time. Bullet time is supposedly easy, you get the enemy infuriated and when they charge at you simply press a movement key and roll at the same time. I probably tried this over 100 times, not once EVER did it work. I have no idea why not, others seem to do it with ease, but it just wouldn't work when I tried it. It meant the first two boss fights weren't possible without cheats. The last two, in the final level of the game, weren't possible at all, even with cheats. Ridiculous.

So overall what did I think of Tomb Raider Anniversary? Well the levels all looked pretty good. Not groundbreaking and won't be on any best-of lists in 2007 for it's design, but good enough. And while the puzzles and jumping dynamics were good for most of the game, there were some really frustrating points, not helped by terrible boss battles and no quick-save. Not to be forgotten rubbish fight scenes. I wouldn't play any other Tomb Raider games unless I knew it was going to look utterly amazing, so Legend and Underworld off my list. I don't like to be frustrated, hence a low score for Lara, and some vaseline.

Rating: 5.0/10 
I better get back to the shooting games, it's what I enjoy. Call of Juarez next I think :) 
Oh save yourself the frustration. I played some Call of Juarez demo recently and it was a horrible experience. 
Space Marine You Say?? 
Count me in on PC coop. 
Not available in my region. GG Steam. 
Call Of Juarez 
Oh bugger. Well it can't be worse than fucking tomb raider jumping shit so i'll give it a go and review it even if I give up. I'm not once to quit easily though. 

After nuff dicking around including having to disable NVidia AA just so it would run, I gave it a brief whirl.

Well. You can fully rebind controls and it doesn't control like complete dick. That is quite a welcome surprise. There is some partial dickness from clunky running and consolisedly out-of-control melee. The over-the-shoulder 3rd person is as pointless as ever, in fact 3rd person at all in this spoils both the control and immersion, but whatever it's tolerable.

It definitely does what it says and no more. In some ways I could take it or leave it.....BUT then again, it's got bomb squigs (so cute!), the jump pack stomp attack is awesome, and the prospect of coop, well yeah count me in for that ;) 
Space Marine 
Still not sure there is any coop, no word of it on the steam page (normally it has a small COOP button the side when there is). 
Well which twat said coop then?? Huh?? 
Space Marine 
i heard that they would release a coop version for pc after the release or someting like that 
Quantum Conundrum 
the designer of portal ripped off her own ideas for her latest game? 
That Is To Say 
Took Portal, applied a fresh coat of paint, sold as different game. You can see the game play looks pretty much untouched - the portal mechanic replaced with dimension-shifting, but the same puzzle solving things of place crate on button, open door, planes that objects can't go through, lasers that power other objects, etc.

In other words, it's Portal, sans portals. 
i guess, but that's what most games are anyway?
all of id's games are basically the exact same shooter, with even the same types of guns.

but at least with the puzzle solving genre, it's pretty much unexplored, so it'll feel a lot more fresh. 
I don't know, the game play doesn't seem to expand outside of Portal territory. Slowing down time is nothing new or particularly innovative, fluffy world just means you can pick up heavy things.

Portals though were pretty mind bending and very adaptable.

This doesn't seem like a bad game, just like a watered down version of Portal.

i guess, but that's what most games are anyway?

Sure, but Doom 2 wasn't called "Hell Quest" and sold as a different game. This is just too similar to Portal in core game design. It seems like one of those Chinese games that blatantly copies a successful game and sells it off as their own. 
remember, you haven't played it yet... 
Well, duh. 
2 Cents On The Portal Thing 
A few years ago, I was part of the Dare to be Digital competition, in which students are locked in a room for 8 weeks and told to make a game.

We based our game on one mechanic - a gun that could give objects magnetic charge. Shoot one robot with positive charge, and another with negative charge and they'd swoop towards each other and explode in the middle. some posters from the game that explain the gameplay and a screenshot

We decided it was to be a first-person action-puzzle game, and began the design process. Now, after early testing, it turned out solving puzzles in three dimensions is difficult and confusing. It needs to be extremely clear what you can interact with and how. In game terms this means that the non-interactable game environment has to be fairly nondescript, and the interesting stuff has to stand out. In Portal, this meant pristine lab environments, color coding the portals, drawing lines from buttons to doors, and so on. It's a real abstraction of an environment to suit the gameplay, and it's extremely functional.

