More zombies! More islands!

Back from another round of dead island and from this point the game is still rather entertaining. I’ve been using the game’s vehicles a lot more then I should be and managed to get a few into pedestrian only areas. Needless to say that ended well, especially when you get your car stuck on a planter and are desperately trying to get the frak out of there while zombies swarm your car. It was all fairly standard until it happened. It. The one event that will change the world forever. Our generation’s atom bomb, trojan horse, sliced-frakking-bread. Some poor fool, I should note it wasn’t his fault entirely, he was probably worn down by the trauma he had undergone, bit it remains. Some poor fool, gave me a sickle. By the lords of Kobol the zombies didn’t deserve the massacre I wrought upon them. It was a dark day indeed, and it only stopped when the sickle, as all things must, broke in my hand (Well, it stopped shortly after that. I killed a few zombies with the broken handle). After which I went merrily on my way.

Things get a bit blurry after that, but I soon after found myself in a jungle looking for a survivor’s husband. Seeing as no roads lead there I had to

It's Vietnam all over again!

do things the hard way. Mainly, I had to go on foot. Which can actually prove a challenge in this game as zombies inhabit most of, well, everywhere! Not to mention this involved me going through a jungle. I, being me, immediately started flashing back to Vietnam. Now I know what you’re all thinking. “Richard, you’ve never been to nam” I say that you’re right, not only did I have the trauma of a Nam flashback, but it was the completely new to me. I have termed this, the Uberflashback. I actually found next to no zombies in the jungle, which was odd, I figured they must be waiting for me somewhere. So I paranoidedly moved from tree to tree. With my new weapon, the HAMMER. I didn’t think this would be as good weapon overall, but it ended up having incredible durability, and decent damage. Not to mention completely smashing every zombie I’ve come across.  In other words, hammers = victory, and THE JUNGLE IS FULL OF GUERILLA FIGHTERS.  Also cars are a fun alternative to any other zombie killing method the game delivers.

Ahh fire, what won't it fix?

Now, this images says so much. The game has “thug” type zombies. Which are bigger, tougher, and have the ability to throw you back a few feet with a hit. Every one I’ve encountered so far has been a careful game of dodging their swings and returning my own hits repeatedly. Until today. Today, something clicked. Something in me said “I’m going to solve this like I solve every other problem in my life, with EXCESSIVE FORCE”. Opening the inventory screen I found just the force I needed. The classic Molotov. Life just got good, really good as I managed to burn about five other zombies as well. All in all, fire good. Fire very good. Soon after this image I found the man I was looking for in the first place. Where did I find him?

Seriously Bill?

 

The man is in a house full of people who take full advantage of the zombie invasion, by getting drunk and high behind a small makeshift wall. I swear if I have to go back to this building I will burn the frakking place down and feed everyone inside to the zombies.

Still I’m having fun with this, I’ve gotten it from a friend that the cities in game are rather impressive. So I’ll have to drive into one at some point. I expect my immediate and sudden death my zombies frakking everywhere!

Dinosaurs the TV show, now with plot!

The third installment of Terra Nova aired yesterday, and like any person who is following the show with slight interest and really has nothing better to do, I sauntered upstairs to the TV to watch.

Spoilers everywhere, so if you haven’t seen it and actually care, don’t read on.

This episode starts off with a small group of people acting… well odd. Unless screaming randomly, or acting like a 5-year-old when you’re forty is normal (No, Voyager doesn’t count. That was a 3-year-old acting 20.) This quickly escalates to someone being eaten by a dinosaur. For those counting at home, this brings the total dino killcount up to about 10. Nine of them being from a breakoff group from the colony and none of them being random security guards (Discounting the sixer breakoff guards).

Anyway, to two second title opening (the silhouette of the main family followed by the words “Terra Nova”) rolls and we’re back to the people we

No, it's not THAT Washington

actually care about. This episode actually goes out of its way to show that Lieutenant Washington (The lady who’s in charge of the guards) is actually a character and is now one of three I know the names of. The other two being Josh and Matty. Two of the actual main characters of the show.

In this episode we find out that Washington has other uses then standing around and not wearing her helmet. Although they are few. Mainly sitting in the office while the leader of the colony is out doing stuff. Back to the story. The colony leader, the wife of the main guy (who is also a doctor,) and Random security guard number 23 go to the place in the first scene to find out why they’ve lost contact.  They come into contact with something strange that appears to wipe out memory and place someone somewhere in their past.  This leaves one of the outpost workers there in the “Detroit food riots”, the wife in medical school, and the commander going full-out PTSD and launching a one man attack on his own colony.  And because this is the bastion of humanity in a completely hostile environment, it took the commander all of ten seconds to break in and hold Washington hostage.

