Monday, August 23, 2010

I am in the middle of spending a month at my internet free cottage, so i decided to pick up red dead redemption to pass the time. Its another game by rockstar, which means 30+ hours of single player game play, and alot of free roaming and stuff to do when your finnished. Like GTA4 red dead is made from the euphoria engine, which means the both play very similarly. The atmosphere in Red Dead is very good. I dont think its quite as good as Grand Theft Autos liberty city, but it really capture the feel of the old west. Alot of the characters are more likeable, including protagonist (or antagonist) John Marstan who you play throughout the game. The story is about you (John Marstan) trying to hunt down your former gang mates after the government captures your family, and takes them ransom untill you kill off all of the gang. It has alot of tweaks to make the game more friends with the sprawling land scape, the biggest being the ability to fast travel.

Another thing that makes the game stand out is dead eye. Its bullet time with a twist. It lets you mark targets on enemys in bullet time, then when you finnish your character will shoot all the spots you marked in quick suceccion. This can be really fun to use, and your meter recharges fast enough that you can use it often.

Another thing that makes red dead different then gta is the fame and honor system. Everytime you complete certain objective you get fame and honor. Fame is gained by doing anything that people notcie, weather its saving a damsel in distress, or killing a town full of people. But honor is gained by doing the right thing and lost by doing the wrong thing. As you gain and lose honor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Not everything that I do is related to xbox. Infact I don't spend much time on it besides playing borderlands. I have recently been playing more games on my computer, and one of the more fun, cheap games is torchlight.

It's on steam for $19.99, if you don't use steam you cannot get this game as it is only sold through steam.

Torchlight is very simmilar diablo, a very successfully action rpg made by Blizzard. In my opinion one of the greatest games around even today. They are finnially working on diablo 3 but it still looks like a year or so away so torchlight makes a great appitizer.

Saying torchlight is simmilar to diablo isn't the right word. Torchlight is a diablo clone, there have been many unseccesfull diablo clones but this one for the most part does things right. It dosent stray far from the diablo formula like so many others do. Everything done from waypoints, town portals and identity scrolls make an appetance in torchlight.

It also adds some new features that improve the way things are played. Alowing you to remove jems from armour and weapon when you get new gear (destorying what was in it), a stash the is comunal for all of you chars. They also improved the spell/ability casting alowing you to map spells to your number bar. Potions also stack so you only need to map one button for mana potions and one for health. Another neat feature is your pet. When you create your char you can choose between a dog and a cat. Your pet aids you in combat, but more importantly can hold extra equipment and then run back to town to sell junk for you, keeping the action going.

Being a diablo player I like to use the two button aproach. Use one spell (generaly basic attack) to left mouse button, and another spell to the right. You then map spells to the f keys to switch out what spell is on right click. Then you can use the mouse wheel to scroll through spells. In torchlight you can do most of that except for using the mouse wheel. Instead you map a secondary spell on your right click and press tab to swap them out. I good idea but it felt odd.

Another slight negative is the level design. It gets quite confusing and the many quests you get don't point you in any sort of direction. When you leave the game it forgets the map you explored so you can end up going backwards.

In terms of story you choose one of the characters, your classic beefy warrior, a scrony male alchemist which fills your caster type, and a woman who only likes to armour her private areas, she plays like an archer/rogue. You arive at a town called torchlight (the oddly enough houses a giant torch in the middle) which happens to have a catacombs that's a hundred levels deep filled with demons (sound fimilliar?). Your goal is to save this mining town going all the way down, (no spoilers here)

One of the huge downsides to the game is the total lack of multiplayer. Multiplayer is one of the things that made diablo so amazing and still keeps it's fan base today. The lack of multiplayer cuts replay value, but it also cuts gold spammer bots jumping into your games!

The game has a nice art style featuring cell shaded characters and envioroments that really works well with the game. For fans of diablo and point and click RPGs, torchlight is a great game to tide you over for your wait of diablo 3. For $20 you can't go wrong even with the lack of multiplayer you will be hacking and slashing through waves of badies for quite a while!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

For The Imperium

A few days ago I purchased Dawn of War2 through Steam. Although it is a computer game and not for xbox, it is run using Games for windows, which means that you log in to your gamer tag and thus it has achievements, gamerscore and all that fun stuff! For those of you who dont know what Dawn of War it, its an RTS game, based on the Warhammer 40,000 universe. (Warhammer 40k is a game played with miniatures) The first dawn of war was a simple RTS with a very refined resource system that wasn't too complicated and let you amass a huge force in very little time. The game was very successful and ended up having 3 expansions.

Well the developer [Relic] is finished with Dawn of War 1 and has created the sequel. The games campaign has you playing as a Space Marine Force Commander. Newly promoted you need to prove yourself by saving your Chapter, and defeating the Tyranid swarm in the sector. On top of the force commander you have access to 4 other squads. Although you can only bring three to a mission one must stay behind to protect the ship.

