Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bioshock 2: finally finished

Its true, I am both tight fisted with my cash and have little time to play of late. so when a fiend lent me Bioshock 2 I devoured it over my weekend off.


Now I played the first Bioshock the week it was release, it was the Xbox release of the game and as my achievement time stamps can prove, I finished it in a single sitting, from start to finish I played it without a break.

So, then i say the following sentence you will be surprised. I thought it was over rated.

Yeah, I mean it, and I brought it twice, X-Box 360 and then PC (granted in a steam sale). The game was missing some obvious things, under water scenes for one thing. the game was set in an epic under water renaissance city and not once did you get to bounce about in the wet stuff or see the city from the out side (other than the opening) and there where no sea critters to murder.


The sequel to the game was however awesome, fantastic and brilliant. It had epic battles, well timed ambushes and characters that where not obviously going to betray you.

The game progressed at a wonderful speed with gradual plot layers that where easy to follow unlike the first game where about half way through it went, lets be honest, a bit bonkers.

BioShock 2 E3 Screenshot 2

What Bioshock two has is those bits splashing about in the water as well as some nice use of plot lines. i never got to kill a sea monster but at least i felt like there was a chance it was going to happen. The game was creepy without the wondering around lost feeling that tainted the first one.

so, without babbling on any more, the game it great, much better than the first one in most ways (lacks that sense if discovery that the first one gave me)

so, go and play it.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Gaming on a budget - Trine


When I saw Trine on steam for under £5 i was interested, more interested than i was when it originally came out for 70% more than that (its on steam sale at the moment)

Trine is a remarkably pretty side scrolling platform adventure with far more in common with the classic Lost Vikings than with Super Mario. the basic premise of the game is that a thief (ranger archetype) a Knight (Warrior) and a Wizard (err… wizard) are put into another realm by a strange object called the Trine. unfortunately because of some strangeness with souls (or some other thin plot thread) only one of them at a time can have physical form, so depending what skill set you need to use you switch between the characters and accomplish tasks.


The Knight is a straight forwards sword swinging hero and is the character needed for melee combat and his shield lets him block just about anything.

The thief is a ranged combat character as well as having a handy Spiderman style web slinger.. err, grappling hook that lets you swing about from platform to platform.

The wizard is the most interesting of the characters in my opinion and is able to summon boxes and platforms and all sorts of other useful toys as well as being the only one who can interact with things using his magic to move items on the screen. interestingly the wizards summoned items are brought into existence with gestures, usually this does not work well but in this case its kept simple enough to make it a mechanic of the game not an irritating diversion.


The game is very attractive in deed with remarkable lighting and very fluid animation. The controls on the keyboard and mouse are a little clumsy but on my Xbox 360 pad its a joy to play. even the on screen pointers make use of the 360 controller diagrams making it very clear how to play with the pad layout. i am not sure if its suitable for other gaming pads but with the popularity of the 360 pad i cant see many people trying anything different anyway.


The game is very interesting and constantly throws new ideas into the mix, often you find yourself scratching your head to avoid combat or fire/traps and often the solution is not what you first think.

I have played for about 2 hours so far and can say my £4 and a few pence was well spent, its certainly more game for your cash than allot of others i have seen of late (zombie driver left me sea sick!)

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Global Agenda – Not long now

Tonight I played Global Agenda, i played and won more than a few rounds this evening. It was fun, and there was some truly great teams to be part of.

The game also has the much hyped ‘Sand storm’ patch coming soon, things are really looking up for Global Agenda, in fact better than its been ever. so, why are all the people in chat still talking about other games?

Its the only game I have ever played (and there have been many I assure you) this one has the strangest community. I'll list some of the comments/thoughts that i have been witness too. Now do not misunderstand, I don’t agree with many of them, anyway, I supplied my thoughts.

- Its no enough like WoW

When i first saw people saying this it was in the beta and i have a huge sigh of disappointment in peoples minds, but then as i saw it more and more i began to wonder what the motivation was, as usual, it was the same problem that Global Agenda has had from day one. The game is an MMO but not an MMO RPG, people do not ‘get it’ they brought the game expecting zones and quests and all the things that more traditional MMO’s have.