That aside it does go into showing that some of these characters have rather interesting backstories, and the show can do something that isn’t completely sixers or Dinosaurs.

Dead Island

Dead Island. It’s made a bit of news in the gaming world. So I tried it on a whim. I know, I know the game has been getting some bad reviews lately, but really, I have to say it is the single best first-person-zombie-rpg-set-on-a-tropical-island I’ve ever played. Seriously though I’d play this game like a shooter, but it’s not raining guns like most other zombie shooters. I remember back in Resident Evil 2 and 3, you were the luckiest frakker alive if you had 30 bullets in your bag. The game does appear to be set in Australia, so I expect some guns. Well, at least I didn’t chose the black Australian gun specialist as my player. Right? … Crap. I knew I should have played as the guy with the hammer.

The first real problem I had with the game was the fact it is essentially Left 4 Dead with breakable weapons, larger maps, less guns, and classes. To be honest, this isn’t entirely a bad thing. Having fun with it so far. It’s a shooter/smasher/slicer/throw-large-objects-at-zombies game, that’s no doubt. Still, it’s ended up being fun as all frak. One thing in dead island that left 4 dead could have used, and that’s the ability to get behind the wheel of a car and Run. Down. Everything.

Driving down the streets of this island smashing through zombies is really what gives this game it’s finesse. I’ve smashed countless zombies and only had the car for ten minutes. However this did save me quite a long and painful walk up to the lighthouse.  I should note it’s a bit awkward for me to drive these things, with the driver on the right hand side but the zombies don’t mind.

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let me go through a bit of the game. It starts off with a cut-scene that really tells you nothing except SOMEONE out there has a really nice watch, likes to drink, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the storyline what so ever. Well, at least it tells you…. that there are zombies. I hadn’t guessed that to begin with. After that cut-scene you get to pick your character, a white guy with tattoos who likes to throw knives, a black girl who uses guns, an Asian girl who has a thing for swords (I see we go straight to the racial stereotypes here) or a big token black guy who likes to smash things with hammers.

I choose the gun specialist on the hopes that I’d get some guns. None so far, but it doesn’t seem to be impeding me too much as there is plenty of improvised weapons all around. The game starts off by telling you how to move, how to open doors, and how to loot. Ah the looting, considering my character I’m glad the game set straight to stealing things (I only imply that my character has a talent for theft because he’s Australian, not black. That’s less racist somehow.) After running through a fancy hotel screaming like a llama driving a car and running from zombies. I should also add that I found a bottle of rum and did most of this drunk. Everything get’s a bit blury from that point, but I woke up in a straw hut that zombies are swarming with a lifeguard turned hero beating the crap out of zombies outside. So I went out and stole all of his kills.

Apparently standing around in a hut made of sticks during the FRAKKING ZOMBIE ATTACK OF THE CENTURY is a bad idea. Even more surprisingly, somebody figured it out. So (at some point it was implied I’m immune) I have to do everything around here. After a long walk to the big concrete and metal lifeguard station that’s conveniently built like a fortress. The bad news? It’s full of zombies, go have fun clearing it out. Eventually you get sidequests from that location and overall it’s looking rather good. If I can get back to the game I’ll wrote more about it.

Terra Nov-OHFRAKDINOSAURS

I know, I know, the two people who read this want the second half of the deus ex post. I’ll get around to it, Deus ex 3 is long and I want to beat it a few times over before I get writing on it.

In the meantime, I have managed to take in the first two episodes of Terra Nova; a new science fiction series on fox where colonizing the past is far easier then the moon… although they said they had domed cities that kept the air on Earth out (It’s toxic now, you see? Al Gore was right DESPITE all the science that says he isn’t) so why building a frakking TIME MACHINE to an alternate timeline and not flying up to the moon and plopping down a few cities there is a good idea I’m not sure. Anyway, I digress. The future seems to be rather dark and cyberpunkish with “population police”, mistreatment of prisoners, and various other human rights violations. Before I could start scanning the crowds for Adam Jensen we went through the Stargate time portal to Terra Nova! Rather then build any sort of structure to house their side of the portal, the Terran Novians simply have it in the jungle. So all of the new colonists, still lazy from their lives on Earth and not even able to breath the air have to do a large trek through dinosaur invested jungle to the settlement. That will toughen them up. Before I actually go on if you haven’t seen any of the show you should watch the trailer.

So right, that. I haven’t even seen it to be honest, I just linked it. But my guess is that it’s about the show in some way, so I’ll assume it was.

The pilot episode went well enough, except I wanted to punch that Josh kid in the face. Apart from that, few complaints. It had dinosaurs, eye candy, dinosaur eye candy, what more could I ask for? They even added some human enemies for when shooting dinos gets boring.