When we came to develop our visual style, we realised that the 1950s aesthetic we were planned needed to be scaled back. There's no room for potted plants, secretaries desks and typewriters in the areas where the physical gameplay is occurring (although, like portal 2, you can put them in areas without puzzles), and when gameplay gets serious, you can't have distracting colours and patterns covering the walls. We decided that if a static object was to be magnetizable, it'd be bright yellow and chrome. These objects needed to be everywhere, so they became the fans and vents of the ventilation system. Part of the gameplay involved combining objects of the same size to make a bigger object, so these sizes were also colour coded (small = purple, medium = green, large = orange).

We also found that our expansive multi-stage puzzles fell apart in practise unless they were rigidly compartmentalized. Thus, we started putting in doors that blocked progress until each puzzle section was completed. The environment needed to become arbitrary, homogenous, it was the only way that these odd environment elements made sense. Where portal had decided on a famously-meta interpretation of a lab environment, we went for a factory on security lockdown, and hoped the player would suspend their disbelief.

The moral of the story is - by the end of the day we had something that on a surface level shared many similarities to Portal, despite arriving at each design decision from first principles. It's a testament to the design of their game. To share a familiar quote "Perfection in design is not achieved when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove." and that's why Portal 1 is held in such high esteem.

When we were nearing the end of our development, we realised the similarities of our game, and had to make a strange decision. Would we take steps to distance ourselves from Portal, knowing that it meant taking the 'wrong' decision in gameplay terms? We seriously considered moving the game to 3rd-person even though it would make it harder to solve some of the puzzles. The magnetic charge was shown by objects glowing red or blue, as that's what we and players expected - but portal had blue and orange portals. Should we change it to glowing white and black? We decided not to, and I'm glad we didn't, and although we went on to win the audience vote, we perhaps deservedly had our share of criticism for the similarities.

In conclusion, I'd defend the developer of this game, because a lot of the re-trodden ground is likely done so because it is the 'right' choice in response to a gameplay problem. There may be creative solutions out there to avoid similarities, and perhaps it's worth looking for them, of course. It's certainly the case that producing a first-person action puzzler funnels you down a certain path, where the similarities are much more peculiar than the similarities when making a Gears/CoD clone.

I also bristle at your suggestion, Zwiffle, that gameplay is "untouched" when the Portal developer swapped out the core mechanic. You have to design completely new gameplay, and a completely new set of puzzles! It's not easy to create a satisfying puzzle dynamic with a nice difficulty curve in the FPS environment, and if she succeeds in making a compelling game with her new mechanic, then it wasn't easy, it's a great achievement. 
thanks for posting that, starbuck. i love reading about the design process like that. very interesting! 
You have to design completely new gameplay, and a completely new set of puzzles!

That's kind of what I'm getting at. 
you misunderstand me - I just don't like the reaction that this stuff is there because of easiness or laziness. I'm saying that regardless, she STILL HAS TO create a whole game's worth of puzzles, with a difficulty arc and all that hard stuff. I don't disagree that she's borrowing from her back-catalogue of mechanics, but as my lengthy novel asserted, some of these tropes are very natural and useful for this form of game, and a lot of the design decisions seem almost inevitable. 
and thanks necros! 
More Rage Stuff 
CounterStrike : GOGOGO 
Kona; TR Anniversary 
Actually Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a very good remake of one of the absolutely best ever classic games of all time, the original Tomb Raider.

It features modern FPS-like controls and flawlessly working 3rd person camera, very nimble platforming, the classic 90s feeling of being isolated in another world, uncompromising difficulty, and at times awe inspiring level design, all the while respecting the original and its mechanics. This is why you have oldschool puzzles, traps and key finding, and it's just doing its job as a remake.

The grappling hook is an absolutely awesome addition to the game. It creates entirely new challenges for the player and adds variation to old ones. And this is what Tomb Raider is about, actually: brutal, murderous challenges, acrobatics and traps. It was too hard? It is supposed to be hard. TRA will absolutely make you want to smash your monitor at times. In this, it is true to the originals, which is its damn job as a remake.

Lara moves slowly? Perhaps, but it's not really an FPS, and the enemies are very fast, especially lions, panthers and the like, and they are trying to grab and tackle you. Yes, lions run faster than Lara. This is simply part of the challenge. Once you get the controls down, combat is actually very fun. You do have to use the grapple in some boss fights, this is a staple carried over from Legend.

The over-the-shoulder free-aiming mode isn't for combat, it is for puzzles, hence why you can't move. There is that puzzle where you have to shoot lights on and off to make constellations, and the shootable ropes that make the statue fall down in Croft Manor or the bridges that reveal secret grapple points when demolished.

