Since last time.

Well E3 didn’t excite as it usually does and I still care more about the titles I can get my hands on now rather than the ones that are promised next year sometime.

New to my stack this month are:

  • Assassins Creed Brotherhood : (picked up in an EB sale to try the multiplayer, but got wrapped up in the campaign.)
  • Left for Dead 2 : (same sale, meant to join some co-op sessions, but life got in the way.)
  • Dungeon Siege 3 : (My kind of game, loot trawling RPG lite, with a few exceptions…)
  • Dead Nation : (the PSN came back and that was the only free game I grabbed.)
  • Dungeon Hunters : (Promises well on the Dungeon Siege satisfaction, yet to spend quality time together.)
  • Infamous 2 : (Slipped in under the radar, I really should go back and finish the first one.)
  • Brink : (I’ll just stick my head out and say I like it, it’s really not that bad.)

Sounds busy and it is, it is also a strain on the old time management skills especially when you drop a weekend rental of Duke Nukem Forever in there too. Which as the sage reviewers are saying was ‘as expected’ whereas the non-sage reviewers are pretty much WTF? Having gotten that beast out of the way, it would be interesting to see where they go with the franchise now though.

Out of the new titles the top three is an easy Assassins Creed, Dungeon Siege and Infamous – all time sinks, all demanding more of me. Each with their own highs and lows, ACB by example swings from sleek stealth kills and a feeling of control to crazy button mashing panic sessions, with a camera that often aids my pursuers. There is a grander scheme at hand and that is apparent from the increasing number of icons on my map, but as somebody that really doesn’t care for stories in games I’ll just keep on doing the stuff I enjoy until it stops.

Dungeon Siege 3 is pretty and a by the numbers Action RPG, but at the back of my mind it just does not match Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance for impact. I wish Snowblind were back in the isometric hack and slash game, the Dark Alliance games had so much that their successors do not. DS3 seems to have difficulty that swings from medium to well-hard in the course of an encounter, early boss fight can be unforgiving and a strict policy on loot. Meaning, if I play a slinky Bullet Witch I will pick up a high percentage of ‘stockings’ and ‘blouses’, I mean come on. Loot should be generally generic, once upon a time, you could pick a class/character and get them wearing anything you picked up, this was not a bad thing. You could also get them to run around in their ‘undies of immaculate whiteness’. This was also not a bad thing if you were playing the shapely Elven magic user. Back to the argument, I like to mix and match my armour and equipment (bless you Sacred 2), I do not want to be spoon fed a choice of 2 item types that suit my current class.

Infamous 2, recently reviewed and given away by Mriceguy has surprised me with it’s fun levels, the original, from memory quickly fell into some repetitive actions which I have yet to find. The whole Good vs. Evil choices are, well, they are there aren’t they. For the record I am taking an Evil path as an experiment rather than my usual ‘indifferent’ approach, and after the intro I am expecting another overwrought boss battle at the end of the story, which I may well not actually bother with. The engine has certainly been overhauled and I am impressed again by the prettiness of a PS3 game, the console has certainly benefitted from the recent PSN outage – we are making friends again.

Now with all this time I need to spend and without the reserves to spend it from, I come back to wondering about these people that measure a game in hours. I cannot do that, I’m a dawdler, I meander through a game looking for stuff and marveling at the work that went into it. The gamers that denounce the latest blockbuster, because they knocked it over in 6 hours and that really isn’t good enough, well I say ‘Why rush it and why play on easy?’. Games are for playing and enjoying while you play, when do you go to the movies, pay your dollars then ask the projectionist to fast forward to whole thing just so you get a few minutes bragging while you wait for everybody else to catch up. Of course, then everybody else will regail you with their experience which was much more rewarding than yours.

And don’t get me started on stories, whether they were good or not – who cares? Seriously. It’s a game, you will have a mission in an area using some kind of gameplay mechanic. Get over it, just follow the flashing thing on your HUD / mini map and when you get there it will be easy to work out if you need to kill it or talk to it.  Space Invaders didn’t need a story…


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