Second episode rolls around, and this time Josh has less magnetic force pulling my fist to his face. We’re already off to a good start! Further more, the show managed to not screw anything up in it’s second episode. Some changes here and there but unlike a lot of series (Kindred) they didn’t change anything massive without explanation. The only thing I did notice changed was the armour the redshirts wear becoming less bulky and looking more like hockey pads. Plenty of reasons for that, old armour was ceremonial or dress armour or something that means they don’t usually wear it so it stays shiny.

Overall, it’s a show I’m willing to give a chance, and it’s caught my interest so far. Other then the dinos seeming to be armour plated I don’t see much wrong with it. It definitely has the potential to be a great show.

And you deus ex part 2 is coming! Be patient!

Deus ex frakkingrobotpeople. (Human Revolution part 1)

It’s been a while. I’ve been caught up in other things, and I’m writing away from home on my girlfriend’s British style laptop. What’s the difference between a British laptop and a North American one? Well the “@” key is now above the ‘ key and not the 2, which is where the quotation marks usually sit. They are now above the 2. So basically, quotation marks and @ have switched places. There are probably more differences, but I have yet to find them.

Onto the second order of business, I did say I would be adding more about Just Cause 2. Sadly, I have not gotten in much time because the game really has made no attempt to catch my attention again. The first few missions were cool, but I’d barely figured out how to drive a motorcycle and they dumped me in the middle of the island. At first, I reacted as one would expect in that situation; I instantly headed out and started my revolution by smashing as much stuff as physically possible, which was fun for a while. Another highlight was finding a statue of the guy leading the island nation (Whose name I forget, so we’ll just call him Gaddafi) and tied it to a recently liberated military vehicle and drove off. As it seems, the military’s cars are strong enough to bring down statues of megalomaniac dictators.

Throughout the entire time I couldn’t help but think that the grappling and parachute system would work infinitely better in a much more “massive urban city” type environment. Now I know there is supposed to be a large island capital city in game (or so I’ve been lead to believe) but after a few hours of running randomly, I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, onto my current review.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution!

The one problem I’ve had to far with this game is that I have yet to play it. Being away from home meant I had to send out my top UNATCO agent, Mrmol (not saying much, they let Gunther in after all). My agent failed his mission, getting the regular edition rather then the special edition, and said something about the Netherlands stealing it, so I’m just going to rant about the previous games and the book, from the same series, “Icarus Effect”.

I’ll start with the shortest review. Deus Ex 2; The Invisible War. SCREW YOU. That is all.

Now, onto the first game. I first went into Deus Ex with mixed feelings. I was mainly propelled by the de-motivational you see here.

Needless to say, walking into a game because some random poster on the internet told you to is an AMAZING idea. Once again I was proved right in blindly following the internet’s orders. Deus Ex turned out to be an amazing game that gave me a sense of depth and realism that I still can’t quite put my finger on. As UNATCO agent Mrmol, mentioned above, found out, you can actually get chewed out for running into the woman’s washroom.

Another great part of the game I noticed is that unlike most of the games I see that offer different playstyles, I don’t feel forced into any kind of role. I just fell into the role I wanted to play, and even after taking a several month break from the game I jumped back in where I left off and I was able to easily modify my playstyle.

After falling into a playstyle like that, it was extremely interesting to watch the differences between my and fellow Agent Mrmol’s games. I took on a more stylized approach. Finding hidden vents, hacking and lockpicking, sneaking around (Stealth aug frak yeah!), EMPing or avoiding bots, and fighting melee with the frakking laser sword! On the other hand, Agent Mrmol found his GEP (Guided Explosive Projectile) gun and used it to solve EVERYTHING. Enemy soldiers? GEPgun. Locked door? GEPgun. Need to take down a power generator? GEPGUN! This vastly different playstyles lead to extremely different outcome in our respective games. I’ve never seen a specific type of playstyle change the outcome of a game before. But early on in the game, Agent Mrmol learned that if one is careless with high-explosives when allies are within half a meter of enemies…. it ends badly.

Just when I thought I had figured out why people seem to really like this game, it hit me with one of the most amazing stories I have ever seen. The following does contain spoilers, so if you want to go back and play the first game before starting Human Revolution, don’t read it.

