For some reason, it has become a festive tradition that I replay UT2004. To the festive tunes of artists I never listen to at any other time of year, I will joyously frag my way up the singleplayer tournament ladder and… dream of how it could have been?
For the UT2004 singleplayer ladder has a “team management” mechanic that ultimately offers nothing but fires my creative juices right up.
I didn’t play Prey at the time because it was visually unappealing to me and I’m as shallow as a puddle. While the thought of sneaking and shooting one’s way around a space station ticks many of my boxes, the thought of doing so while fighting the most nondescript aliens you could ever imagine poured doubt on the entire enterprise.
But the reviews all said it was good and I saw it on sale while I was picking up the fantastic XCOM2, so I thought to myself, “how bad can it be?”
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…
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?
My brother gave me five games for crimbo, but I’ve been so busy working on my own that I’ve hardly even looked at them. I played open-world RPG Two Worlds during the festive holiday but didn’t have much to say about it; it’s a bit janky, sometimes interesting, couple of nice ideas but ultimately bland.
Sometimes, though, you need to recharge your batteries with a classic late-90s first-person shooter, and it seems we have one in the pile — SiN.
I’m actually a bit late to playing Quake 4. See, ever since I first bought it, replays have been oddly coincident with Simply Red and/or Mick Hucknall having a new song out. I’m not a fan of Simply Red and/or Mick Hucknall by any means, but I generally play games with the radio on in the background and… this kept happening.
I say I’m late because Simply Red had a single out over the summer, but I didn’t replay Quake 4. It must have planted some seeds though, because here I am now with that Quake 4 feeling in my guts. Come on, then.
I wish I could have been a part of the late-90s shooter boom, but we could never afford a PC or any of those early 3D consoles at the time. Luckily gog.com exists in the present day and is slowly but surely unearthing all the shonky PC ports of strange games I glimpsed on billboards and in magazines but never imagined I would ever get to touch.
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter here is not the original game, but a (slightly?) remastered edition that was actually cranked out fairly recently. Generally I aim for purism — all official original patches and expansions but nothing more — but that’s not an option here so you’ll have to forgive my ignorance of the Original Version and take my review as being of… whatever they’ve changed/fixed/upgraded in this new version.
Ah yes, remember all those tirades about DRM, and how these services are invariably disabled long after the fact, making playable games unplayable by mere disconnection of their activation gateways? Sigh.
Luckily, there’s a hacked Games for Windows Live DLL floating around that shoves it out of the way to let you get on with playing Bulletstorm. No more achievements, alas, but at least we can get in. It’s long past time for another trip down this rollicking foul-mouthed rollercoaster romp…