31 January, 2012

Keepalive: Demos and Such

written by Blain Newport on Tuesday, 31 January, 2012

It's pretty quiet on the gaming front.

I tried the demo for The Darkness 2. I own the original game for the 360, but haven't bought the 360 to play it on yet. The games are about a gangster who shares his body with an evil entity that is not entirely under his control. It's an interesting combination of melee and gunplay. You can flip an enemy into the air with a tentacle, then shoot him with a shotgun. It's not entirely novel, but it's not old hat, either. For now I'll just say that the sequel runs well on PC and I look forward to playing it someday after I have a 360 and have played the first installment.

I also tried the demo for Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning. There's way too much travel time in the game, and the combat isn't enough to carry it. I'm not saying it's a bad game, but I'm old and have run through enough fantasy forests already. It takes something more for me to part with my time now. Plus all the characters speak in the same "dramatic narrator" tones, which kills the potential for personality and gets monotonous very quickly.

The most fun I've had this week has been Nations at War single player. I've been messing around with the jets and the helicopters some more. Also, since it's just me and I don't have to be concerned with crashing the server I've been playing maps we can't play at the LAN party.

I had forgotten Wake Island. That was a rough map back in Battlefield 1942. And it's still a bugger in Nations at War. Destroying enemy armor convoys with a Comanche helicopter while contending with enemy helos and jets is a very different experience, but the basic dynamic is still intact. I wish the editor worked so I could fix / recreate some of these maps.

Also, possibly because there's been some clamoring for a sequel recently, I replayed Half-Life 2 and episodes. I found myself waiting for people to open doors a lot. Yeah, yeah. You have a lot to say. Finish and let me out of here. It's symptomatic of me not really caring about the struggle or the characters in the game. It's not really a world worth saving. Part of me wishes I'd never played episode two a second time.

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