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Tag: open world

Retrospective – The Witcher

Geralt of Rivia. Mercenary. Witcher. Made and trained to kill monsters in the defence of humankind as a sword for hire, he wanders from town to village to smallholdings in the countryside seeking notices nailed to bulletin boards and fence posts. Or maybe the sound of screams from somewhere deep inside the forest nearby, heralding potential work for his kind that they might fill their coin pouch. Drowners, manticores, vampires, kikkimoras, anything the local alderman might pay a bounty for. His downtime is spent playing dice or cards, or brewing potions for his work and tending to his injuries while enjoying the company of a beautiful woman.

Geralt’s adventures were first published in book form by Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski, as a series of short stories depicting the Witcher’s various jobs ranging from slaying a beast preying on local merchants along the road to lifting curses from a princess at the personal behest of the King. Through all of this, he endures the adulation of those he saved in equal measure to the animosity from those who scorn his kind. Witchers are not quite human, you see. They are usually taken as children to a Witcher fortress that acts as their school, taught to fight with swords, practice herblore for potion brewing, given training in tracking animals, anything that their work would require. Once they come of age, and only if they survive, they are put through the Trial of grasses where their young bodies are subjected to powerful mutagen potions, one after the other, and infected with various sicknesses to develop immunity that will last a lifetime to all sickness. Spells are cast to inject a little magic into them, though just a little.



Relaunch Inauguration with Just Cause 2

So here I am, finally able to write for my blog again and having also fixed the issues with transfer to my new Gmail address. Of course, for now the blog looks near the same as before and nothing much will have changed but… hey, we’re back! And we are back with just cause, too. Or should I say Just Cause 2… yeah ok I won’t pull too many of those jokes, I promise. They have been done to death already so let me just get into the meat of things. I have a huge backlog so this calls for some speed blogging.

So, Just Cause 2… let me just say first of all that this is a game I had resolved not to play initially. Pre-release I saw trailers and gameplay review podcasts about Just Cause 2 showing some of the gameplay features and, while clearly looking awesome on many levels I found some of the gameplay mechanics to be a little off. Namely the infinite parachute and grapple hook combo. Maybe I was too hard on the game and pre-judging it without giving it a chance? I often thought this but was content to let the game slide by anyway. Then Steam comes along with their awesome summer sale deals and put up the usual publisher packs, set fire to my credit card and dumped a load of games into my library before running off into the night. This is a process I like to call the Game Glomp, and no one does it better than Steam.



Batman: Arkham City on Trial

So, having been a huge fan (understatement if there ever was one) of Batman: Arkham Asylum, I was waiting with baited breath for Batman: Arkham City, delivered by Rocksteady Studios. I don’t normally pre-order games at the store or even online via D2D distribution methods, but for this one I was willing to make an exception. Arkham Asylum was, without a doubt, one of the most satisfying purchases on the XBox I have made to date and needed a good kicking to pull if off its podium. Since we are talking Batman here, I think we can all agree that the only thing capable of pulling Batman off a high and hard-to-reach vantage point is another Batman.



What Happens in New Vegas…

… Stays in New Vegas. Yes, it is time for a new Fallout game review.

Fallout New Vegas is Bethesda Softworks‘ newest offering in the post-apocalyptic retro scene, served up by Obsidian Entertainment.

Many of you (or rather my three readers, in any case) will know my thoughts on Fallout 3 by now, so this game does have some pretty deep shoes of expectation to fill. The open world format delivered by Fallout games, seeded with well structured deposits of intrigue and backstory supplements to those willing to search for them, made Fallout 3 one of the best games I have played. Mainly because it made free-roaming in an open world worthwhile when you found some small supply cache either guarded by raiders or traders or entirely empty leaving you to wonder when the three bears would be coming home. It always delivered something interesting.

But I will not go on gushing about how excellent FO3 was since I pretty much covered it in my original review. So let us look towards the new mewling baby in the Fallout series, already sporting it’s first DLC and a wealthy library of community mods to add more depth (or, if you like this kind of thing, god weapons.) Of course, these are only available to the PC players, sorry console guys but you chose to play an FPS on a kids toy…



Dead Rising 2. Frustrations in Fortune City

It has been a while between work and other stuff but I have finally taken the chainsaw to this review and remade it a little. I always try to get near the end of a game’s story before I review it but this one is a little different. The story is not all that big story wise, but we will come to that in a bit and why it might take you a long while to finish it.

So, here I am now with the game I should have picked up before Front Mission Evolved. Dead Rising 2 is, naturally, the second in the Dead Rising games, save for a short interlude in the form of Dead Rising: Case Zero. I have not played this one so I don’t know what it is all about except that it involves your character from Dead Rising 1 and 2.



Fallout 3: The game and gaming

So, I figured since I raised the issue of Fallout 3 in a previous blog, and the last blog being about PC gaming as an industry, it would be appropriate to dust off an older PC game that still shines like new today. And with Fallout New Vegas ready for release soon, we should all get back in the mood for Fallout as a series. I will not only review this game, which I will try and keep shorter than the last breakdowns, because I will also try and squeeze in some more thoughts in PC gaming in general.

In the last blog, people will remember I linked Chris Taylor’s podcast interview with G4TV’s X-Play where he threw down a gauntlet to the anti-PC game crowd and the doom-sayers who hail the passing of PC games in general. As I watched the interview one game jumped into mind that highlights PC games, and that game was Fallout 3. The reasons for this were not picked up by Chris, who used examples of MMOs and digital distribution methods like Steam and D2D as key to PC game’s resilience, though I stated them as another unique aspect of PC gaming. Modding. And as I talk about FO3 in general you will see why this is a great aspect of PC gaming experience on the whole.