Category Archives: Action
During the most recent Ubisoft Sale on Steam I got around to buying I Am Alive. Before it came out I was intrigued by one of its Trailers, which was fancy and it gave me the idea that we would be playing a highly demanding Survival Game. The Trailer started off by showing your average Office Worker walking down the street, drinking what I assume was a Starbucks Coffee. Suddenly the world around him crumbles in an instant. Buildings topple over and the streets are engulfed in an ash cloud. Fast Forward some time into the future and we see the same Office Worker, now chased by his co-workers, cornered in some spacious hall. They demand his water and he throws them what might had been a water bottle, only for the glass to crack under the assailants and they plummet to their deaths (as it turns out, I remembered the Trailer in reverse order). That trailer made me think, “This game will be awesome.”. After the game’s release I heard the opinions and read the reviews, it wasn’t that good. Since I could buy the game for petty money due to the Sale I went ahead and decided to see what this specific Survival Game had to offer for itself. I was both pleasantly surprised and very much disgruntled.
You wait your habitual long count of twenty after the door slams, staring up at the crazed ceiling with the odd bullethole and the deep, scorched scar leftover from the Maiden Handgrenaten case. Licksy’s signature mélange of BO and nicostix still assails your nostrils when it’s done. The air exchanger where the lower lobe of your left lung used to be does its job finally. You’d been mentally willing it not to wheeze while the dwarf fixer was in your office—for someone with such delicate feelings you’d think he’d do more to keep in clean clothes.
Cold, hard nuyen in the bank. Time to celebrate.
You tip your size 25 boots off your pre-fab desk and reach for the bottom drawer. The creak that erupts from your straining chair is echoed by the creaking of bones. Goblinization hit you harder than most. When the other juves in school were worrying about getting hair on their wedding tackle you were worrying about hiding the tusks and 80 kilos of extra muscle. Humanis policlub had ties with Shatogunda Corp back then, and the best you could hope for was Dad’s contract being terminated when they found out. That didn’t much matter when Dad turned out to be an ork too. You’d think a megacorp headed by a millennia-old dragon would be more willing to tolerate those caught in the fallout of magic returning to the world.
No synth-drek for you this time. Real bourbon. The hard stuff, still in the vacuum-sealed cylinder, is your reward. It glistens like red gold as it eases into the shot glass. That glass is smaller than your yellowed thumbnail, but the night is still young, the fires out in the Sprawl and gunshots closer to your little stomping ground have only just begun—take your time savoring it.
“Seems a little out of your price range,” a wry, feminine voice says.
In a flash, your Ares roomsweeper is out from under the desk, the bottle protectively in your other hand. Only then does the shot glass shatter against the bare ferrocrete floor. A willowy figure is standing in the corner, inspecting the hung pictures and clippings that are all you have to show for twenty years beating the harsh pavement as if the fragging mammoth of a battle shotgun isn’t even there. Long, silky black hair sweeps down a synthleather overcoat. High-heeled jackboots and slender, delicate hands are all you can see protruding from its folds. Too stiff to be decorative. Too scarred to be a corp-brat slumming it. Armored.
You hadn’t heard her come in. And that just didn’t happen. Not good.
“Dish,” you rumble, and set the bottle back in its protective sheathe. It’s meant to be disarming, but the smile out of the corner of her high-boned face tells you she knows you’re freeing your hands for action.
Blinding fast, she turns. Wired reflexes. You flick the shotgun into full-auto mode and let the ominous hum it emits speak for you.
“You’re Jack Hardt? Private investigator?” she asks, moving her hair out of her black, almond eyes. The chrome of a datajack glistens at her temple, but you’re more wary of the chrome peeking from the end of her left fist. Flick razors. She’s too high tech for a lowlife razorgirl.
“And you’re no five nuyen and a hit street samurai,” you return.
You stumble over your chair to keep her out of blade range as she sweeps forward to drop ceremoniously in front of your desk. Her eyes are looking for weakness, laughing and roving over the beaten up 2.5 meter rawboned body that fate deemed fit to bless and curse you with. She tips her head slightly in respect when she finds none.
“Feel free to speculate on what I am not,” she says, then switches to Navajo, a language from a past no one living knew of. “But it would be better for us if you did not think on what I am.”
The words sink in, and the controlled tension eases from your frame just as your heart grows heavier. The roomsweeper is placed carefully on the desk between you two, and you right your chair to sit down.
“So you’re putting together a run?” you sigh.
Her graceful head dips, and you see the tips of her ears peeking through her hair for the first time, confirming your suspicions.
“How much?” you ask.
When I found Hacker Evolution Duality on my desk(top) my first thought was, “Modern Uplink?”. Uplink is a Video Game where you start as a member of the Uplink corporation. Imagine a company that acts as a hub for people in need of hackers. You are an aspiring hacker and you begin with a Windows 95 Computer (well, not really, but it is crappy), a bit of cash and a whole world to “rob”. Before you reach the top you will be at the bottom. And by bottom I mean some dirty mud pit, with just two forks to climb your way out of there. Uplink is a fun game, a challenging game. It takes a lot of thought and preparation. You have to connect to a target server through different other servers, get past passwords, firewalls and proxies, gather, delete or change some data then get out. Depending on who you ended up facing you might have to delete any traces of your presence. What is so fun about Uplink? It feels like you are part of this strange corporation.
