Driver SF makes interesting use of its limited palette of game experience (I was sincerely shocked to see Tanner leave his car in a cut scene, I had started to think of him as some kind of Darlek). While under shift attack attack for example the gameplay is reversed from that required for escaping from police pursuit. A subtle twist on skills already learnt.
Dungeon Siege 3: First impressions
I had the time to have a quick bash at Dungeon Siege 3. I loved the first game but couldn’t get into the second. The third is quite a radical departure with a Steampunk rather than high fantasy feel. The new control mix of block - tumble - attack is also quite new compared to more familiar click and special attack. Really not sure how I feel about it at the moment. I did enjoy the...
Dawn of War II - Retribution
I’ve got a real weak spot for DoW and actually liked the change to be focussed on heroes. So far Retribution is looking like an enjoyable addition to the series. I’ve started an Ork and Space Marine campaign. The Orks voiceover is a zany mixture of Irish, Jamaican and West Country that suits the general freewheeling feel of the units. The Marine campaign continues the story of the...
Scott Pilgrim Multiplayer
I bought a second PS3 controller (no USB cable! how cheap is that!) and this week when some friends came over we had the chance to play two-player Scott Pilgrim. What a revelation! The game is a lot more fun with two people and much faster paced as well. You can actually just brawl through the level rather than grinding for money and experience.
I have struggled for months to get through this mission (which involves fighting your way out of a SWAT bust). While getting in and fighting on the way out was relatively easy losing your wanted status seemed impossible. In the end I used the following tactics: travelling to the mission I had the chance to get a Range Rover style chunky SUV, this was handy when escaping because they can take an...
WoW Cataclysm: The new races
I am possibly the worst WoW player who continues to pay a subscription. After six years (I was there at the start!) I have managed the grand rank of 73 on my most consistent character. To make sure that minimal progress continues I decided to create alternate Goblin and Worgen characters over the holidays and play through their new starting levels (Gnome and Troll characters must also be done at...
A holiday gift? For me?
I just got a Jack o’ Lantern bag drop! I think this is the first random holiday item I have ever received and it is actually useful as it is two slots bigger than my smallest bag. Goddammit it’s actually made me happy.
Iron Man MMORPG
One of the cool things that Lotro does is give out titles if you are not defeated in battle. Now in most MMORPGs I’ve played dying is something that seems to happen within minutes of leaving the newbie area. Either something spawns in behind you, you mis-judge the required power combinations or you just plain have an interface fail. With my first Middle Earth character I got through 15...
Bioware's rogue problem
Bioware seem addicted to cancelling stealth in all of their games, completely throwing away one of the key aspects of the roguish class. Any cutscene? Cancel stealth. Any conversation? Cancel stealth. One of the most annoying examples is when your stealth gets cancelled by the boss of the other side giving some “I will destroy you!” speech. Well yes you probably will now that...
Red Dead Redemption: Water so strong it can kill a...
Ouch, this is a beautiful but unforgiving game. During my first ten minutes I accidentally stole a horse. By steal I mean mount a horse that was not, apparently, my designated horse. Even though that horse was tied to the rail of the shack my character lives in. So having incorrectly mounted the horse I have a $20 bounty on my head and two “lawmen” after me. Lawman who apparently...
Dragon Age: Excuses
You know how I said I would help you with your werewolf problem? Well you know I got to this castle and this dragon appeared and completely owned me, like four times. Not only that but I don’t seem to be able to persuade anyone of anything at the moment. So I’m going to go and deliver some messages and see if I can’t get some crowd control and tanking going on. Then I’ll...
Free Trials a real pain in the ass
PC Gamer this month came with Age of Conan on the disk. Magic I thought, I’ll install the client and give the endless trial a go. OMG! What a mess. I have Funcom account from the old Anarchy Online trial. Can I use that for Conan? No, can I use the same account name? No. Surely a pre-existing registration should make things easier? Having created a new account and linked it to the old one...
Uncharted 2: Himalayas
I got Uncharted 2 for Christmas and while admiring the flashback structure of the opening of the game the sucky console combat was a bit of a blocker for me for quite a while. However at the point that you are climbing the ruined hotel the experience was something else. The game really felt like playing an action film, only a few cronky control moments over jumps detracted from the experience....
With the release of Mass Effect 2 I thought I should try and finish Mass Effect. I decided to buy the game on Steam and was quite impressed to discover that it could find my retail saves and load them. Rather than the rather generic Cpt. Shepherd my character is female, red hair, green eyes and a hip-hop shaved eyebrow that always makes me laugh in the closeups. I hadn’t got very far...
Stalker: Call of Pripyat
It felt deliciously scary, slipping once again into the murky world of Stalker. The barking in the distance, the careful examination of approaching figures through the gun sights. The click of the Geiger counter. I’ve only got as far as the Stalker camp in the grounded ship, even so I did manage to spend a couple of seconds suspiciously surveying croaking frogs.