Not looking like Crysis? Well, TRA is largely an indoor game, since it's a remake of a 1996 title. Tomb Raiders are generally indoor games. It is rubbish that Legend looks better. Underworld looks better, though it's noticeably still the same engine.

TRA is indeed the hardest of the "new" TR titles; in this way, it's just an uncompromising remake of the old ones. If failing to do a grapple run 20 times makes you hate it so much you never come back, then TR isn't for you. It's a common trait of the franchise, and it's why hardcore fans love it. Why would you want an easy platformer. The multiple wallrun thing in the great pyramid level is indeed fucking hard, yes. And the timers are generally short in the game. But it's totally beatable without cheating just by using the game's standard controls and Lara's possible moves to their full extent. People are doing it for sport on youtube, so it must be doable. It's also the second to last level, so it should be OK to be difficult.

I don't know what you did with the T-rex checkpoint - the checkpoints in this game always worked brilliantly for me. Probably bad luck.

You didn't mention the awesome secrets, which at times are much, much harder to get than some of the grapple-wallruns and are actually unique archaeological artifacts.

As for the traps - they're simple but effective. Simple elements like crushers and rotating blades create the challenge, you can't get more hardcore than that. The grapple adds an additional timing element.

I guess it's the same as many things - you like it, or you don't. It's not a bad game at all though; as a remake, it is just perfect. If the game it's remaking wasn't up your alley in the first place, you can't really blame the remake.

Cursing at the monitor is expected and socially acceptable when playing Tomb Raider. Early on, you could impale Lara or kill her off in a myriad of ways to vent your frustration, sadly this has been restricted and the most painful deaths were removed due to political correctness I guess :-) 
I Think Kona 
was expecting a shooter from a puzzle game. his post almost says as much :) 
Apparently You Can Play Starbuck's Game There 
Although your core argument still holds, it increases my gut feeling that puzzle games suck. ;-) 
TR Anniversary 
Nah I wasn't expecting a shooter, I'd played the original so knew it was jumping puzzles. I think I was just hoping the combat might have improved from the original, but for players that liked that it was quite hard then it'll be fine.

And for players that like doing this over and over until they get it right, they won't find the game as frustrating as I did. I can understand that plenty of players won't mind it - afterall before the quicksave came along in gaming, games were all about repeating it over and over again. I'm just one of the ones that hates doing things any more than twice.

Re grapple hook, yeah that was a great addition. The grapple puzzles were quite cool, although they were some of the harder ones actually (the 2 puzzles I had trouble with were both wall run grapple ones).

Re secrets. I'm not a secrets person, I never bother with them. Just wanted to get through the damn game tbh lol.

I didn't mention in my review, but by the end of the game I was really quite over it. It's one game that after 8 hours I'd had enough. I watched the last 10mins of gameplay that I missed on youtube and thought, I really can't be bothered with those boss fights. Back to shooters yay :D

And yeah it is mostly indoors so they couldn't really have too many big vast Crysis'ish outdoors areas. But they could have made it a bit more epic I guess. The scenes that WERE outdoors looked pretty bland compared to Crysis.

I guess I will give Underworld a shot though, especially if the puzzles are so cunty and it looks better. I'd probably slag it off when I review it though haha. But I'm sure plenty of ppl will disagree with my review above, it's a fairly popular franchise so i'm probably a smaller minority of those who didn't like it much. 
I'm not defending TR anniversary. I can't I've not played it.

Buuuuut you are comparing the graphics of a game originally designed for the PSP and PS2 to a game that is considered the benchmark of PC melting graphical detail. 
I didn't misunderstand you, I think perhaps I didn't clarify myself that well. I don't think it was laziness - I think Portal was a successful design that she probably either felt she could improve upon or provide a quality variation of it.

But, I just don't think this is it. Portal was interesting not because you picked up blocks and set them down, but because Portals were mind bending. What I've seen from QC is very underwhelming. You still pick up and put down blocks, but nothing in the game is mind bending *yet*. It seems to me to be a step back from Portal.

Again, not that it's going to be a bad game, but it just isn't nearly as interesting or innovative as Portal was, and doesn't seem to want to differentiate itself at all/that much. 
Is There A Place For Deals Like This? 
I guess not everyone keeps up with video game deals, so I thought I would post this. 
thanks for the link, zwif. yeah, i don't usually keep up with games. i will drop in to the steam store every once in a while, but rarely try to stay up to date consistently, so i appreciate these heads-up on good deals. :) 
That's why it gets compared to Crysis, because up till 2007 Crysis is the benchmark of graphical awesome. I'll probably compare most games' graphics to it if they attempt outdoors.

