Saturday, 27 July 2013

Choices for game rental now that Love Film has stopped

For those of you that missed the news, Love Film have stopped offering game rentals as of the beginning of August. Their reasoning behind this is not to clear, but it pissed me off no end. I have been using them for about 5 years and they have always been really good. And in the space of 5 years I have rented just 1 film off them, as previously blogged I don't really watch movies/tv. So I decided to check out my other options a few weeks ago and see how they stack up. This only applies in the UK, and I should point out that none of the below services offer a online movie streaming service like Love Film did, this is (as always for me) about the games.

There are three services that I could find, Blockbuster, Boomerang and Paramount Games Rental. I started a free trial with all three of them at the same time and put The Last of US at the top of my rental time in all three cases. I will go through the ups and downs of each but I ultimately went with Paramount. I should point out that I was with Boomerang when I left them to join Love Film and I have used Blockbuster before.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Maybe the Last but not the best

I recently finished The Last of Us, and it was good, however I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the internet has made out. I have been pondering this disconnect between what I think and what others do, and I think I have sussed it. The Last of Us is, gameplay wise,  very solid, however it doesn't actually innovate very much. In fact the only really original idea is the way clickers use sound not sight to find you.

Don't get me wrong the production values on the game are astonishing,  it looks and sounds amazing. However I could never quite shake the feeling that I was playing a movie, and the options to deviate from the path laid out by the developers are fairly limited. A fact that the gameplay is restricted by only providing the player with limited options at any given time, due to lack of resources such as ammo or crafting materials.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

The secret PC gaming meta game

I have recently been reminded of the meta game that all PC gamers go through. that makes PC gaming fairly unique (for better or worse). I am talking about the why won't it load/why is it crashing meta game. Now this is a game that consoles skip pretty much entirely, And that is undeniably a good thing, however I personally really like this game. 

I like it because as frustrating as it is to have a game that won't work properly, the satisfaction you get after you figure out why it not working and fix it is remarkable. Hell it is akin to defeating a boss in Dark Souls. Sometimes the solution is easy, my wife had to reinstall Borderlands 2 to get it to stop crashing. Or hard, I spent days tweaking Sleeping Dogs to stop it stuttering out frames. Or at the moment impossible (I have yet to figure out why Max Payne 1 or 2 refuse to load).

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Defiance is standing alone for me

I finally got around to trying Defiance, rented it on the PS3, as I didn't think it was worth buying on the PC (suspect I was right on that one). Played about 90 minutes before I couldn't stomach any more. After a lengthy patching process I created my characters, the creator is fairly limited in options but I have seen far worse. After which you are thrown into a lengthy cut scene where the two main characters from the TV show make an appearance. Your character is an “Ark Hunter” which I gather is some sort of treasure hunter out to find old technology. If this sounds a little like Vault Hunter from Borderlands, then it should. There are quite a few similarities between the two games, such as lootable weapons and regenerating shields..

Once I finally get to play the game, I find that the world is drab to say the least. Multiple shades of brown and grey, and this colour palette applies to pretty much everything in the game. This leads to one of my biggest complaints about the game. The enemies are often indistinguishable from the backgrounds, to the point where I would start getting shot at and have to look at the minimap for red dots to figure out where the enemy is. This does not lead to fun.

Will Dragon Age have other people in it.

With more details coming out regarding  the new Dragon Age game,  I started pondering about the inevitable multiplayer mode that EA will insist on shoehorning in.  Being optimistic I have decided to predict how the multiplayer will work.  Who know it might be good, after all Mass Effect 3's multiplayer turned out to be pretty good fun.

I can see it going one of two ways.  The first being a Xcom style one on one game, where you chose from a selection of characters from a pool and you have to take out the other players characters to win.  This could easily use cordoned off areas from the single player game, so you could have cover and blind corners. Potentially this could lead to clever mixing of characters abilities, such as a Mage lighting an archers arrows,  leading your opponents into traps, perhaps even having environmental hazards. I think it could be potentially pretty cool.