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Hit Me With The Knowledge Yo.
Okay so what has been happening gaming / mapping wise in the last 6 months?? I've scanned through GA and stuff, spotted some things, but am getting keen on gaming again so want to know what's around.

So far:


Prey - this is good right?

HL2 EP1 - same?

Titan Quest - everyone seems to have been playing this?


Dark Messiah - pwn.

DOW: DC - kinda cool.

Penumbra - interesting.


(This is where I'll need to most advice).

DM3RMX - great fun.

There was some Doom3 map released that was some good, right??

What else is going on (yes, I saw Spirit's runes, classy stuff)??
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Prey is fucking awesome cool in the beginning but as it moves on it gradually goes more and more meh and then it ends.

HL2 EP1 is like a really really well made custom map pack that someone figured out how to hack a walking, talking Alyx into. Very good.
Everyone are looking forward to EP2 with great anticipation because there we get new environments and shit and we get Portal which is awesome and TF2 which has some really sexy character models.

Vondur started playing World of Warcraft and now noone likes him anymore.

I've not played a cool new map or game in a hundred weeks. 
Yeah what czg said, except I still love Vondur! 
Prey insulted me as a gamer, quite frankly.

Here's my full review outlining the reasons:

In a nutshell: <spoiler>You can't die</spoiler> 
what's difference between save/load procedure or that one seen in prey? i see no difference, but prey's is better because it's tied to the story ~_^ 
Since you can save at any point in most games these days, failing the game is merely an annoyance.
Prey made it so that annoyance was less because you could still continue playing the game while dead. 
eveyone says the same thing about prey - starts good and becomes tired quickly, same as doom3. I haven't played it yet and probably won't (I gave away my copy of doom3 since I hated its caveman level design, no matter how nice it looked).

You've got to remember that games are a product and all the cool features you see in the first handful of levels (or even just the first level) were most likely meant to be spaced out throughout the entire game. But then marketing says - 'holy shit, put everything good in level 1 or else no-one will buy it after playing the demo!' Because they seem to forget that gamers actually talk to each other.

I have the most fun now playing through old (or new) q1 maps/mods or else going through the archives of other great games of yesteryear. I liked HL2 despite its funnelyness (?) and crap ending but the amount of stuff available for free in terms of studio mods etc. makes it well worthwhile - just a shame steam doesn't work unless it feels like it. 
I enjoyed Prey (especially the gravity bits and the flying bits), and thought it was a fun game, but have no desire to play it again. Also, the protagonist was a douchebag, which was annoying at times.

I'll add my voice to the "HL, ep. 1 was very good" crowd, especially the "holy shit, zombies! Get to the elevator" bit.

Shambler, dunno if you play RPGs, but Oblivion is quite good. Immense and immersive and fun and all the better for next-gen goodness. Also the combat system is immeasureably better than Morrowinds and is actually based on movement/timing/contact rather than purely chance-based per skill level.

Also, I'll use this as another opportunity to pimp Trackmania Nations. If you like racing games at all, give it a shot. It's FREE. I'm the only one I know who's totally hooked on making tracks for this. It's like heroin. :( The editor is easy to use and fun, and it's nice to crank out a finished "level" in an evening, complete with intro and replay cam. My tracks can be found here (search by pjw):

Okay, I'll shut up about frikking Trackmania Nations now. 
I'll go download those! I've been playing Trackmania over the summer, and even held a racing competition at a recent LAN event. 
Cheers So Far. 
Point taken about Prey's un-killable issues, and it being another FPS. But hell, FPSes rock, and it looked good, I'll certainly get it. I don't mind a more relaxed game sometimes ;). How does it run??

Morrowind 2, ah yes, I did see that, and it did look very cool. I am tempted but equally I know how stupidly addictive these RPG things can be. Guild Wars raped my life, then my ass. I'd probably best not get involved with this, and wait for Dark Messiah and it's 5 hours of gameplay ;).

On the subject of MMORPGs, Vondur joined WOW whilst everyone else is playing Titan Quest HUH. Why do I end up playing the unfashionable MMORPGs :(. I thought GW was really good and you should have been playing that instead.

What else, if anything, are people playing online??

Also, more maps!

And scandals! 
And one more thing.


What is it doing these days? Where are we standing with processors and cards and shizznizzle??

Keep it simple please, lots of fancy terms and numbers confuse me.

I'm still running a P4 2.8 gig, 1 gig RAM, and a Radeon 9800 Pro 256meg, from November 2k3! This ran Dark Messiah demo and Penumbra demo very well incidentally. I presume it will do okay with Prey and HL2E1?