And why not? They're released both in 2007 for probably the same price. Crystal Dynamics just didn't make an awesome enough engine to clean up Crytek's. Sure it's probably a shitload better performing, but 4-5 years on I have no problems running either game maxed out. 
What Came Out In 2008 That 
looked better than Crysis? I think Metro took the crown last year. 
Don't know, haven't played anything beyond 2007. I'm hoping Far Cry 2 or Crysis Warhead might have looked even better?

So in the last 5 years, is Metro the only game that looks better than Crysis? Fuck I hope not. 
It really depends what you mean by "looks better" Crysis excels at doing realistic outdoors, but otherwise the designs in it are pretty bland in my opinion.

To me Mirror's Edge looks better than Crysis, because I feel design is more important than just trying to reach realistic quality graphics (which is fine really).

I'd even still say Team Fortress 2 looks better than Crysis, and even Portal 2 at some points, despite that engine being super dated. 
Yeah - Sorry - I Class Warhead As An Expansion For Crysis 
But yeah - Crysis really held the benchmark for 'sexy graphics engine' for a long time because I guess in layman's terms developers didnt want to use the new tech because it didn't run so good on consoles.

As for the styling and art of level design and games design in general in other games - yeah, there are a bunch of games with sexy graphics just because the designers and artists have done a really good job, even with an older engine. What I men about Metro is that it runs worse than Crysis cause of the rediculous level of detail. Metro was probably the first game which came out running slower than crysis.

I think the STALKER games have pretty advanced graphics engines and you need a hefty rig to run them maxed out. 
What Does 
Mind-bending mean? 
It means thinking in ways you wouldn't normally think, or thinking of something you thought impossible as possible. 
I Understand 
The distinction you're trying to make, but I see lots of reactions to games based off too-little information to form a complete opinion - not necessarily what I think you're doing.

My point of view comes from the developer side as opposed to the player side, and I think it's bit unfair to judge a game based on a preview.

I'd assume a designer who came up with Portal probably wouldn't just rehash it without the portals.

In my experience such a designer wouldn't have gotten to a position of being able to make Portal in the first place. 
Random selection of Ludum Dare #21 games being played. NSFW commentary. 
Call Of Juarez (2007) Review 
A lot of players seem to be torn on Call Of Juarez - some think it's great while many hate it. GameRankings had it at 75% aggregate from critics which is a pretty decent score, so I went in thinking the game might be a dud. Critics are often wrong. In this case though, Call Of Juarez is quite a decent game. It has some flaws which everyone agrees on, but it's something a little different in a shooter genre over saturated with sci-fi and war themes.

It's been a long time since I played something western themed. Probably Gunman Chronicles from 2000, which started life as a Half-Life mod. That itself was a good, under-rated game. There was another western themed shooter released a few years before Call Of Juarez, but it didn't get a good reception.

What makes this game good and enjoyable is the fact that it's fresh and different. Sci-fi, war, fantasy, realistic cities; they've all been done over and over again. But this western theme is a rarity and in this case it actually looks pretty good. The engine and graphics are passable and capable of some very large outdoor areas, which look good. Not at a Crysis level of detail and beauty, but pretty enough. It only starts to struggle when you look across the plains or get in areas quite high so you can far distances - the mountains end up looking extremely plain and under-detailed. Also at times some of the terrain can be a too blocky and unrealistic looking, but that's fairly minor. The game doesn't ALWAYS look good. While the beginning takes place around a little western town and lots of thick bush, you then move to a more open landscape with hills and mineshafts, and it looks bad. Really bad. I guess this engine can't do night time scenes well, but the levels look poorly design with hardly any detail and bland hills everywhere. It's ugly. But the game picks up again as you return to daytime settings.

The story is a highlight of Call Of Juarez. You play as two characters, alternating for each of the 15 levels (or episodes). The first is a boy named Billy on the run after being blamed for the murder of his parents, the second is a former outlaw turned reverend named Ray who's on the boys trail to bring him to justice. So the game switches between the Billy who is faster and more agile to the gun slinging bloodthirsty Reverend Ray. Ray's levels are all great - you can play with two guns at once, usually pistols in left and right hands and can fire them both at the same time. Then you get rifles and shotguns at your disposal. Ammunition and health are plentiful but the game is still a good blast as enemies can take you down quickly if they're carrying good weapons. You need to make shots accurate and it's very satisfying when you headshots. Without a headshot you can shoot an enemy up to several times before you get a deadly hit.

