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Backlog challenge 2013 Part 4 - Destructoid

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Alasdair Duncan is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming that is not Fraser Brown. A long time Destructoid community member and forum moderator, he covers adventure, puzzle, FPS and all kinds of games on the PC. Watch, as he adds more games to his Steam library with only the vaguest hope of ever playing most of his games.

Alasdair has been gaming since his mother bought a Commodore 64 back in the early 1980's. He adores Deus Ex, GTA Vice City, Team Fortress 2, Borderlands, Super Mario Brothers 3 and all those weird indie titles on Steam.

You can meet Alasdair at places like PAX where he tries to convince people he isn't a) drunk or b) Irish.

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Last month was a good result in taking on my Backlog; I took on three games, two old and one new and completed all of them. First up was Hard Reset, the old school sci-fi FPS. Boy, I tell you I havenít circle strafed in a game for quite some time. Hard Reset is real old school, a big array of weapons, no reloading, waves of small enemies to pick off... itís old school Quake and Doom with a grim sci-fi style. The story is told in some nice looking motion comic cutscenes (which are skip-able, bonus points there) but thereís not a lot of sense in them. Something about rogue androids and artificial intelligences running wild and the main guy swears a lot. I didnít realise it but in my first attempt at playing Hard Reset last year, I can really close to finishing the game. The free DLC did extend the game somewhat and I was grateful for being able to upgrade my weapons more to really waste the robots in the game. Recommend the game but be prepared to play it in bursts, maybe do a level at a time.



The next game I played was Mirrorís Edge which was recommended because it too was fairly short. The game looked great, despite some screen tearing and the fact that PhysX drivers made crowded scenes real laggy. I love the sense of speed and momentum you could feel once you got Faith up to speed, however the person that made enemies with guns so prevalent in the game needs a stern talking to. It was no fun bumping into a group of enemies and I died a heck of a lot more due to gunfire than falling to my death. I would like to see a sequel, maybe in a city thatís managed to shake itself from the oppressive government and Iíd love to see longer stretches of just running without complicated platforming, just for the sheer sense of speed.



I also played BioShock: Infinite this month which I was always going to do first up. I thought it was really good and whilst it leant quite heavily on the original BioShockís mechanics, I do want to go back and experience Columbia again soon. It looked and sounded stunning and I understand the complaints that the combat detracted from the experience as a whole but then again, Iím not sure what youíd replace it with. Where Irrational goes from here I have no idea, Iíll suppose weíll need to wait and see how successful BioShock: Infinite is financially and what the future holds for the franchsie. I like the idea of ďshockĒ representing a player either exploring the ruins of lost cities (the Von Braun in System Shock 2, Rapture in BioShock) or seeing the fall of a utopia (Columbia in BioShock: Infinite) but those themes could be explored in another game or with different mechanics.



So now onto the games I want to try and beat this this month; I started playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown in April too so Iíd like to complete that as well. Iím also wanting to play Donít Starve and Monaco as well, but I reckon thereís time enough to fit in a good story driven game into this monthsí challenge and who knows, I might be able to get two or even three games completed this month. Hereís your choices below:



I think the Ball may have been a gift and if it was, I apologise for not playing it sooner. All I know is that the Ball involves..... a ball. And Iíve seen some screenshots of some kind of giant lizard man and zombified gorillas. Iím not sure, I may have been drunk...... no, that does seem legit.



I got real close I think to finishing Zeno Clash back when I was living in Australia but I never did finish the game. It wasnít the strangeness or the sheer weirdness of Father Mother et al, but I think I was having some issues with the mechanics, specifically the melee attacks. But I did love the style and thank God for a first person game in 2009 that showed some real imagination. Just like Metro 2033, Iíd really like to play this before the sequel comes out.



Now that the sequel has been funded and will be on Steam, I should really finish Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. I got maybe an hour into it before maybe moving on. I remember feeling frustrated with the camera but I really should finish it; Caimdark highly recommended it and I feel it would make a good change from some of the games Iíve played recently.



Again, I think Singularity may have been a gift and I really should have played it already. All I know is that Singularity is better than average game with time control mechanics and some great Soviet aesthetics. I hope Singularity is one of those gems that sneaked under the radar at the time of release.



This was another game that was described as ďwait until it comes down in price before buying itĒ. Pretty sure I got Driver San Francisco in the Steam Christmas sale for a real good price but until I play it, itís money wasted. Iíve not played any of the Driver games since the PS1 days so I have no idea what to expect from the game.

So there you go, 5 pretty different games and Iíd love to get at least one or even two of them played and completed in May. Iíll be putting aside XCOM once the vote is over and Iíll be returning to it and other games throughout the month. Iíve got some big titles planned for the Backlog Challenge for the Summer months so stay tuned for that. Put your votes of which game youíd like to see me play before May the 2nd in the comments below.
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