The game works very different compared to most RTS games. There is no base building. No resource gathering. You start a mission being drop podded in with your 4 squads. You can capture relays, chapels and armory's to reinforce your squads when you lose members. The game plays a lot more like an Action RPG then an RTS. As your squads kill things in battle, they gain experience and level up. A majority of missions also end with a boss fight in which you have to kill one super strong unit. These end up being very entertaining but can also kill you easily in which you will have to go through the whole mission again to get to the end. You also gain wargear at the end of missions as well as random drops from certain units. In between missions, you spend your time leveling up your squads, giving them skill points in Health, Shooting, Combat and Energy, as well as outfitting them with gear you have collected.

Overall though not traditional I found it to be very entertaining. But where the real fun comes in is in Co-op. When you go to start a campaign you invite a friend to your game and you can start fresh or continue another campaign you have going with your friend. You both choose two units you want to take and you get control of those two. The other players units with appear a black colour as opposed to the stranded red so you can tell them apart. The game instantly becomes more enjoyable, coming up with better tactics to crush your opponents. It is also easier to micro manage the abilities of two squads as opposed to four. The only downside is that the host keeps all of the progress and wargear for his campaign. As well there is no campaign matchmaking, its invite only.

The online (and single player) skirmishes work very differently. You start out with a building, a commander and a squad of basic infantry. You need to capture requisition nodes for money, and power generators for power. At your base you can spawn units, as well as upgrade your base to get access to more units. Your goal of the game is to capture control points. There are three on a map and the more you have the more your opponents score widdles away. If someones score hits zero the other team wins. You get access to three more races in skirmish, the stupid Orks, the intelligent, advanced Eldar. As well as the Xeno-alien race Tyranids. Skirmishes are much different from the campaign and more inline with Standard RTS's.

The last game mode is called Last Stand. It works like Gears of Wars Horde mode, or Halo ODST's Firefight. You start as either Eldar, Ork or Spacemarine. You are in an enclosed area in which waves of enemies come to bring you down. As you level up (you only get awarded the experience at the end of the game) You will get a new piece of wargear to equip that will make you more powerful. Your heroes will always stay leveled, although a level 11 Ork Mekboy can play with a level 1 space marine Commander. The ork will just have more abilities, the opponents will still be the same o kill. Its a fun game type but is only really fun the first couple of times you play it, as in most games you make it to wave at then die.

All in all Dawn of War two is an ambitious game that gets a lot of things right. It turns the RTS genre on its head, and it makes for a much more action oriented game in which you dont spend hours building up defenses to your base. Although hardcore RTS fans might not like the simplicity of the campaign, the online skirmishes will be sure to please. This game will not only please RTS fans, but also fans of games like Diablo and Torchlight will enjoy the action RPG element of the campaign.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lost Planet 2

Lost Planet2 just got anounced today by capcom via inside xbox and xbla. It showed off a trailer for the game had a cool on rails looking moment on a boat with helicopters exploding all around. Then it showed some gameplay of a squad of guys running and shooting through a jungle. That's where it lost me. Yes, Lost Planet the game where the whole time you had to collect and store heat because the planet was so cold. Now there running through jungles and beaches. What is the cool inovative thing now? Collecting and storing cold? It reminded me of Far Cry 2 how it had nothing to do with the first game. But then I remembered what a good game it still was! It showed some really cool action sequence with you squad mates. They acctually seemed smart. It showed off the grapple hook the first game was famous for. It seemed like a pretty basic shooter with some really good graphics. Then it showed off the an epic boss that capcom is famous for. Then is was a Q and A. It explained that the planet was hot now because 10 years passed and it went in to global warming. It sounds kind of cheesey but who knows how it will play out.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Halo What??

So when I first booted up the Halo Wars demo it was a really strange feeling. Seeing Ensemble Studios At the begining of halo game was quite strange. The menu looked quite simmilar to Halo3. That's where the simmilarities end. The demo starts out with a tutorial and shows off there control scheme. They actually did an amazing job that I this is almost as good as a mouse and keyboard. It uses the right analog stick as a main selector. The one strange thing is moving attaking and selecting with "x" after so many console rts's use the a button.

I think that they really captured all of the halo elements of the units. Warthogs are the best example. They fish tale around corners take jumps off mounds of dirt yelling Whooo Hooo! As well ever unit has special abilities. Very fitting the warthogs special ability was ramming. Drive up to a pack of grunts and see them go flying. That's the other this I noticed. When you kill some grunts they don't all die the same way. Some fall over and some explode into the air from exploding fusion coils.

Another unique thing are the bases. Instead of just throwing baracs all over the place. It works with a main control building with several ports surrounding it. Each port can contain a certain building such as a barrac's or vehicle depot. Both the UNCS and Covonent bases work the same.

From what I can tell from the demo they did an amazing job and mastered the console rts controls and made a game that will have a killer campaign With a varying degree of difficulties easy normal heroic and legendary. I am very excited for when this game hits store shelves!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Halo Wars Demo

Just letting you know that halo wars ensemble studios Real Time stragey game based in the halo universe is going live on febuary 5th at 2:00 pm pacific time!!