Blog 611: Post Mortem: When the Freedom Slips Away

Considering I’m now making a real game for real, maybe now is a good time to go back to my roots and examine what went right… and what went wrong… with my previous development efforts: my Warcraft III maps.

Today: my first real map, When the Freedom Slips Away

There will be spoilers.

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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 592: Mass Effect the Third

Mass Effect 3 might have introduced even more truckloads of plot-holes than its meandering predecessor managed to do (and it did that without even telling a story), but by ‘eck, its mechanics are spot on.

Having said that, I still loaded up on DLC for this run, so I might even have something new to report once I’ve put the vanilla game through the wringer.

Come on then, let’s pop the heat sink on combat and mechanics one last time…

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Blog 591: Mass Effect 2: Shep ‘arder

Mass Effect 2‘s biggest problem is its plot. I’ve been through that a million times and it gives me no pleasure (except perhaps in the reinforcement of my own belief that I’ll be Doing It RightTM when it’s my turn).

So let’s harp on about combat and mechanics again.

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Blog 572: Deus Ex

You know, for all the times I’ve mentioned Deus Ex — how it shaped me, and still shapes me, and provides a baseline against which all things are judged — I’ve never actually blogged it properly.

I guess it’s about time we really went into why Deus Ex is actually the best game of all time. I doubt you’ll agree with me, but that’s what blogs are for, right?

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Blog 567: Anachronox

Gosh, I thought Daikatana was bad for the whooshy camera, but that was small fry compared to Anachronox. Definitely not a game for sufferers of motion sickness — even for me, a veteran of the lightning-fast FPS, some of the camera movements get just a bit too wonky.

So Anachronox is a… turn-based? … comedy RPG from 2001.

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