Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!

Posts Tagged ‘BLDGBLOG’

News/Articles: GSW and a MYSTERIOUS SECRET

Posted by deckard47 on April 19, 2010

This shit is mysterious

There is in fact a new GSW piece up (by me!). It’s all about Red Faction: Guerrilla and Die Hard. If you’ve read “Naktomi Space,” you know where this is going. If you haven’t, then you totally should. Read it that is. Here’s a bit from the GSW column:

Games that create interesting, properly interactive worlds are special. Games don’t even have to be incredibly “interactive” to convince gamers that this world is exactly the kind of world that the player’s avatar would move through, in this kind of story and this kind of game.

Many is the game that forgets this rule and takes one kind of story and world and plugs the worst possibly matched gameplay and interface into that world. I loveMass Effect 2, and I like the direction Bioware is taking their third person shooting, but the world Commander Sheppard moves through isn’t an epic, highly fluctuating one (as the world of Sheppard’s words and deeds certainly is). Instead, ME 2’s world is dead, a beautiful clutch of austere worlds and rooms, each less believable than the last.

I hope that was exciting for you as it was for me. I rather like this one, because it’s about RF: G and Die Hard, but I also like it because it’s not complete shit. So that’s a recommendation, of a sort.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is the secret! It’s really exciting. It has to do with Simon Ferrari, he of the improbably porn-like (I bet he loves it when people point this out to him) name, among others. It’s going to redefine the way you think about life. Or it might just make you think about what it means for a person like me to say that something will “redefine the way that you think about life.” In other words it might annoy you because of how awesome it will be. Either way, I’ll be writing more about it soon.

That’s it. I’m playing X-COM: UFO Defense and Zombie Driver. Right now. One is fast and fun, but it makes me cry because of how bright and busy it is. The other is fun, but it’s so difficult and obtuse in places, it makes me mildly frustrated. That just means I want to play it more though, so “frustrated” is not by any means an attack on the game’s good name. I bet I’ll be writing about one or both of them soon. So, this post has mostly been a post about what I’m promising I’ll do soon. Now I know why you all come here. It’s for the cold, hard, facts, and viciously clever criticism I bust out every day. Thanks.

[PS: The photo there at the top is there because it’s the coolest thing that shows up in Google when you search for “mysterious.” It also has Gabrielle Anwar, Patrick Stewart, and Vinnie Jones, and giant poulpes. Plus, Stewart plays Captain Nemo, which is 100 times as badass as anything else, ever]


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2009 in Review: Red Faction: Guerilla

Posted by deckard47 on January 19, 2010

Lots of games purport to deliver an amazing, open-ended experience where you can go anywhere and do anything. They all do their best, it their little (and sometimes bug) ways do deliver on this concept. Red Faction: Guerrilla delivers on its promises of wide-ranging, highly destructible combat with style and skill. Of course, unlike other open-world games, RFG fails to provide any kind of compelling narrative, its world, while beautiful and convincing in its austere, Martian way, is often drab and unexciting. The people and ideas that populate this game are old and dying, close to the point of carrying on as some kind of unhealthy undead fiction. Of course, absolutely none of that matters after the first hour (or after the sixth or seventh hour, for that matter).

Playing this game, I wonder: how can games get away with the ancient non-destructible (or in many case, scripted destruction) environments. Watching something built by designers topple thanks to my hard work is unique feeling. Watching it topple again in a completely different way, just because I wanted to do it better, is something else entirely. Games like GTA IV, Just Cause 2, and Crackdown 2 (along with shooters like Modern Warfare 2) all feature outrageously overpowered ordinances and explosion-ready targets. It’s actually quite surprising that more games don’t license the technology used in Red Faction: Guerilla and the Bad Company series (the only other mainstream action game to use such effects), now that those games have attained such success. It isn’t a gimmick. When everything (but, sadly, the ground) can be destroyed, a player is encouraged, allowed, and thrilled to approach missions and map-traversal in new, exciting ways.

Thankfully, the rest of the gameplay isn’t bad at all. Cars drive with an appreciable Martian lack of heft, enemies are dangerous, ever-present harriers, most of the weapons are fun and punchy (or even better, explosive), and multiplayer perfectly translates the single player gameplay into fast, frantic bouts of wall-breaking, jet packing deathmatch (in fact, the game earns a lot of points just for the inclusion of an amazing jet pack). Really though, what makes this game impressive is the way that the player is constantly encouraged (by what she has seen, what the game has taught her, and the options available to the her) to solve tactical situations using less-than-average techniques. In fact, in light of this recent blog post over on BLDGBLOG, I’d like to recognize these wonderful parts of Guerrilla for what they are: liberating, exciting explorations of unorthodox, randomized destruction and traversal of ever-changing architecture. I’ve played all of the open-world, sandbox games (of this and the past generation) out there, and this is the one that actually feels fun and dew when I start it up after a long break. I never have to watch warehouses blow up in canned animations, and I never have to work with anything less than what I want. It’s an impressively liberating experience, and it is fun.

Posted in 2009 in Review | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Blog Related/VG Related: A Bit of a Break

Posted by deckard47 on April 27, 2008

I have to go work some more now, but I thought I’d mention two things. First, Kotaku had a very interesting post up today, linking to an interview at BLDGBLOG with a man named Daniel Dociu, who is the Chief Art Director of Guild Wars. I don’t know how many of you have played that game, but among other things, its architecture and overall design are both impressive and beautiful. Here is one of his pictures, which I thought was rather nice. The interview is about how he designs architecture and landscapes for games, and it’s really interesting.

Second up, I added a new blog to the Blogroll, it’s called “Insult Swordfighting.” The guy who writes it is really smart, and the articles are good, much better than mine. I suggest you go check it out, especially if you are interested in the more contentious issues facing the gamer community right now.

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