Don’t you hate it if something doesn’t go as planned? Initially this entry was going to be about closing up the polling but as you can see this is not the case. One of the candidates, let us call him Talliah S. or T. Slavik, approached me and asked for an extension because his advertisement-movie still isn’t finished. Since I’m such a nice guy, I granted the delay. So let’s talk about games in the first English installment of “Short and totally subjective game coverage”:
GODS Lands of Infinity – Special Edition (Screenshots)
The original game is already over a year old and didn’t sell so well but it was still considered to be an insider tip by many RPG-fans. I wasn’t so convinced and also I acknowledged the existence of that title, I didn’t get my hands on it. And in retrospective it was a very good decision because now the Special Edition is in stores. The Special Edition features not only a (real) hot chick as the new main character (with lots of photos everywhere) but also enhanced graphics and gameplay. The game still won’t be a blockbuster for sure but it’s certainly something a true RPG-player should take a look at. The combination of moving around in first person and real-time and then fighting Final Fantasy-like turn-based battles is like the good old days but with way better graphics. Of course the game doesn’t even look nearly as good as Halo 2 for Vista (which itself also doesn’t look very good) but believe me, when I say that the original looked far worse. The game is very solid with the ability to group with up to five more adventures, different kinds of quests (more or less useful) and a fully working economical system. This is one of the more innovative aspects the game has. Example? In the main town is a lady, which bakes bread but in order to produce bread, she needs of course some flour. You can buy flour at the miller but he needs grain to make flour out of. So your task is it to buy grain, get it to the miller, wait a few days and then take the flour to the lady which then sells you some bread after another few days. Of course this is just a small example out of the big picture but that’s how it basically works. To make life easier for you, several NPCs help you by doing their own business behind your back so it’s possible to ignore all this or only do a few tasks. Overall you can see that I’m enjoying it also it may not be such a big and polished game like The Witcher or Neverwinter Nights. A demo of the Special Edition is available!
Alpha Prime (Screenshots)
Another title where I hesitated an unusually long time before I really bought it. This shows that even I am influenced by the small number in the corner under a review which wasn’t very high for that game. Or perhaps I’m still a little reluctant to blindly buy titles which come from locations like Russia, Poland and so on. But also it’s still the case, I’m glad that I took the risk. Especially if you played and enjoyed Doom 3, this game is somewhat of a must have because the first feeling I had, when I started playing was: “This is like Doom 3 but with much more light and a mounted flashlight!”. That’s of course not a bad thing and even so it looks and feels a bit like Doom 3 (the PathEngine really has no reason to hide itself from any current shooter), it is a really solid game. I wouldn’t give it a 5/5 but it’s no 3/5 either. The main feature, that separates the game from everyone else, is the insanely high difficulty and that’s maybe one of the reasons, why it didn’t score so high. The enemies may not be F.E.A.R-like (also I hate that comparison) but they aren’t Doom 3-like either and make up for a good fight. In combination with the fact, that the main hero is a wuss, this makes for a great but doable challenge and everyone that knows me, also knows that something like this is an even bigger reason for me to bite through the game. There’s no greater satisfaction for me than to be able to say to a game “Fuck you! I beat you also you had everything from boring to totally freaking insane passages!”. So this game may not be for everyone but someone who likes a solid, good-looking shooter and can put up a fight should check out the demo.
The Game to rule them all, The Game to find them, The Game to bring them all and in Rapture bind them. Yeah, I know that was a totally lame introduction but this game couldn’t be praised anymore than it already has been so I won’t talk about the good here. Everyone knows that it has everything from a perfect atmosphere to a compelling story and fucking awesome location with insanely good graphics that even runs on a not-up-to-date PC. Since I finished the game yesterday, I want to talk a little about the three biggest bads:
“Why, oh why did you do it?”-things are the beginning and the ending. Also the first level is a great and overwhelming introduction; it still was the weakest level of the whole game and the decision to make it the level for the demo was a great mistake. I know many gamers that didn’t buy the game because the demo felt dated and didn’t really show what the game really was about. It felt more like a 08/15-shooter than a real innovation and that’s a real shame but since I bought the game, this is just for all of you, that didn’t like the game because of the demo. My grudge is with the ending because BioShock lines itself up with games like Quake 4 or Dark Messiah of Might & Magic. Yes, you guessed right! Not only is the end fight once again totally lame and easier than any Big Daddy-battle up to that point but both end sequences (there are two endings. Which one you see depends on if you harvested or rescued the Little Sister throughout the game) is also everything but satisfying. It’s especially disappointing because the game brilliantly builds up the tension to a point where you are ready to explode. Once you step into the last elevator and hear the very last radio message of the game, you really feel it. Everything you heard and did makes total sense and only one last task remains. A duty, which you want to fulfill not because the game requires you to do it but because you truly believe that it is the right thing to do and then you get a climax, which is so bad, that it almost ruins the rest of the game and leaves you behind wishing you could take the blue pill (or was it the red? Ah, woo cares!). I’ve played many games with an unsatisfying ending but in a game like BioShock it really breaks your heart and makes you wonder, what the hell the developers were thinking.
Another bad is the whole hacking thing. I can’t promise that I won’t play Pipe Mania-like games anymore but I really don’t want to. I truly hate that game at the moment. Since I hacked almost anything in the game, I’ve played it hundreds of times now and it sucks. Whoever thought of the idea of using such a mini-game as the hacking tool should be fired instantly without mercy. The system in System Shock 2 wasn’t that bad and they fucking made that game! At least they should’ve added one or two different types of mini-games but the way it is now, I recommend to everyone: Always have an automatic hacking-tool ready. Doing it manually will only drive you nuts!
Still the game is one of the biggest Game of the Year-candidates and I advise you to unload your wallet and buy it damnit! Boycotting it just because of the activation only hurts the developer and the possibility that System Shock 3 will ever come out! I only hope 2K Games doesn’t drive the franchise to the grave because they already think about doing two more BioShock-games…
And that’s it. Besides FlatOut 2, I didn’t really play any other games in the last few days (or perhaps even weeks). For more information and screenshots head over to MobyGames because I submitted most of the information for these games.