Save games in the Cloud
So after a clean Windows 7 install (firstly unintentional, second time intentional) I have been seeing how has a sensible saved games policy and who has stuff I’m prepared to play again just to get back to where I was. Firstly, and it shocked me, Windows Live for Games did actually save all my Dawn of War II details. Finally I get some value out of the service I was ambushed into...
L4D2: Dark Carnival
I have been trying to complete Dark Carnival in Single Player but it’s frustratingly hard. The bots don’t use thrown weapons or shot trap objects. I’ve managed to get far enough that the helicopter appears, however it wasn’t clear how to get onto the copter and I was swarmed to death. I know it’s meant to be a multiplayer game but it would be nice if the game was a...
Thanks Steam, Windows...
I really wanted to play Left For Dead 2 last night. So coming home I fire up the PC, let Steam do some updating and then, bam!, a blue screen. Not uncommon, so I restart and then try to restart Steam. Then the problems begin… Steam will not compete its update because the downloaded file is missing. Downloading the latest version from the website fails to repair the existing install so the...
Champions Online: The Return
I decided to return to Champions for a bit on the weekend but found myself dying three times in succession. Combat is really confusing in the game and now the tutorial is a distant memory I am really struggling. I am also at the point where you are having to group and there weren’t that many people around when I logged in.
Machinarium: Tic Tac Toe
This puzzle really ruined my enjoyment of the game for a while. Partly the number of locations you have to traverse to get the various bits and pieces is too big but also there is no real logic to winning the game. As the computer goes first, technically it should never lose. I had to read some advice on a forum about using a chequerboard pattern (basically trying to form a loose grid of x...
Spent a pleasant hour in the company of this cel-shaded shooter. The different graphical look gives it a different feel to Fallout 3 (which I have singularly failed to return too). The initial missions are straight-forward with only the decision to switch between sights and free shooting offering any real options. The RPG element definitely adds some incentive to just shoot up a few more bandits...
Played 10 minutes of this Flash-based point and click adventure and really enjoyed it. The hints and help are really well thought out and I am enjoying the abstract, language-less style. The art is of course terrific.
So the lifetime sub persuaded me and to be honest there is room for a Superheroes game in my collection. The character creator is great fun as you might expect but after playing through the tutorial level I felt underwhelmed. The major problem seems to be the interface, doing things like facing and selecting things seem harder than they should and I’m still not clear on how I should be...
I was worn down before I even got to Northrend; but the chance to play Goblins and Werewolves? Unmissable!
Dawn of War II: Tyranid Fear (or lack of)
I have become hopeless addicted to Dawn of War 2 recently (I liked the first game but this is really a lot more like a sci-fi squad warfare RPG than the RTS original). However it does have a slightly weird thing going on where Tyranids weakness to flames makes them the easiest enemy to fight. As long as you have some melee competency I find myself romping through Tyranid levels. By contrast,...
Tales of Monkey Island Episode One
I love the Monkey Island games so it only took a very limited thumbs up from the press for me to get on board with the new series. Episode 1 is generally in the fine Monkey Island tradition and less annoying that some of the other Telltale games. The puzzle format is generally of the accomplish three tasks variety (familiar from Sam and Max) and there is a jungle puzzle reminiscent of the...
Orion, King of the Woods! Can you hear me? Your boys took a hell of a beating!...– http://twitter.com/bremxjones/statuses/3071210224
Metallica Guitar Hero Controller Woes
My Guitar Hero controller connects as device #7 which is fine as far as the PS3 is concerned but neither Guitar Hero or Rock Band recognise input from the controller. After much scratching of head and fiddling of USB ports I realised that I had to manually assign a lower controller number for the game to recognise the device (I’ve tried 1 & 2). The support FAQ states that the USB...
With the help of a few PC Gamer codes I have taken a bash at Battlefield Heroes and I actually enjoy it a lot more than the other Battlefield games. It’s silly and over the top but the match lengths feel right and there is a constant sense of action without the need to constant work on tactics. The real pain though is in the matchmaking, there’s no point creating a game that takes...
I started playing this on the train last weekend and it’s been beguiling entertainment ever since. On the surface it may not seem a great match, Rockband and Guitar Hero style rhythm button bashing and a handheld console but actually it is a good match because the PSP does really well with tactile games. The button maps do a reasonable job of matching the rhythm with movements across the...
I finally managed to get enough time to complete the game. The game contains a terrific twist at the halfway mark that made me understand why so many critics had raved over it. It worked on the narrative, the philosophical and and raw emotional game levels. As an FPS the shooting was quite boring and the VitaChambers kind of removed any tension and introducing some retrograde behaviour like...
Spend a good four or five hours on Killing Floor this afternoon. A collaborative zombie shooter that lacks the story structure and slickness of L4D but has the bonus of being set in the UK and being a bit more focussed around instant action. Slightly strangely there are a lot of gameplay elements drawn from Counterstrike: buying weapons and character classes. It works though and it places a very...
