Blog 667: An Ode to Claptrap

I never understood why people didn’t like Claptrap. He’s warm and welcoming, a generous soul in a broken world full of murderous lunatics and viciously territorial wildlife.

I haven’t played Borderlands for ages, but I got the itch after crimbo and figured I’d reinstall it and have another go.

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Blog 647: Quake

I’m okay with Quake 4. It’s not great, but it is large and clean and straightforward and devilishly well-made. I’m more okay with Quake 2, which came on a bonus disc with my copy of Quake 4 — it’s brown but it’s got a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it more compelling than it has any right to be.

Quake has nothing to do with Quake 2 or Quake 4. Here we are, though, 19 years late to the party, and the legendary original has finally been released on GoG.com. Step into the slipgate to begin…

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Blog 630: Bloggenstein: The New Order

So, several months after I actually got the physical box of the game, I finally managed to play Wolfenstein: The New Order, all thanks to a horrendous, mandatory, 10GB patch — 10GB being one month’s download cap, meaning I had to let it download in stages… over months. Because Steam couldn’t possibly let me play the game unpatched, no sirree.

Bah, first world problem. I have some shooting to do.

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Blog 614: Maximum Crysis

It’s a vain, out-dated ambition, I know. When they first built Crysis, it was inconceivable that technology would ever be able to run it on maximum settings. I played it on a mix of Low and Medium settings on Daedalus, and it was still a bit choppy — the final boss in particular dropped to an almost unplayable frame rate, but the rest was Good Enough.

So here we are with new computer on the block Helios. What does he make of this monumental tech demo?

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Blog 603: Invisible Phwoar

I don’t know if I’m going mellow in my old age, or if it’s a symptom of inevitable brain decay, but I am feeling forced to admit that there is something compelling about the ill-advised Deus Ex sequel Invisible War. (My previous examination of the game was hardly complementary. Was I really so angry back then? … What do you mean, “you still are”?)

My biggest concern is that it is beginning to feel somehow more compelling than the ill-advised prequel, which was at least a pretty good game even if it was painful in a lot of other aspects.

I need to try to nail this feeling down and contain it before I end up doing something stupid like conceding that Invisible War actually exists.

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Blog 602: You’re Not the Boss of Me

Well, I couldn’t exactly play the ill-advised prequel without going on to cleanse my palate with the real deal. While floating around the grungy millenial streets of Deus Ex, I got to thinking about one feature that was particularly controversial about its prequel: boss fights. Because the original Deus Ex doesn’t actually have a final boss… Or does it?

Beware of spoilers.

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Blog 598: Human Devolution

At the time, I didn’t blog about Human Revolution because I knew I could never give it an unbiased review. Why? Because it is, quite simply, not Deus Ex. It is a lot of things — a well-made immersive sim, possibly even a good game — just not Deus Ex.

Plot and lore mean a lot to me, and the incongruities in the first half hour alone make me want to spew. I played through the whole game and the wrongness never dissipated, so I just moaned a bit offline and let it go.

Alas, the fancy recently took me that I should replay the game now… And I can hold it no longer.

This blog is not about the game on its own merits. This blog is about why Human Revolution is not Deus Ex — in the same way that Unreal II is not very Unreal. This blog is about why the game “not being Deus Ex” is important.

I will understand completely if you think less of me by the end of this post, and there are spoilers for “all three games in the franchise” everywhere. Continue reading

Blog 589: The Glory of the Late-90s FPS

GoG.com is a wonderful thing. All these late-90s FPSes, that I was too young and lacking in computing power to appreciate at the time, are suddenly available for extremely reasonable prices.

While I was just meandering around a while ago, I stumbled across Shogo – Mobile Armor Division and figured it’d be worth a punt some time in the future. I added it to my wishlist against the day I could be bothered.

Last weekend, it came on sale. As is always the way, I took the plunge.

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