My first exposure to Wolfenstein was in the early 90s when Wolfenstein 3D came out. I was just beginning to get interested seriously in computer hardware and building PCs. Of course the best reason to build your own computer was to play all the best games. I’m sure you can see where this is going. These first entries into what would become the FPS genre of gaming were where I spent so many hours. There was no way I could pass this up even though I didn’t pre-order it.
Ya know it may be 2014, but taking a guy out while he’s taking a piss. Yes, I am a grown adult, but this still made me laugh. It’s just so over the top that it seems right in Wolfenstein. Besides, these have got to be the laziest guards ever.
Now I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I suck at being sneaky. Still though, this time I have managed to be as sneaky as a super sneaky thing. Only a little alarm but generally got through without having the whole of the camp coming after me. I tried to not move around real fast in this one and I did a bit of panning to show off how it looks on the PS4.
There is an easter egg in Wolfenstein that I’m eagerly looking forward to. I know where to go to get to it, but I’m not quite far enough in yet. Soon though I will be able to play the first level of Wolfenstein 3D. This one little easter egg alone makes buying the game worthwhile. I’ll make sure to get a video when I get in there though.
More soon, I promise.
I originally bought Borderlands 2 for The Hubby as he was a great fan of the first game. This time though he managed to rope me into playing it through with him using the co-op. So we played through it together even though he’d already finished it and maxed his character and all that jazz. I very fast found myself becoming addicted to this game. We easily clocked up a good 20 hours of play that first weekend.
Many games have multiplayer, but usually it’s over the internet only. Not a lot of games have same machine on screen co-op and I’m always so happy to find ones that do so that me and The Hubby can play together. Although I have no idea how people with normal sized TVs do this. Ours is 50 inch and it’s barely big enough. TV size may be a post for another time. So, the fact that there was a co-op on same screen/system in the game made me happy. It was there in the first game too, but for some reason the first game just didn’t grab me like this one did.
So we’ve finished it now and we’re currently on our second run through on the harder setting and it’s proving to be quite the challenge. On normal mode with 2 players, the game already scales things to be harder since there is more than one player. This is actually rather impressive. I watched The Hubby play it on solo and compared it with what we’d seen in normal and harder modes; there’s definitely a difference. The first thing is the amount of bad guys for you to kill, but also their toughness is subtly more hard to kill if you’ve got 2 players compared to one. In the Vault Hunter hard mode there are very obvious differences. The Badasses really are badasses and make you earn the XP you’re getting from them. The un-armoured Maniacs who run at you are suddenly Armoured Maniacs and a bit more of a challenge.
It’s brilliant. Seriously, Gearbox are fucking brilliant. The co-op is absolutely masterful.
I don’t know if I can explain the intelligence that the developers have coded into the co-op and the difficulty differences. They didn’t just decide to throw more bad guys at you just because there is 2+ people playing or to just crank up the hardness of those you gotta kill. No, they gave it some thought and it really makes the game that much more fun to play.
Intelligent difficulty instead of fucking hard for the sake of being fucking hard.
This intelligent design carries through all that they’ve done with the game. The button mapping (at least on the PS3) is smart and easy to use and remember. The inventory/mission/maps/etc screens are simple and easy to use. Something that made me extra happy is that they made it easy to compare weapons. Nothing annoys me more than not being able to easily see if the big gun I jsut picked up is better than what I’m using. With an easy interface, everything falls into place wonderfully for Borderlands 2.
The above would be nothing though without all the other bits and bobs that make a game great, like the sound and video.
Gearbox have taken that extra step with the graphics that leads you so much further from the photo realistic-ness of so many games out there. Yes it’s cell shaded and beautiful, but it’s also very stylised. This stylised approach really helps with world immersion and looks rather fabulous to boot. I really cannot fault the visual style and approach.
Now I really can’t say how much I like the music choice for the game. The title song is by The Heavy and is a song titled Short Change Hero. This song sets the scene well as the unlikely hero for the game and has this funk blues thing going on. The composers did a good job of integrating little riffs from the title song throughout the gameplay. You’ll end up humming this song hours after you’ve stopped playing. Of course the downside of this is that while you’re in the middle of your work day humming the song, you’ll end up really craving the game. I speak of this from experience as I’ve bought the album with the title song on it and now it keeps getting stuck in my brain.