L4D Survival Mode
I gave Survival Mode a go last night, four hours later it had wrecked my Sunday. It’s an interesting mode where you have to last as long as possible in the siege points of the campaign game. After a minute or two you start getting multiple special spawns in with the zombie wave and it is almost impossible to continue. One thing I found quite tedious is that people spend almost as much...
I gave Paper Moon a quick five minutes this afternoon. It looks lovely and the music really suits the game. The gimmick is neat but ultimately the platforming action just began to wear on me. Jump, platform, jump. There is an achievement for playing on release day which I quite like. It actually almost made me register but I think I would need to enjoy the game a bit more.
So I finally scraped together 3.5M ISK to buy a Vexor and was happily checking out the possible weapon combinations and ammunition to suit my preferred sniper combat strategy when I hit quite a major hitch. My god cruiser weapons are expensive! A pair of 200mm Prototype Railguns cost almost as much as the ship itself. I’m hoping that prices get cheaper on the weekend but it looks like that...
Eve Skill Certification
This is a great change to Eve and does a much better job of putting some structure on the great mess of skills that previously just existed in a nebulous cloud until you couldn’t fit a module or buy a ship you wanted. Loads of the skills like Sharpshooter actually help the way I outfit ships and play the game and I was never aware of them! Crazy!
I never cease to be amazed with the frequency that PSP games can crash. May be I should be more impressed by the games that manage days of reliable resume from power up and power down.
WoW Patch 3.1
I am interested to see the changes in the Patch and it might give me enough incentive to continue the crawl up to Level 70 (splitting my time between a Death Knight and my main character meant I didn’t get very far with either). However this patch means a Talent reset and that means at least an hour of fiddling around with a new build. Am I wrong not to enjoy this process?
Subscribing to Lord of the Rings Online
I think I could go on for hours about how much this experience sucked so let’s just pick a few highlights at random. My password couldn’t contain spaces, except I didn’t get a nice error message explaining that a chance to submit a new valid password I just got an error and needed to click on “Forgotten Your Password?” again. There was no clue that the lifetime...
Far Cry 2's Road Signs
I just noticed a very subtle piece of usability design in that Far Cry 2 uses colours on the road signposts to indicate the location of your next mission waypoint. It’s a bit of an immersion breaker but on the other hand it does mean you don’t have to slow down and examine all of the road signs to find the right turning.
This manic racing game is dangerously addictive, I started to play a demo and within an hour had purchased a license and played for hours. It is a good looking arcade racer that relies on providing a new challenge or achievement every half-hour of play to keep you hooked. It is also just pure fun to race around the city, discovering short cuts, jumps and generally exploring.
Return to Eve
So I finally played a bit of Eve: Apocrypha, I haven’t really touched my account in months. As usual I was playing as I did something else so I still prefer taxi missions. I did notice the improved mission structures though. I took on a mission that was actually just the normal courier X to Y but it actually had three parts that formed a more coherent narrative. Apart from the nonsense the...
Starting Far Cry 2 on the PS3
The introduction to this game is a little strange. Although you get a flavour of a country on the verge of civil war it is hard to understand why your assassination target would let you go and then when you try to leave the hotel it is not at all clear what the hell you are meant to be doing. At first all the combatants ignored me and then I suddenly get shot down and we’re back in...
Watched the trailers for Armed Assault 2 and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. Looks like we’re going to have a choice of soldier sims. I loved Flashpoint and expansions but really failed to get into Armed Assault, perhaps because my PC really couldn’t handle it.
FPS on the PS3
I have been giving Resistance a go on the PS3 and really wondering if there is any point to playing shooters on the console. I really like the Sixaxis controller for a lot of things but trying to use the right joystick to aim is painful beyond belief. You end up doing things that seem contrived to get around the limitations of the interface. For example the alien’s shots are slow enough to...
Making Jacob's delivery
I finally made Jacob’s delivery by driving over the park on top of the tunnel and then reversed up the tunnel, fortunately not killing the dealer or a policeman. Since you have to know what you’re doing to complete it, it really does suffer from the GTA psychic mission syndrome.
Little Jacob's Delivery Bug
I’ve just been grinding my teeth over delivering one of Jacob’s packages. The GPS wayfinder fails to deal with the issue of you being over the delivery point rather than telling you how to get there. This isn’t normally a huge issue but the mission is timed and there simply isn’t time to explore the area to find where the drop-off point really is.
GTA Mission Trajectory
Initially when you try a mission you turn your back to the enemy, get stuck to pieces of scenery, lock on to nothing, get stuck on rubbish dumpsters and end up driving on the other side of the river or the freeway to where your target is. After countless retries and long journeys back to the mission location you end up shooting people as soon as they’ve uttered a word to you, picking up...
I finally got my first Banshee in GTA IV. It’s still a monster ride.