Chris is off this week putting the world to rights. As a result, I get the honour of ushering in yet another week of gaming here at Reticule towers. This week, I’ve been healing the sick in Surgeon Simulator 2013, Edcrab’s confusingly travelled back in time to the dystopian future of the original Deus Ex, and Kevin’s been exploring pastures new and old in Path of Exile and Mass Effect.
I’ve had a busy week, so decided to dedicate a little spare time to kicking back, taking it easy and indulging in a little bit of open-heart surgery.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 was created in just 48 hours for Global Game Jam, an annual event that took place last weekend. Developers from around the world are given just two days to create something imaginative based on a theme. This year’s theme was ‘heart’, so Bossa Studios decided on a rather literal approach to the subject.
The name is not ‘surgery simulator’ for a reason. The game doesn’t simulate the surgery, it simulates the surgeon himself. Given complete control of individual fingers on his hand, you will struggle to even pick up the various hospital implements on offer. After minutes of trying, I gave up flailing for the scalpel. Fiddly and thin, all I succeeded in doing was flicking it off the table where it clattered on the floor. Running out of options, I instead opted for the more easily graspable, but less medically-approved large hammer.
Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit.
I kind of implied that I’d now be playing more games with my controller, so it goes without saying that the obvious thing to do was… fire up Deus Ex, one of the classic PC first-person shooters.
No, really. Not with the controller though, I forgot about that part.
Calling Deus Ex a classic FPS spectacularly misses the point, because even people who’ve never played it tend to be aware of the whole “groundbreaking much-loved RPG” thing. Plus the shooting isn’t exactly amazing in it, it’s more a means to an end.
I forwent the visual enhancement mods, going instead with the traditional, uh, shiny OpenGL look. But I installed the likes of Shifter and other gameplay tweaks (swimming is no more! And that’s a good thing, because swimming is a bad skill. Maybe you didn’t know that. Take that swimmers).
Reliving some of the dialogue options and rehearing some of the dodgy voice-acting, I’m reminded of just how much the newest title in the series— Human Revolution, as if you didn’t see us all rambling about it for ages— evoked the original in the respects that mattered. And a few that really didn’t but contributed to verisimilitude anyway.
I’d forgotten how much I liked this game. I obviously knew I liked it, but in a vague nostalgic way distanced from the reality of Denton HUP HUP HUPing around his boss’s office.
I’m currently stomping around a familiar hotel, deciding whether or not to give the owner the means to shoot some guy with the ominous name of… JoJo. I can’t actually remember what I did last time, but at this stage I’ve experienced every possible combination of choice and consequence already. God knows how many times I’ve played through. And it occurs to me that the mere act of writing this is going to cause some poor soul to, if not actively reinstall it, at least muse on their past exploits. What a shame.
This week I find myself in a somewhat similar, but reversed situation to Edcrab. Recently I have been attempting to the best of my abilities to clear my backlog of Steam games. Almost without a hitch I’ve managed two weeks of solid mouse and keyboard gaming, which is a big deal for me. This week however, I have become somewhat distracted from my goal.
Firstly by the discovery of Path of Exile, a new free-to-play ARPG that has recently ventured into open beta. I never expected to enjoy a game like this but after being taken in by a gameplay video I watched by chance, I have not been able to put it down. On several occasions I’ve attempted to write down my first impressions for the site but have been to engrossed to manage any coherent thoughts.
Secondly I was distracted by the rediscovery of my love for Mass Effect. I decided to playthrough the first game again with an increased difficulty setting and as a new class. Being biotic sure makes dealing with enemies easier and my choice of skilling up the precision pistol over the spray and pray assault rifle was certainly a good idea. As smart as I feel being biotic and having all these flashy new powers, I still find myself driving the Mako like a crazy drunk.