onsdag 25. mars 2009

On "variation".

After finishing some games lately, or quit playing them due to other reasons, I started on a new batch.. Originally I intended to play some other games, but since I was fortunate to borrow a couple of games my plans got messed up.

The first one I borrowed, and tried playing, was Mass Effect. It's a Fantasy In Space type of rpg; some call it space opera, also fitting. It's the same guys that made Knights of the Old Republic for example, had barely heard about it until recently (gogo WoW for making me ignorant). It's a mixup of a 3d shooter light (about the same level as Resident Evil 4, more cover use but less ammo trouble and movement strains) with some very thin thread of turn based gaming when you bring up menus (and pausing the game) to use "psykerabilities" or biotics or whatever it is called this time around and a dialogue driven story outside combat. It's a fresh IP instead of some license this time around, and the little bit I have played so far it takes some very recognisable elements ("Evil alien wants to wipe out humanity, by making friends with race who worships older race who wiped out the first civilized race"), hardly very original but so far it's well handled. Voice acting and ohmygod the faceanimations are just incredible, on top of nice dialogue options and shades of grey ethics (no light and dark side jedi stuff phew), has made it very fun thus far. It has some driving around in a vehicle bits which at first try was very annoying, but that was maybe because I didn't do it right, hoping it's not some big ass flaw that will deduct from the other parts of the game.

The other borrowed game I started on was Dead Space. A survival horror shooter much like Resident Evil 4; same over the shoulder view, running around getting jumped by creepy things while getting fed with mysteries and so on. The setting and story is just like Mass Effect oh so familiar even though the IP is fresh; some mining vessel getting minerals by eating pieces of planets puts out a distress call, and the protagonist has his gf on board, when getting there it seems abandonded, and shortly after you get seperated from the others while seeing them ambushed through some windows by horrible monsters. After that you get told to do different things to help with the mission of finding out what is wrong and getting the ship going and so on. The monsters remind me the most of the Myrmidons I think they were called out of Myth: The Fallen Lords, so I am guessing they are zombies, but they look like mutants too I suppose. It looks simply incredible, and the sound and how they have designed it creeps the beejezuz out of me. I recognise so much of movie ways of doing things, or all kind of fantasy in space themes too it's a little ridiculous, but they do it oh so well. When walking in a dark section the weapon flash light thingie found some writings on the wall along the lines of "No God, Know Fear - Know God, No Fear" and some other pieces, so I wonder if it will turn religious at some point too.. Can't wait to get further in.

But the problem is, both games are shooters, and being currently sick and not really managing to keep focus or energy to play immersion intense games, what do I do? I pick a third game. A blast from the past, that I tried starting again some months ago.

Icewind Dale 2.

Old school D&D system action rpg from an isometric viewpoint; last time I started playing it I had a hell of a hard time - Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 was for the most part a breeze, so it was a bit of a shock to struggle. But the game lets you create an entire party from the scratch, leaves out interparty relations so it's you against the world, so perhaps they take it into accoun that you can create killer combo group setups. So I took some more time to think out how I wanted the group to be this time around, ending up with 2 fighters, 1 sorcerer, 2 clerics, 1 rogue of a couple of races. As it's a such a laidback game, can just pause it all the time to issue orders and spend a lot of time just picking up loot or have some one way conversations with friendly npcs, it's pretty relaxing to play actually. It's hardly much to look at however, but being so used to that kind of graphics and it doesn't matter much in such a game.

Just happy the horrid D&D rules seems to be a goner from computer rpgs these days, nothing says annoying like having to do the "save and load to get optimal hp amount" thing. Or the low level miss miss miss miss miss dead kind of combat.

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