Gaming

Blog 807: Elex

I enjoyed Risen 3: The Titan Lords. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good, colourful, vibrant fun. So when the same studio made a sci-fi game that was noted for being pretty similar, I thought… Well, who doesn’t want more of a good thing?

It came on sale and I figured it had been out long enough to be stable and final, so like the comet that brought the titular magic crystal (and the apocalypse) to the planet of Magalan, I took the plunge.

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Gaming

Blog 806: The Conquerors

I remember seeing a (p)review for the Age of Empires II expansion pack The Conquerors in an issue of PC Gaming World at the time… In fact, I’ve still got it on my shelf. (It’s the same issue that gave Deus Ex a very lacklustre write-up. Oops.)

I remember misreading the word “allies”, in tiny text next to a tiny screenshot, as “aliens” and getting really excited for all the wrong reasons.

Well, it turned out okay in the end.

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Gaming

Blog 804: Master Chief Collection: Halo: Reach

I realise now that the name “Master Chief Collection” was a poor choice for this compilation, because the two best games out of the five Halo titles that I have now played are ones in which the titular Chef is nowhere in sight.

Halo: Reach is the game they wanted me to play first; a notion which I rejected in favour of playing the games in their original release order (with their original potato graphics where appropriate). While Reach‘s narrative may take place seconds before the original Halo, like all prequels, it wouldn’t make a lick of sense if you were just dropped straight into it. You really do need to have played the others first.

It would also be hella jarring to go from one of the best games in the series right back to its… uhhhh… roots.

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Gaming

Blog 801: Master Chief Collection: Halo 3: ODST

Considering how the Halo franchise has gone thus far, I was completely expecting Halo 3 spin-off ODST to be yet more of the same, except maybe with a different main character than the Master Chef himself.

But… it’s not! It plays with the formula! Quite a lot! In good ways!

Woah.

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Gaming

Blog 798: Oblivion Awaits

The last time I did a wee Elder Scrolls binge, I played Morrowind and then went straight to Skyrim. I’ve never had much of a thing for Oblivion; while I find Skyrim‘s viking aesthetic reasonably boring, it’s not half as boring as Oblivion‘s extremely straight trad-fantasy trappings. But these feelings come and go regardless of how your conscious mind might object, and sometimes you just need to float around grassy hills and bash some glass-hammer-wielding minotaurs.

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Gaming

Blog 796: Master Chief Collection: Halo 3

Considering that Halo 2 just stopped rather than ending, I had to start Halo 3 immediately. Just think, though — imagine you’d played Halo and Halo 2 on PC the first time around, and then they just… didn’t release Halo 3 on PC at all. That would have been truly awful, and right here lies the vindication of my decision to avoid all contact with Halo until I could play the lot. At least if the┬áMaster Chief Collection had never come, I wouldn’t have been cut off mid-swing.

And after all that… Will Halo 3 be even more of the same?

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Gaming

Blog 794: Master Chief Collection: Halo 2

Remember when sequels were just “more of the same”? When there weren’t seismic shifts in tone and mechanics or … pretty much everything… between entries in a franchise?

Of course I can only be talking about one thing — it’s time to continue exploring the Master Chief Collection and dive into Halo 2. Which is very much more of the same.

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Gaming

Blog 793: The Age of Kings

I’ve menitoned Age of Empires II obliquely many times throughout this blog but never actually written about it directly. Which is actually a massive oversight, because it has the dubious honour of being the first PC game I ever bought, so it’s a foundational influence in how I started to dream of making my own worlds — it did, after all, also include my very first level editor.

So twenty-odd years later, with lockdown madness causing a spiral ever deeper into nostalgia, isn’t it high time we took a proper look at a true classic?

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