So for the story we’re looking at the repercussions of the vault being opened in the first game. Your primary nemesis is Handsome Jack, but like any bad guy he’s a bit of a nasty character. Generally I’d say the story is a “World Domination” scheme, but getting there is so much fun and very not run of the mill. You can expect Killing, great characters and plenty of car driving action. I don’t want to give any of the story away. Even though I didn’t play the first Borderlands game I had no problem getting stuck into the story of this instalment.
Seriously, if at this point you think I have anything but a massive addiction and obsession with Borderlands 2, then you’ve not been paying attention. The game is fun, has a great sense of humour. It looks fabulous with a very well done cell-shaded art style. The gameplay is easy even if, like me, you’re a bit shit at FPS games on consoles. The game is very well put together and Gearbox should be very proud of what they’ve done here.
I bought Vanquish on an impulse. It was on sale in the Game Boxing Day sale for £15. I had seen it at EuroGamer Expo back in October, but I wasn’t really interested as I usually avoid FPS games on the consoles.
Without some sort of lock-on mechanism, I suck at aiming manually with the analogue sticks; I’m a keyboard and mouse kinda girl. Old Quake habits die hard.
So what have we got here then? Well obviously it’s a First Person Shooter. The setting is a far future sci-fi world. The United States is at war with the Russia in space. Yea that’s all I’m giving you of the story setting. The plot is a thinly veiled story. It’s not a bad story, but it’s no Metal Gear Solid.
Story may have been thin on the ground, but the gameplay was good. Weapon changes was simple, meaning having the right weapon to hand wasn’t a hassle. You can only carry 3 guns and 2 types of grenades, but weapons for swapping out appear often. The 2 grenade types was more useful than I think I’ve ever seen in a game. You get normal grenades and also EMP grenades. Don’t forget your grenades. There is a weapon for every situation.
The controls are as uncomplicated as vanilla ice cream. They’re all rather logical and easy to master. This to me is a bonus as some developers over-complicate the controls for games and your fingers end up in a twist. In very short order you’ll be changing weapons and firing without even thinking about how to do it. That is how controls should be. Instinctive.
There’s not a lot more I can say. Point, shoot, kill, run, rinse and repeat. It can be very hectic sometimes, but not in a bad way. This is a game that is about killing things. It’s not rocket science, but it’s been done well. For an uncomplicated good time, I definitely suggest getting this game.
So, a lot of things have been keeping me from games lately; “A lot of things” being dating an absolutely wonderful someone for the past month and a half. Recently, a friend of mine found a nice little deal on Steam for Borderlands. It was marked off 50% to begin with, but there was also a 4-pack priced so each copy of the game came out to about $18.50. I must say, it’s the best $18.50 (or more…) I’ve spent on a game in a long, long time. I’ll give three reasons why I play this game (and you should if you aren’t already):
1. I can play it at my pace (single player) whether I have 20 minutes or 3 hours at a time to entertain myself. I’ve found lately that I can’t play games that take up too much of my time any more. Between working, dating and pursuing a real career on the side I almost always choose to spend my free time out of the house instead of indoors. That being said, I need to play games that I can dedicate very little time to (on a daily basis). No more 5-hour EXP grinds for me.
2. I can play it with my friends online whenever we’re all online (huge bonus…it’s the same reason that sold me on Titan Quest, actually). It’s the same deal with a lot of games I’ve come to enjoy.
3. It’s got one of the most simple UI I’ve seen lately. There is absolutely nothing unnecessary cluttering my screen. I’ll even add a fourth reason hanging off of this one: the little robot is the most hilariously adorable character for a shooting/looting game EVER. Yeah, cute robot. Come on, how could I say no? Oh, and have I mentioned the artwork is totally awesome (hand-drawn technique)? Now that’s 5 reasons.
Total win? Yep…