Any thoughts on upgrading etc etc. 
Thanks Vigil! 
Warning, some of them (especially the "Way, Way Too Hard!" series of tracks) are really retardedly stupidly difficult and may make you want to stab yourself, or me.

You should make some tracks. It's fun. Just one dose. Try it out. Free the first time...

@Shamb, Dark Messiah was a hog, compared to the other games you should be okay--although Oblivion is a bit of a beast to run too, if everything's cranked up. 
I enjoyed it a lot too, I had no issue really with the invincible player, just meant I could enjoy playing instead of worrying about dying all the time :)

Shamb, prey runs VERY nice, even smoother than doom 3 on my rig actually, dunno what they did to the code but its great.

You should think about adding another gig of ram shamb, I added another to my rig and it makes a huge difference, and ram is dirt cheap these days so there is no excuse :)

I would also say upgrade graphics card, the 9800 pro is getting a bit old now... I got myself a Geforce fx 7900 gt (around 180 quid) and runs all the latest games no probs with full details and 4x AA. cant go wrong really... But I dont think they do an AGP slot version (you probably have AGP) whereas these days PCI-Express is the new standard so you might need a new motherboard too... doh. 
what's difference between save/load procedure or that one seen in prey? i see no difference, but prey's is better because it's tied to the story ~_^

Prey gives you access to an unlimited amount of health in order to get through any fight via the "Deathwalk".

Save/Load only lets you continue with whatever health you had at the point you saved. You cannot generate any more health than what you started with (or is placed in the map)

Prey lets you die any amount of times you want during a fight and the damage you've inflicted on enemies is carried over when you respawn.

Save/Load ensures that whatever killed you comes back at the exact state of health it was at the point you saved (and who quicksaves mid-battle anyway? Nutters, that's who). You still have only one "life" in which to kill it fully, even if you are allowed an unlimited number of attempts.

Prey lets you respawn at the exact location you died. Save/Load dumps you at the position at which you saved.

I'm sure there was a less wordy way of saying this, but whichever way you crumble the biscuit, Prey's default mode is still God Mode. 
I just lost 2 weeks of my life to that game recently, best to stay away from it.

Trackmania is fun yeah, you guys seen this?

By the way, Titan Quest isn't an mmorpg is it? 
Shambler / TECH 
CPUs: Intel and AMD have been having a ridiculous price war and now you can get crazy fast CPUs on moderate budget.

Ultimate perfomance king are currently the Intel Core 2 Duo's, which are the pwn. In the sane ~200$ pricerange, the choice is Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+.

GPUs: NVIDIA 7950GX2 if you want uber-perfomance and NVIDIA 7600GT if you want the best perfomance/price ratio at a sane price of 160-170$. 
If you get a new PC and get the parts I listed in the "moderate budget" part to replace your P4 2,8 / R9800, your perfomance in newer games will increase 2,5-3-fold. I am also not kidding. 
Titan Quest is like Diablo, but in ancient Greece. Played that for a bit, was underwhelming.

Company of Heroes by Relic will be released this week in the US, and I've been really enjoying the multiplayer beta. It's like Dawn of War, except more tactical and set in WWII. 
Sweet, I will bear that in mind. Don't think I have to upgrade for the current crop and catching up on what I've missed. But maybe for what is coming up next - ET QW and that sort of stuff.

On the subject of which, any interesting news on what IS coming up next? Any ass-shattering developments? 
Crysis obviously...

Unreal Tournament 2007 is getting closer as well, im not sure if I should mention Stalker but I will, I still have a shred of hope that it will be awesome :D 
I Think 
I've got an ass-shattering development in the pipeline, but one that's probably more to do with the All-Bran I've been eating recently, rather than any game-related work. 
Isn't that to do with CZG's love trumpet stretching tentatively but enthusiastically across the North Sea??

P.S. Crysis, yes, awesome, looks exactly like more Far Cry, which is definitely a Good Thing TM. 
Perpendicular recording hard-drives allow you to cram more data in less space, and I've seen some 7200 RPM, SATA, 160GB or possibly in the 200gb range for under $100, reputable brands. 
I bought a 320 gigabyte SEAGATE(!) SATA drive from newegg a month ago for ~90USD 
The 320GB Seagate SATA drives are also avaible here for ~90 or so euro. And Seagate is the only manufacturer that gives their HD's a 5 year warranty (all others give 3) so it's really not a tough choice. 
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