03 January, 2010

Keepalive: New Years' LAN Single Player

written by Blain Newport on Saturday, January 2, 2010

Between multiplayer bouts (or while others were playing RTS), other games were played.

Red Faction: Guerrilla - One of Matthew's children enjoyed watching me break stuff, so RFG was played on breaks.

Crysis - I picked the Maximum Edition up from the Steam sale for $14. I still think the hype Crysis got in the day was overblown, but I turned it down to easy and am feeling appropriately super as I play it.

The suit shortcuts (which let me doubletap certain keys to switch suit modes) are a big help, as well. Having to bring up a selection wheel all the time made the game feel like a console port. Dedicated suit mode keys would be better still, but as a PC gamer, I take what I can get.

Also, a funny thing about playing the Maximum Edition is knowing that in the expansion I'll be playing the same events from the viewpoint of a different character. So far all of his missions sound more interesting than what I'm doing, which is both promising and frustrating.

Grand Theft Auto: IV - The first game I played in 2010 was GTA4. It was overcast and drizzly in Roseville. And the weather in the game was almost exactly the same. It was a strange feeling and I sat through a long cab ride in the game (which I would ordinarily skip) just watching and listening.

I get the feeling I'm near to stopping the game. The main characters' cousin asked him to stop seeking revenge on certain people. I decided to honor that request. This means every few minutes I'm not on a mission, one of these people tries to call me.

I don't know if the guy calling is trying to start trouble. I don't know if he wants to make up. I only know that I said I would have nothing more to do with him, and I won't.

Some of you may remember I quit BioShock for a day or so after the twist. I was told to perform a task, and because the game couldn't actually force me to complete it, I just let it sit there, proving that I couldn't be controlled, and that Rapture couldn't be sunk. Eventually I went back to see the rest, feeling that I was doing it on my own terms.

I suspect I'll be doing the same thing with GTA4. Once I'm done catching up with some lost people from the old country, I'll consider the game ended and leave it for a day. Then I'll come back to see how the "Director's Cut" version ended. Much like BioShock (and Army of Darkness), I suspect I'll prefer the non-director's cut version.

I still wish there had been a third ending for BioShock, that the player could simply have chosen to let Rapture sink after the twist. "Rapture was created to embody the philosophy of Andrew Ryan, a philosophy that turned men into slaves and monsters. Rapture was destroyed when a monster, suddenly aware of what he was, made choice... and became a man." Sure, he became a dead man and sentenced all the little sisters to death, but it's more interesting than the official endings.

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