There are several things on the ‘to discuss’ list for this post (I don’t keep such a list but you get the general idea). First and foremost: this blog finally hit 500 views a week or so ago. Now, this blog has been active since the beginning of November 2011 so 500 views since then really isn’t a monumental figure. However, you’ve got to understand that when I created this blog, I had very little expectation that ANYONE would read it. So, as you may be able to see, hitting a three-figure number is something of an accomplishment for me. If it was psychically possible, I would write each person that has ever read anything on here a unique letter of sincere gratitude, but unfortunately my fingers would probably drop off from over-use and that wouldn’t be handy now would it?
Seriously though, I really do wholeheartedly enjoy the process of taking an idea from the caverns of my mind, putting it into a textual form and hitting that publish button. It’s made even more worthwhile when I see the stats counter increase, even if it is just by one view a day. It’s also made me realize that I would really love to get into professional writing one day and I am hoping to try and find an online publication to volunteer for in the near future.
Anyway, moving on from that. As you may well be aware, since I made my post regarding GAME’s unfortunate financial troubles a few days ago, they have found a buyer and have retained a presence on in the videogame landscape. Half of their stores were closed but there has been somewhat of a light at the end of their very dark tunnel. Before their descent into administration, I managed to get a couple of titles for a pittance in their ‘fire sale’, including Brink, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Rage and Bulletstorm. They’re the second thing I want to discuss in this post.
Firstly, Brink is below average on its best day. Its mixture of clunky controls and abysmal voice acting do not a good game make. However, it is graced with its applaudable attempt at creating something different, despite being in the FPS market which is saturated with clones of each other. It clearly tries to be something other than another run-of-the-mill shooter but it’s a shame that that is the only area where it shines. It feels awkward, has no remaining online community to play with (leaving you with dumb, thumb-up-their-rear-end bots), makes little effort to make you want to keep coming back and is, in all, a failure.
Next game on the list: Rage. I don’t know what it is about this game but I just don’t like it. The gun-play is fairly decent and the graphics are acceptable as well (although some textures look like they’ve been created with a crayon, let alone a powerful engine) but still there is an unknown element lurking within that completely hinders my ability to enjoy the game. Perhaps it’s the laborious and monotonous wondering around of settlements that ruins it for me? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always dislike such a thing. For example, in Skyrim, exploring settlements and conversing with the population can sometimes be more rewarding and interesting than cutting through an entire camp full of bandits, but in Rage, it’s different. I don’t want to speak to these people; There is no dialogue tree from which I can insult their mothers, if the need demands it. Their voices are rubbish and I want to put bullets into their faces, let alone talk to them.
It sounds like I am letting this one, possibly minor, element of the game ruin it for me completely but I don’t think that is just it. When I play it, it feels so familiar to Borderlands for obvious reasons, the biggest of which being the setting and the enemies you face. This is not a good thing because Borderlands is vastly superior and doesn’t insist on me talking to statue-esque, lifeless characters on a screen for lengthy periods of time.
Alright, enough of that. Moving on once more.
Bulletstorm: Simple gory action intertwined with thrilling gun-play and bombastic action sequences. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t expect you to either. You are visually rewarded with more points for the more inventive ways you slaughter your enemies (quick, I think I can hear the Daily Mail getting ready…) which makes you want to change up the way you play the game. Personally, popping heads into a million shards of bones and flesh is infinitely more satisfying than simply watching them fall to the ground like they’ve sustained a concussion. I’m not a violent person by nature but I do get an unexplainable satisfaction from dismembering my enemies’ limbs like ripping the arms off of a Barbie doll. We all do, right? Right?…
I have yet to complete Bulletstorm but I get the impression that it is not a lengthy game, which is hardly surprising these days. It has an online compartment but I purchased the game pre-owned and it employs the use of an online pass so I doubt I’ll be playing that anytime soon. Still, it’s an extremely fun game but I’m glad I am experiencing it with only £5 gone from my pocket instead of £40.
The final game of the four I want to talk about is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I knew that this game existed but it had never crossed within a hundred miles of my radar. How this troubling event ever came to be is a mystery to me. Deus Ex: HR is an utterly fantastic game, worth every penny and then some.
It’s an FPS intertwined with RPG elements, from collecting ammo to an inventory system and your ability to upgrade your character’s augmentations (special abilities, in other words). Not only that, it lets you play in as many different ways as you would like. Want to go in like Jack Bauer and an arsenal of heavy weaponry? You can do that. Want to go through the entire game not so much as letting one drop of blood fall at your hands? You can do that too. You can even go through the game avoiding confrontation at each opportunity it presents itself to you if you so wished. Not only that, the mission areas compliment the multiple different ways you can play the game, with their movement away from the linearity seen in games such as Call of Duty. There are rooms you needn’t go in, vents you can crawl through but also avoid completely. It’s quite refreshing to not be forced down one corridor after another like a rat being forced through an overly simple maze.
Quite simple, Deux Ex: HR excels at what it does. It has compulsory missions that are open-natured by themselves but also ‘city hubs’ that allow you to wander of your own free will and complete side missions. You can converse with characters with a dialogue tree, allowing you to be a knight in shining armor or an evil villain that will trample over their own mother to get ahead. Human Revolution succeeds in blending the FPS genre with the RPG genre and this game is the creation that emerges from the birthing pool. It plays great, it looks great and most of all, it feels great. Picking this game up for a mere £7 was one of the best bargains I have ever had from a game.
One final thing I want to mention before I conclude this post is an idea that came to me whilst reading an article about Timesplitters 2. I have so many games sitting in my collection that I have not played for such a long time. The idea came to me to play through these games every once in a while and blog about it. It would be quite interesting to see how a game changes throughout the course of time compared to when it was first released. It’s just an idea but I would be eating my own shoe right now if I was not certain that I would make use of it in the future.
Anyway, that’s it for now, I promise! Don’t let me keep you any longer. 🙂