Monthly Archives: April 2014

Game: Borderlands

BorderlandsFinished Borderlands at Saturday.

In Borderlands all is about shooting. Diplomacy, talking, solving problems by getting to a common conclusion, a consensus, humility, compassion, logic and all other ideals of humanity are wasted. This game is about killing. Shoot or be shot. If you have a gun, you have a solution for any problem. “Riddles” are not present. The whole gameplay comes down to where to shoot which enemy with which weapon best. This is totally brainless. This is how a good American Republican will do it. Get weaponized, fire any bullet you can squeeze into your rifle, and *then* ask whose left of what the real problem is about.

Boy, this game is fun! =)

The setting is on planet Pandora (ring a bell?). This is a SciFi-version of Texas of the Wild West. The landscape is totally dumped with waste of all sort. Garbage all around. You are searching The Vault: a place with mysterious treasures somewhere on the planet. On this quest you get jobs assigned via local citizens or a bounty board. This results in money and other loot to improve weapon stack.

And it is this where the real fun sets in. Borderlands is a RPS – a Role Playing Shooter. There are zillions of weapons to find and loot. Rifles, shotguns, pistols, grenade launchers, etc. All with different qualities in damage dealt, accuracy, rate of fire, etc. Plus: your stats in accuracy, speed, etc. Yes: once you reach level 10 you basically have seen it all.

… but this did not hinder me to get my hunter get level 37(!).

Borderlands is like playing Diablo, but with guns, but from first person perspective, but in the Wild West, but on Planet Pandora in the Future Science Fiction, but with coolness instead of drama, but with laughter (the ever appearing Claptraps are hilarious).

Also the game does level opponents. So it always stays challenging. I have to confess, I had my good share of trouble defeating the main villain at the end. This is great.

One can argue that the story is poor and once you have gained level 10 you basically have seen it all. And actually the game concept “solving your problems by killing them with guns” is definitively *not* pedagogic.

Yes. Be it so.

It remains a massive share of fun.

Yee-ha!

8/10: 8 out of 10

Game: Penumbra Overture

Penumbra: OvertureFinished Penumbra: Overture 2 days ago.

Played fully on Linux with Steam (native, no Windows Emulation).

You are at the search for the mysterious death of your father. He worked at some mining complex at Greenland and that is the place the game starts right with the entrance to the pit at the game’s cover. In the next 4 chapters you delve deeper and deeper to reveal the strange and frightening secrets of this place. Along your journey you find various items to use and even some weapons which you desperately need: this place is haunted by zombie-like dogs, gigantic worms and spiders the size of racoons. Eventually you discover excavations from alien origin and make contact to the sole survivor of this place: “Red” which apparently has gone mad.

As the game was created by Frictional Games the mechanics are very, very similar to Amnesia. This game is older and when playing you can see the polish the developers did to Amnesia.

Compared to Amnesia this game let’s you actually kill your enemies, though it is a though job. Which is sorta strange, since the game changes dramatically once you know how to kill all these dogs in the corridors. Then the dominant opponent turns into a “piece of cake” and what’s left are the riddles to solve. However getting a grip on these Zombie-Dogs is not an easy task and it takes you several (!) attempts to figure out how to get rid of them.

I can imagine why they dropped the possibility to kill enemies in Amnesia: here the game stops been frightening at this point.

The riddles in the game are of different qualities. Some are stupidly easy and for some you simply get false hints, which is bad. I remember myself in chapter 4 been chased by a big worm. The game tells you to ” … to seal that door”. Right then you find a crate on the right side. When I jumped up the crate I couldn’t reach the door mechanics, but the worm didn’t appear. So I thought I’m on the right place and tried over and over and over and over to get somewhere from that position. Wrong! I needed to simply push a button on the left side of the door! And sealing the door didn’t help either …

Such quirks appear occasionally in the game: game mechanics great, story telling nice, riddles range from childish to misleading.

Still, walking the strange mine renders some nice and creepy impressions, 7/10: 7 out of 10

Game: Half Life 2

Half Life 2Yesterday I finished Half Life 2 (again).

Played fully on Linux with Steam native (no Windows Emulation)!

This time I tried the Linux version and again as before: this game is flawless. Even in 2014 the Source Engine is breathtaking, the physics in the game represent a landmark in gaming history, and it even has a great story too.

Half Life 2 is challenging from start to end (at normal difficult level). Also all the time you are up to experience new fascinating effects involving physics and the gravity gun.

Half Life 2 is a MUST HAVE in every game collection.

For the record: I managed to unlock all achievements but 2: “Keep off the sands” is just unnerving and I’m not into finding all secret places of the “Lambda Locations”.

10/10: 10 out of 10