Your pulse is pounding, sweat chilled on burning skin that still prickles from the branches and brambles. It was just a few seconds ago, but your head is miles away. Your mind is trying to protect you from the things you’ve seen, from the snarling of dogs and screaming of the victims that were once your friends and comrades-in-arms.
The emergency call. Your downed chopper. The mad dash through the woods.
The old mansion seemed a godsent protection from the hellhounds. But now the door has slammed shut, snapping off the pandemonium behind you as if someone flipped a switch. And you’re starting to wonder if the dogs weren’t preferable. The foyer is empty. Your calls seem sucked away into the void. No help is coming.
All other doors locked, you check the dining hall. A crackling fire in the hearth at the far end adds a random counterpoint to the monotony of an ancient grandfather clock slicing fine the seconds of your life. A knot of anxiety forms in your gut. The house is dead, but you can feel presences all around. You pace down the length of the old mahogany dining table spanning the room, your flak-heavy tread muffled by years of dust covering the marble tiles.
You redouble your cold, clammy grip on your Beretta at the realization that the crackling fire is covering an all too familiar noise: the guttural crunch and squelching of something feeding. It’s just beyond the high-backed chair heading the table.
A pool of steaming red comes into site as you advance. You take a moment to steel your nerve. You swallow the acid scorching its way up your throat. Then you spin past the chair, gun braced, expecting one of those damned dogs.
And what you behold is a sight that has changed video gaming since 1996.
The problem with reviewing a game like Sleeping Dogs is that it tries to recreate the world in miniature, making the review tantamount to the same. It runs, it jumps, it shoots, it races, it gambles, it invests, it investigates, but it is not defined by any one of these things. How do you review something that does a little bit of everything but not enough to be classified by it?
As sarcastically as possible, of course. And with a lot of pigeonholing.
Once, he’d toppled criminal empires with nothing but a gutful of bile and a burning need for vengeance. Fire had coursed through his veins. Time had slowed at his command. Death had poured forth from his hands on artfully rendered spirals.
But he’s older. He’d found love and lost it. Twice. Now he’s just a drunk with a pain pill problem. He can’t move his bowels if he throws them off the roof of his dingy Hoboken tenement.
Through the haze of an eight-year long bender, a thought had bubbled through his curdling brain more times than he could count (if he bothered to give a damn) and more times than he could remember (if he didn’t scorch through neurons like a douchebag through hair gel). He didn’t want to admit it, but he knew why he hadn’t used his trusty nine-millimeter to paint a Cobain rainbow against whatever wall his corpse slid down.
That reason? Sequel.
It took me a while to bolster up my strength to take on the game renowned for an unbelievable amount of difficulty, Dark Souls. After my experience with its challenging predecessor, Demon’s Souls, I was more than hesitant to pick up Bandai’s next installment of the epic saga. I ignored the onset of fear as I stared at the ominous figure on the front of the box just before I started my descent into darkness by purchasing it
The Amazing Spider-Man movie was released recently in theaters and left everybody impressed with its brilliant cast and focus on the comic book tale. The movie broke box office records in the process. The video game however, is yet to achieve the same level of success.
The Steam Sale did not evade my attention. I was hunting for some good bargains, but for some reason none of the big titles caught my attention, or my wallet for that matter. Then, I noticed that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat was on Sale, and at a ridiculously low price as well. I was a fan of Shadow of Chernobyl, as well as Clear Sky (until it went missing from my room, with an entire suitcase), so I saw it as a logical next-step to buy the latest title of the series. What is so special about the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series? For me, it was the freedom. Freedom combined with incredible scenery, strange flora and fauna, and an almost genuine feeling of being an artifact scavenger in a very hostile world. In Shadow of Chernobyl the graphics were not beautiful, yet sufficient. The selection of weapons, especially later on in the game, was rich enough for anybody to find something suiting their style.
After installing Call of Pripyat, and launching it, I was struck by somewhat mediocre looking terrain, so I immediately downloaded the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete Mod. This Mod added a lot of fixes and some additional content, creating much more satisfying gameplay, at least in Shadow of Chernobyl. I was not certain what to expect from Call of Pripyat at the time. What is it, that eventually made me fall into a trance with Call of Pripyat, until I felt I finished the game? Read on.
You played Magicka, or plan on buying it? You want to read up a few useful tips to get your bearings around the game, or to help you with your own gaming methods? Look no further. Magicka might be a colorful and funny game but it is also challenging. As you progress to the final stages of the Campaign you will find the need to be a very skilled wizard. Before you get that far though you must learn a few basics which will help you cope in this strange and dangerous world.