Bang! Crash! Wallop! No, I’m not watching some classic Batman, rather I managed to caused a bit of damage to my car this past week in a multistory car park. I had been planning on getting back into Project CARS this week, but the emotional trauma has been too much. I will say that my mood was lifted when reading our What We Thought on BioShock Infinite. More Xbox rumours also emerged over the past week. I’m holding back from reading too much into the rumours, I’ll wait until we get a proper reveal. Enough of the intro though, on with Our Week in Games.
The latest Tiger Woods has dominated my week in light of my little vehicular incident. It really is quite a brilliant game, and I am having a wonderful time with it. I’ve been experiencing some wildly fluctuating performances. I missed the cut in my first tournament, won my second and had a resolutely average finish in my third. Room for improvement for sure.
I haven’t had much time for playing games this week apart from with good old Tiger but I did manage to squeeze in a little bit more Heart of the Swarm in. The more I play through the campaign, the more impressed I am with the mission design and the way the story is evolving. Hopefully I will be able to make some bigger steps forward with it in the coming week.
This week has mostly been about Bioshock Infinite and the ups and downs I’ve experienced with it. While I was initially disappointed by the lack of difficulty (even in hard mode), the lack of character in combat and the lack of complexity in the NPC and enemy AI, I was willing to overlook all this because of the brilliant story. Things get a lot better towards the end and with the completion of my first playthrough I unlocked 1999 mode, which sounds much more up my street as far as the gameplay is concerned.
But before I start my second playthrough I’ve decided to go back and finish off a game that I never should have stopped playing in the first place, Sleeping Dogs. I’m beginning to remember why I enjoyed it so much the first time around and the fact that I after three months without play I still remember the story and controls, it’s testament to how memorable and enjoyable the game is. Often dubbed as GTA in Hong Kong, it does much more than Rockstar’s flagship game in many places. Focusing on hand to hand combat over the occasional gun battle was a great development choice and the action feels somewhat like the recent batman games. Surrounded by multiple enemies you can carefully use your attacks, disarms, weapons and counters to take them out one by one. I’m looking forward to getting deeper into this game.
I’d heard great things about Scribblenauts games, but I’d also heard cries of dismay from European buyers (or would-be buyers) of the Scribblenauts Unlimited PC instalment: apparently we had to wait months, while the rest of the world got to fiddle with keywords?
But hey, time passes, and I grabbed it once it was available on Steam and on sale. Most machines should handle it easily: it’s not unlike a Flash-game in terms of requirements and aesthetic as the entire game is built around busy playgrounds of sandboxy weirdness and any other approach would be impractical. Proviso: if anyone with an unlimited budget wants to make this game in full 3D, feel free to make me eat my words.
Following an intro that makes it very clear you’re playing a kids’ game, you set out to make people happy with your magic notebook that can create anything you write into it. This is motivated less by philanthropy and more to generate positive energy to reverse a spell: some old asshole decided to turn your sister to stone to punish Maxwell, the player, for giving said old man a rotten apple. It’s like a kids’ fable with more adverb confusion, and the moral is… be nice. It’ll create magical stars to collect.
There are multiple ways of solving the game’s challenges, but occasionally something you might expect to do the job won’t respond to the situation or won’t be part of the game’s vocabulary. But then you get magnificently bizarre stuff like the time I summoned a Necromancer to resurrect a dead woman and comfort her mourning fiancé: I completed the task, but the couple were reunited in the form of a pair of skeleton warriors. Later I met a mermaid who, Disney-style, wanted an artifact from the surface world. I summoned a radio, passed the challenge, and also fatally electrified the water and had to restart.
When Unlimited works, it works wonderfully. When it doesn’t, you’ll likely just shrug and try something else. I can’t say I’ve found it difficult or trying, and in fact you may even laugh it off when the “radiation suit” you summon to protect someone from harm… turns out to be a distinctly lethal green-glowing tuxedo.
After installing the Fallout: Who Vegas mod earlier this week, I’ve been delving back into Fallout: New Vegas. It’s a game I never played a significant amount of, meaning there’s still a lot for me to see and do across the wasteland, so with the help of the Tardis I’ve been dropping in on random locations, often having no idea where I am or what’s going on.
Frankly, I’m amazed an open form Doctor Who game has never been attempted. I appreciate the work involved in creating different time periods and worlds would be monumental, but no more so than any other game that attempts procedurally generated content. Jumping from place to place in Fallout is perfect at creating the kind of unexpected experiences the Doctor faces on a day to day basis, and with the sonic screwdriver in hand I’ve been doing a great deal of running away.
So, as I once more release the handbrake on the Tardis and head for another adventure, I have but one thing to say.