This will be fixed to a certain extent in Sand storm with the open zone that is being promised.

- This game is too heavy on my PC

The game uses the Unreal engine and it uses it in a very efficient way making it much lighter on your system than many games that use the engine. it also has the specification on the box/store page. if your system is not up to the job then do not gripe about it in chat, I’m sorry to be harsh but that’s the way it is, its not buggy its actually really optimised.

- I can never log in.

The server status is updated in twitter, and on the log in screen. But some times it does stall, this IS a bug, but if it happens allot to you it maybe to do with your fire wall/ports. i have the problem occasionally and usually restarting the client fixes the problem. Will most likely be fixed in Sand Storm.

- Where's the game at?

The game is structured simply, want to play PvP? get in a queue, Want to play PvE, get in a queue. While your waiting for your game to start you can socialise and look about the shops. This is the game, this is all there is, in Sand Storm there will most likely be more to do, more shops opening, open zone and allot of other things we do not know about yet.

This question however is usually from new players who are trying to experience the Subscription portion of the game, and yeah, i can not defend that, the subscription portion of the game is weak! – Sand Storm will be adding more i am sure.

And finally.

As you can see i think allot of the gripes people have with the game are going away some time over the next few weeks but at the moment i am loving the game am happy with the state it is in, saying that though all improvements are welcome.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Zombie Driver!

Thanks to yet another steam sale i have picked up the rather strange game Zombie Driver.

The home page is here

Zombie driver is a very odd game, its basic premise is that in a post apocalyptic zombie infested world some one has to taxi survivors. and as the driver you do just that.

you begin the game with a Taxi, a traditional yellow cab. and you get to race to a way point where survivors get in your car, then you race to the safe zone to drop them off. but on the way you get to run over literally thousands of zombies and use all sorts of strange upgrades to help despatch them back to wherever it is that they come from.

the game is great fun and looks rather fantastic, utilising advanced shadow trickery that makes the environment look rich its really very nice.

the game play is fun but it uses a strange angle making your visibility very low, you can only see a little way in front of you can can be a little headache inducing after a while.

the games great and for the price of £3 who can moan. i have yet to test it on my low end net book but i am confidant that it is going to play great.

it has the same sense of humour as games like Quarantine and Carmageddon.

all in all, even if you only play the campaign once, its well worth the price and really is fun!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Batman Arkham Asylum


Batman Arkham Asylum has been with us for some time now but thanks to the bargain price of £9 (at Game, the fort shopping centre) i finally got to play it.

I got the PC (games for windows live) version of the game and after some fiddling with the updates (that for some reasons GFWL did not want me to have) i began playing the game.

the first thing that struck me was the quality of the game, the attention to detail in the environments is staggering, every room you enter has a purpose and looks used. you feel liek your in a real place right from the start.

The voice acting is about the best i have ever listened to outside of mass effect (and even then i think batman may have the edge) with some superb work from mark Hamill

The characters where nailed, every villain was exactly how i pictured them from the comic book. the joker living up to his name genuinely appears to be having a fantastic time even when he is in a straight jacket tied to a bed.

batman-arkham-asylum-ss3As everyone by now probably knows quite well the game is very pretty so i will not waste time praising the looks of it but the control system is also worth a complement for two, its both simple and efficient and not once through the game did i get lost among the mash of buttons, by the end of the game i was performing elaborate manoeuvres with many a different gadget with ease.

Now i have finished the game i can look back fondly at the plot and structure is has, the game is a satisfying length (about 9-11 hours) and not once do you feel it dragging.

My only thought is at certain fights are re-used far too often. and with dubiously similar animations to the point where it does get silly towards the end when you realise that every thug holds his head as he falls, and strangely sexist as other than Harley Quinn every Henchman is in deed a man, of similar build and ethnic origin.


There is detective mode that works much like the HUD overlay in halo Recon highlighting every bad guy and ‘clue’ its wonderfully well done and thankfully not overused. you can turn it on and off at will to experience all the information at hand.

If you have not played the game your missing out it is by far the best super hero game ever made, there is not allot of competition in this category i know, but i think it raises the bar for comic book conversions.