As the game starts, we find ourselves looking up at half the Statue of Liberty, only to find that terrorists of the NSF (National Secessionist Forces) have overrun it and taken your comrade, Gunther Hermann, hostage. I have two stories to tell from this point in. The first will be my own:

After being given a glorified tazer and a hand mounted crossbow, I started sneaking around. The patrols were sparse, and badly armed, so I could easily sneak around them or tranquilize the unavoidable ones with my crossbow. I ended up scaling a wall on the far side of the island with the help of some storage containers. After disarming some bombs in my way and tazing a few guards I was faced with a choice. I could either go up the statue to where the leader of the terrorists was and take him down, completing my mission but leaving my comrade Gunther at their mercy and hoping the Terrorists didn’t decide to shoot him while UNATCO (United Nations Anti-Terrorist COalition) agents storm the base. Alternatively, I could go down a level and free him before taking out the lead terrorist. I decided that the leader could wait and I had to free Gunther. I worked my way down the level, taking down a security camera while I was at it. After crawling through a few airvents I found the cell Gunther was being held in. After freeing him, he decided he was ready to join the fight himself and asked me for a weapon. Not being one to say no to a 6 foot tall German who is more machine than

I'm not screwing with this guy

man, I gave him my sidearm (I wasn’t really using it anyway) and he proceeded to clear out every enemy on the floor himself. One simple walk back up the stairs later I found the leader of these terrorists, who promptly surrendered without incident.

By the time the troopers had taken my prisoner to his cell, the rest of the NSF had been either killed fighting or captured themselves. I went down to our UNATCO headquarters (conveniently located on the island that was attacked) and met some of my coworkers. I was even given my pay and some gear from a guy with an armory full of boxes (who complimented me on not shotgunning people in the face).

Alternately on Agent Mrmol’s side:

Land on island

Get GEP gun

Shoot everything with GEP gun

Break in the front door

Forget about Hermann

That’s just an example of the vast differences in playstyle that Deus Ex allows. All this, and the game was never actually finished. It was rushed ahead and a lot of planned features (such as being able to have a female Denton [The name JC was made to be unisex for that purpose] and even side with UNATCO and Majestic 12) were scrapped.

I could go on about this game for a while, but it’s time to move onto my last thing here.

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect

I would be lying if I said I didn’t go into the new Deus Ex and its prequel of a prequel book, Icarus Effect, with a bit of apprehension. A prequel that was written and developed by a completely different company usually ends with massive continuity errors and plotholes so big you’ll fall through them if you’re not careful. Luckily, Icarus Effect doesn’t actually screw it up too badly. And where it does screw things up, it explains.

It even has Hermann!

My biggest problem with the new stuff is the imperial frakton of mech augs running around. In the original Deus Ex the number of mech augs could be counted on one hand (Anna, Gunther, General Carter. See? Also Page and Simons were nanoaugs, not mechs) but in Icarus Effect (and so I’m told Human Revolution) they are everywhere. (Spoilertime) At the end of Icarus Effect this is explained with the Illuminati significantly setting back human augmentation for their own ends.

The book itself was well written. The characters were good, the augment fight scenes had me on the edge of my seat, and the use of ingame weapons and augs leaves me rather excited to try them ingame. The book also left me with a rather heavy urge to punch Barrett in the face. Repeatedly. With that aug-sword. Yeah he’s a jerk. The only real thing I hope for is some sort of appearance of the two main characters, Ben Saxon and Anna Kelso, in the game. After talking with Mrmol who’s been playing it, I may not get that.

Still a good experience overall, and I look forward to writing about the game once I get into it.

Just Cause 2

With Just cause 2 I intentionally remained in the dark about most of it until I actually started playing. Because of this, I went into the game with one expectation. An expectation, which I should state, was met. I’m currently not too far into the game as my fellow bloggers are taking up a fair amount of time with other activities.

To help fix this, I’ll go play some right now.

And I’m back. First thing I should point out about this game is how much my grappling hook makes me feel like spiderman. I’ve seriously gone swinging around a city humming the spiderman tune.

So after webslinging around the city a little, I went to the waterfront and acquired a boat from some local military types who were more then happy to allow spiderman to use their equipment. I also found out boat hijacking has quicktime events where you beat the crap out of the driver of the boat. So after acquiring a boat, I set sail to what looked like a large city. A thunderstorm was already working up

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sadly before I could complete my plans the city turned out to be an oil refinery. With a helicopter. An angry helicopter. So I spiderjacked it, more quicktimes (every command was punch the pilot in the face) and then got locked down by SAMs. One parachute-ride-out-of-an-exploding-helicopter-because-SAMsites-are-evil later….

Rain? Check. Thunderstorm? Check. Rampage time.

Not some massive urban firefight, but I can live with blowing the crap out of an oil refinery.

So far, I have two problems with this game, first being that I CAN’T FIND A WAY TO OPEN MY FRAKKING MAP and thus, have been lost most of the time. And the lack of destructible environment. Which, if there was, nothing would be standing for more then ten minutes. So I can see why they don’t have too much.

More on this game as I get around to it.