Blog 739: Assassin’s Creed IV: Blog Flag

I had never, until now, played an Assassin’s Creed game. I was vaguely aware of the franchise involving jumping off tall buildings, hoovering up collectibles from all over expansive worlds and a much-maligned modern-day sci-fi meta-plot getting in the way of historical shenanigans.

I was never all that interested, but Ubisoft decided to give the 4th game in the series — frequently hailed even by cynical outlets as “the good one” — away for free, and my curiosity got the better of me. What could possibly go wrong?

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Blog 735: Strafe

I’m always late to the party, but I never let that drag me down. I first heard about Strafe when it was half-built and it looked interesting to me; a shooter in the classic fast-paced style, full of crunchy low-poly levels and laser guns, albeit with procedurally-generated levels.

Having recently finished grinding my way through Dragon Age: Origins, I followed that up with Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition¬†(hence the, er, lengthy blogging hiatus), which left me somewhat in the mood for something a little snappier. As is always the way, Strafe recently released its powered-up Millenium Edition and went on sale…

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Blog 731: Dress-up Age: Overload

You know that thing where gog.com offers you a DRM-free version of a thing for literal pocket change, and it includes all the DLC you never had the first time? Yeah?

Well, I hadn’t played Dragon Age: Origins for a few years and I was kind of in the mood so, ¬£3.49 later, here we are. In playing it, I’ve remembered just how… well, broad it is. In order to manage your party of companions effectively there are a lot of decisions to be made about how to equip them, and though in the right doses that’s quite fun I feel that maybe Dragon Age has gone a bit overboard…

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Blog 729: Drakensang

Drakensang is a lost gem. Back when the world was lamenting the lack of Baldur’s Gate-a-likes, Drakensang slipped out without much fanfare; I picked it up on a whim seeing it on the shelf in Game (remember when Game had PC shelves? Good times). Based on The Dark Eye system rather than Dungeons & Dragons, it nevertheless promotes the same ideals: a player-created character leads a tight-knit strike team as they vanquish evil in real-time-with-pause combat based on a tabletop system.

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Blog 728: If I Wrote… C&C4: Tiberian Twilight

I was interested in C&C4: Tiberian Twilight, despite all the rumours of its horror. The core concept — trading standard base building and assault for a mobile super-vehicle — seemed quite interesting to me. For a man that favours the ultra-versatile solo operatives of RPGs and FPSes, the conceit had legs.

The game did not deliver anything of what I imagined; it is exactly as bad as everyone says. So instead of delving into that den of iniquity, let’s indulge instead in what it could have been, had somebody with dreams more like mine been at the helm…

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Blog 726: Tiberian Renegade

It seems to me that everything Westwood touched turned to gold. They were most famous for their real-time strategies — the pinnacle being Tiberian Sun itself — but they seemed to diverge from that mould more than history would have you believe and come up roses all the same. Foremost of course was their stab at the hack ‘n’ slash RPG, which produced one of the greatest games of all time, Nox.

Over here, though, we have their first-person shooter. Set in the Command & Conqueriverse, occurring some time during the original C&C, this answers the age-old question that haunts every strategy franchise — what would it be like to be in one of those battles?

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Blog 721: Tiberian Fun

Real-world associate Chris McPhail and I might have been going through Star Wars in our Close, But No Biscuit podcast of late, but there’s another piece of cultural media that deeply affected my robot designs — Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. The goody-goody Global Defence Initiatve forces had several grungy, industrial, brutalist, utilitarian hulks that evoked power and strength and resilience so much that I took my first faltering steps into 3D modelling trying desperately to ape them. If Star Wars set the robot wheels in motion for me, then Tiberian Sun gave them life.

Look at it this way — if I’d known the Final Sun level editor existed at the time, I’d have cut my modding teeth on Tiberian Sun over Age of Empires II. Oh yes.

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