06 July, 2014

Keepalive: Redshirt, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Garry's Mod, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 6 July 2014


I thought there would be more creative writing to come out of Redshirt. I certainly enjoyed writing that previous post. Trying to explain the actions of a character I was playing as though she was a real person and not just me pressing buttons was surprisingly rewarding. But the truth was that after that first session, I pretty much gave up on romance. I still had some friends to hang out with. But they died on away missions and were replaced with friends in higher positions who could help me get promoted.

In the end I had my tray table up and my seat back in the full upright position.

Generally speaking I can't recommend the game. I got messages from characters who had died on away missions. The scroll wheel didn't work except in weird sections of some windows which made navigating the interface a pain. I seemed to get random stat bonuses and penalties for no reason at times. But it gave me one good creative writing project.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Here we see a picture of the most important character in The Bureau.

Here is a close up.

I bought The Bureau to wear a fedora and shoot aliens. I think the designers knew that at some level because the last thing the main character does before the player takes control is put on that hat.

There are even mechanics for the hat getting blown off your head by nearby explosions. And you can go recover said hat. No hat left behind!

Unfortunately there comes a point, fairly early on, where you switch to a special forces sweater and can't wear the hat any more, even though it's still sitting in your office, taunting you.


As for the rest of the game, it's middling. I turned it down to easy because I got tired of having to go revive my idiotic AI companions. There's a decent twist near the end and a decision that you don't know the ramifications of until it's too late. But I won't miss this one if there's no sequel.

Garry's Mod

Chris and I decided to muck about with Garry's Mod a tiny bit. Here we see Chris, who bolted a seat to the inside of a bath tub, taking a ride as I carry him around with my physics gun.

We later attached rockets to tubs and skidded hither and yon. The craziest part was Chris building a basket and flying us around by lifting it with the physics gun while we were standing inside it.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

That used to be a hatchback. But using Revengeance's slicing physics, it is now rubble. Basically Revengeance is a stylish action game with slicing. It's delightful so far and makes me wish Bayonetta (which I suspect uses the same engine) would also make it to PC. I tried to play Bayonetta on the 360, but after playing DMC4 and the DMC reboot at 1080 and 60fps, Bayonetta felt blurry and clunky.

I suppose fighting a Revengeance boss that uses a spear made out of robot arms will have to be crazy enough... for now.

This is mostly a game for fans of the genre (me) and Metal Gear completionists (absolutely not me). The game doesn't mind killing the player early on and doesn't explain as much of the mechanics as it probably should, so I suspect many people wouldn't enjoy it. At some level it's trial and error, but there's enough awesome stuff so far that I'm willing to forgive.

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