23 September, 2011

Setting the Bar

written by Blain Newport on Friday, 23 September, 2011

We judge things based on expectations. If we're set up to expect great things and only get good things, we're let down. If we expect utter garbage and get something only sub standard, we're pleasantly surprised.

I was pleasantly surprised by Duke Nukem Forever.

Here is Duke in his own casino. There are statues of naked women in high heels all over. Aliens are attacking. Yeah. That's about right.

And that was enough. I'd heard such awful things about the game that the fact that it was mostly just a mediocre shooter made it seem like a wonderful experience. Sure, Duke's an idiot. Sure the game wastes way more effort on objectifying women than the original. But I shot an alien and he ragdolled nicely, which was more than I was expecting.

Shellshock 2: Blood Ties

There's a lot of trash on GameTap. Shellshock 2 is part of it. But knowing that going in, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a fairly playable Vietnam zombie shooter. Sure you couldn't hear any of the voice over. Sure the tiny maps and lack of variety made it feel like a PS2 era shooter. But I shot some guys with guns and blew some pieces off of some zombies, so it was okay.

Also this one guy had a killer moustache.

Dead Island

Speaking of taking parts off of zombies, I also spent some time in Dead Island multiplayer. It's always nicer having someone to watch your back and to chat with. In some ways, this defeats the mood the game is going for, but that's why I played through by myself first. Also, it turns out that the character I used for my first playthrough is

pretty popular.

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