Gaming

Blog 866: UT Isn’t Just For Christmas

According to my calculations, Santa brought me a copy of Unreal Tournament (GOTYE) at the end of 2002. It was something of a surprise; up until then, there had been a touch of the “no ultra-violence” about my access to games, and yet there we were, with my parents spontaneously introducing me to one of the most violent games available at the time. (It is a strong possibility that they had no idea what they were actually buying.)

I might play UT2004 every December to mark the festive season, but the big day itself belongs to the original and best.

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Modding

Blog 864: Invasion

Every year, when the festive season comes upon us once more, I play UT2004. Every year, it makes me think. This year, I was padding out my campaign playthrough with a bit of Instant Action. I always like to slip in a bit of Onslaught and the bonus Assault missions, but this time I decided to have shot at the Invasion game mode, which I had only played once or twice before.

I quickly remembered why I had only played it once or twice before. However, it set off a train of thought that I want to explore: I think that with a few adjustments, Invasion mode could blossom into something special.

(I should change my middle name from “Danger” to “Distracted”.)

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Gaming

Blog 849: Project Snowblind

Project Snowblind was originally touted as an entry into the Deus Ex ouevre, albeit by a different developer than Ion Storm. However, Crystal Dynamics took a bold step — they realised that they were making something a bit different and cut ties to let Snowblind become completely its own thing.

It’s always been an object of interest to me, even more so now considering that the actual Deus Ex prequel that did get made would have been much better off had its developers realised they were making something different and not crowbarred their game into a mythos it didn’t suit. Sigh, etc.

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Gaming

Blog 842: No One Lives Forever

Sometimes I hate legal battles over who owns the rights to what game. While I’m a big believer in physical copies, I’d still rather oft-lauded classics were available digitally than… not at all.

So here we are at No One Lives Forever, a 60s-spy-thriller-based FPS from the same people that made my beloved Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (and more surprisingly, the studio who would go on to make Lord of the Rings fanfic Shadow of Mordor), and a game that’s consistently revered by critics whenever it’s mentioned. But I missed it at the time, and it has been locked in a legal dungeon for twenty-odd years so I’ve not had the chance, until… Windows XP computer, internet auction site, still-factory-sealed box, you know this story by now.

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Gaming

Blog 841: The Wheel of Time

I didn’t really get on with The Wheel of Time series of books. I enjoyed some of them the first time around, but tried to re-read them more recently and decided by about book 4 that life was too short. While I enjoyed the prose, the overall plot seemed incredibly stodgy, with months of travelling between important locations and nothing much of consequence happening. Also many of the characters are kind of annoying.

But as you all know, I love a late-90s FPS, and yes — there was a Wheel of Time FPS made in Unreal Engine 1 back in the day. I’ve known about this game for years (indeed, the premier UnrealScript IDE, WOTgreal, was built for it) but it has been somewhat inaccessible… Until now. Yep, it’s been re-released on gog and oh, my body is so ready.

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Gaming

Blog 839: Pariah

It is by now an Agreed Fact that I am interested in 00s first-person shooters. Such an Agreed Fact, indeed, that when a friend was clearing out his collection of old PC games, he offered me first refusal on claiming any of it. Among the classic titles I recognised, one stood out that I did not: Pariah.

An Unreal Engine 2 game by Digital Extremes? The people who worked with Epic on the original Unreal Tournament? You don’t have to ask twice.

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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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