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 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…
I’ve been in the mood for giant monster movies for ages now. With Toho’s return to the stage Godzilla: Resurgence approaching soon (though without sign of a UK release), I had a re-watch of 2014’s excellent western reboot.
My love for Godzilla might have stemmed from the ridiculous 60s and 70s films, but the reboot continues to impress me with its details — which deftly ground the giant monster in some semblance of gritty verisimilitude without precluding any of the original run’s rule-of-cool hilarity.
There is little justice in this world. While Cloverfield, a dreadful film (let alone monster movie), has a sequel almost ready to drop, the much-desired sequel to one of the finest action-adventure films of recent years continues to stumble along in development hell. 2018, maybe? Harrumph.
But if they won’t give me Pacific Rim 2, then I’ll just have to dream my own version.
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
It’s an age-old struggle I find myself in — where to strike the balance between a believable, internally consistent world, and a world that’s fun and interesting?
Everything a plot tries to deliver is for nothing if it has shaky foundations, but on the flip-side, if a plot has too-solid foundations it is all too easy for it to paint itself into an incredibly dull box.
I am a seasoned commuter by now. I’ve had some adventures along the way, though for a while there I managed to work in Glasgow city centre and avoid anything worse than a ten-minute train ride bookended by pleasant walks.
Of course that was never going to last. I’ve recently fetched up in Edinburgh, which for the uninitiated is a 55-minute train ride from Glasgow city centre.
It is quite a long journey, but the trains are fairly comfortable and there aren’t many stops — as long as you can get wedged into a good window seat, it’s safe to chow down on some more meaty activity than is usually possible…