Unfortunately, Billy's stealth levels aren't nearly as fun, and the game got a hounding in reviews because of this. It's a little surprising because Thief and Splinter Cell were so popular, even Chronicles of Riddick which started off with stealth then went to action in the second half. So why does everyone rubbish Call Of Juarez's stealth sections so much? They were boring as hell, but most stealth games are to me so it's nothing new. Billy does get to do some gun slinging or bow & arrow killing-fun, but it's mostly about creeping around or climbing things for him.

This brings me to a major problem in the version I had of this game; the rope climbing is extremely buggy. There was once section where I needed to use my whip as a rope to climb a tree. Due to some bug in the game this wouldn't work at all. It just wouldn't allow me to attach my whip to the tree. I was completely stuck and it was a game ender, without getting a level unlock cheat so I could skip to the next level. Sadly this was probably the longest level in the game. Furthermore the updates wouldn't work so I couldn't apply any fixes.

There's also a DirectX 10 upgrade which improves the game, but this wouldn't work for me as it's only available for US versions of the game. But everything still looks fine even without the upgrade.

So overall I think Call Of Juarez is worthy of a play through the once, at least for it's action parts. Even though the stealthy, jumping Billy sections are a bit of a drag. The game looks good, the action is fun, it's not in the elite shooters of 2007, but for a bargain bin price I'd recommend it. 
Bulletstorm & Windows Live. 
Copy of email I sent to Microsoft and EA...

I recently bought the Bulletstorm game. After I installed it and attempted to play it, I had the following problems:

1. I was given no option to play just single player and was forced to sign into Windows Live DESPITE the first screen saying a Live account was needed for multi player (not single player).

2. Despite Windows Live obviously being somehow fundamental to this game, the game did not pick up that I was already signed in to Windows Live via Messenger, thus forcing a tedious signing in process:

3. It took me a few goes to recall my password, each time I had to wait for it to "download profile" and then return to the start, rather than simply informing me of an invalid password when I typed it.

4. Despite ticking the "log in automatically" tickbox, this was NOT applied so I had to retype my details every log in time, of which there were many:

5. After finally signing in, I was forced to apply an auto-update. After this downloaded, I was told to exit the game to apply it, BUT there was no option to exit the game (only the same start screen about logging in) so I had to Ctrl-Alt-Delete to close it.

6. After the Windows Live update applied (with no pop-up indicating it was complete) I had to restart the game, go through the unskippable splash screens AGAIN and sign in AGAIN.

7. After this the update was VERY slow to apply in game (several minutes). Then I was forced to exit the game via Ctrl-Alt-Delete (again no proper exit option).

8. After the update installing in Windows and having to restart for the 3rd time and log in AGAIN, I was forced to create another profile on the XBox site. Firstly I don't own and will never own an XBox, and secondly this profile sign in came with marketing email options pre-selected. Given all I was trying to do was to play a game I had just purchased, having to avoid getting spam advertising email as part of the whole tedious rigmarole was not welcome.

9. After creating this account (which didn't give any obvious confirmation I'd created it) and thankfully not having to restart a 4th time, I then had to log in / download profile yet again. This meant that a game I bought in 2 minutes, installed in 5 minutes, and should have been able to start playing in 30 seconds, took me 30 minutes to get started.

10. Finally there was no email contact for PC Games with Windows Live on the Xbox Live site nor the main Microsoft site, and the staff on the XBox Live phone support tried to get me to discuss the problem rather than just telling me the email address.

In response I want to know the following things:

> Why was I forced to sign in to Windows Live for single player??

> Why, if Windows Live was ""necessary"", was there no integration with my current Messenger sign in??

> Why was the signing in / password validation process so slow and cumbersome??

> Why were there no options to exit when I was told to??

> Why was the whole process made so bloody long-winded for a paying customer to play the game they've just purchased??
Ah was fun getting Windows Live working with Dirt 2. Same issue. You have to spend ages loading the game up, watch all their unskippable intro shit, make it update and quit again, MULTIPLE TIMES to fully update it. No single download for microsoft no sir.

And after all this shit it still doesn't save your progress remotely, so when I switched PCs I forgot to copy an up to date save and thus lost about 15 hours of progress.

Thankfully doing it all before meant Arkham Asylum wasn't such a pain in the arse. 
I Told You Not To Play It.&n