As an older, more experienced gamer, I feel sometimes that it is my job to give back to the community. Much like Tribal Elders of old, it is our responsibility to impart wisdom to young, eager would-be warriors, eager to earn their stripes in the treacherous savannah of gaming.
Up until now, I have sat back reading various comments on blogs, with your "Halo" this and your "Orange Box" that, miserly holding back the true secret of gaming bliss, sharing with my fellow "initiated" gaming's one true paragon in whispers, watching the youth floundering around blindly in pursuit of this holy grail of games.
Now, m'lads (and m'ladettes...erm), flounder no more, for the holy grail that you seek is the game Deus Ex, developed by Ion Storm.
"Why bring this up now?", you may ask. Well, various gaming sites and blogs have released the news that Ubisoft have refused to put a bid in for Eidos, publisher of Deus Ex.
Ubisoft, while having made many classics in their time, could only hope to purchase what people (those that count, anyway) have termed, "The Perfect IP".
Hah! Only in your wildest dreams, Ubisoft!
I put it to the gaming community that there are only two possible reasons Ubisoft would not purchase Eidos -
1) They felt that they would not be worthy to hold such responsibility, and knew that no matter how hard they tried, they could never live up to expectations
2) They were afraid that weilding such massive power would perpetually place all other Ubisoft IPs in the shadow of this one, purchased IP.
The cyberpunk dystopian nightmare setting, intelligent philosophy, meaningful and freeform gameplay, rich and full world, jarring plot twists, all combine to craft the finest single player experience known to gaming.
The only true form of educational entertainment ever created
I don't have to elaborate on what makes this game so good, words cannot do it justice. You owe it to yourselves to research this game yourselves, and then by logical extension, purchase 7 copies.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the few miniscule flaws in the game to you first, in the interest of remaining objective. After all, I wouldn't want you guys to think that I wasn't being objective, would I? <ahem>
The only true faults with this game are as follows -
1) you haven't played it, and
2) there isn't a new one (yet)
Go. Now. Remember to mark this day in your calendars as the day you heard about Deus Ex, so you may carry on the memory for yourselves and for all posterity.
Oh, and the sequel, while not as good, wasn't bad either. Let's hope that whoever eventually purchases Eidos can resurrect the series and take it back to its roots, eh?
You may thank me for revealing this to you in the comments section below. That is all.
I have always been a fan of the Hitman series, ever since I played Hitman 2. I was so impressed with the game when it came out, that I tracked down a copy of the first game and played that too.
I eagerly awaited the release of Hitman 3, and was impressed with the direction the game took.
Finally, Hitman: Blood Money showed that sequels CAN improve on original concepts, and was one of the best releases of 2005 IMO.
While I have known that the movie was being made, I didn't realise it was so close to coming out. The official site lists the release date as 11.21.07, which I presume is Freaky-Deaky-American-Dating-System for 21/11/07, or just over a month away.
Hopefully this will be the start of a trend of decent video game adaptations, but more likely it will be an average film that would otherwise slip unnoticed in the annals of movie history if it weren't for its link to an existing IP.
Hey, it has to be better than more recent efforts.
I have to say, Tim Olyphant as Agent 47 doesn't sit well with me. I can appreciate the guy as an actor (Deadwood was awesome), and I like the fact that they cast a lesser known actor as 47 (Vin Diesel was originally slated to play him), but I think he looks.... well... a bit young for the role.
('scuse the bad piccies, i googled 'em)
Agent 47 on the Hitman 2 box
Tim Olyphant posing with some random at some event or other
I kind of think Vin Diesel would have been a better choice, if only because he looks nastier, and we could be sure at least that he would have played the game (Vin Diesel is apparently a big gamer). Just Google Image "Vin Diesel" and "Riddick" to see what I mean.
Although, I think they should have gone with someone that just looked exactly like the concept art. It's not like any significant acting ability is required to stand around looking evil and strangling people...
I am a big fan of the Hitman series, and was looking forward to Kane and Lynch: Dead Men since it was announced quite some time ago.
This may not be news to some of you, but I must have missed the announcement or something, because today I find out that the game will NOT support online co op, just offline split screen.
No online co op?!? In this day and age?? This game seemed to be designed for online co op. What a stupid design decision.
I planned on purchasing it with a mate of mine, where we would run through the whole game together, much like we did with Gears of War, and Halo 3.
Without online co op, I will be thinking twice about buying this. I am sure it will be every bit as good as I expect it to be, but there are alot of good games coming out over this holiday season it has to compete with for playtime.
I guess something this simple has cost Eidos at least one potential sale, possibly two, and I bet we are not alone. There is really no excuse for games with multiple protagonists these days to not feature online co op, in my opinion.
There is a new Xbox Live Arcade game called "Braid", coming out in early 2008.
I am aware of this solely because of an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (A major Australian newspaper), where the developer, a Mr Jonathon Blow, chose to wax inculpate on techniques used by modern games to ensure that players continue to play regardless of the actual quality of game mechanics. In one of his examples, he specifically refers to World of Warcraft -
Disregarding the fact that, as you may surmise from the first line, I believe this is just an obscure attempt to publicise his upcoming game, I decided to give it a bit of thought, to see if the concept held any merit.
On the face of it, it's easy to agree. As a one time MMO gamer, I am all too familiar with the game mechanics used to keep you playing, and it is easy to see parallels.
It is easy to see a level of Pavlovian conditioning in all the games we play - we are conditioned right from the outset to approach every problem a certain way in the game, whether it be through violence, randomly clicking the screen to identify "hotspots" in adventure games, or following onscreen prompts corresponding with certain activities.
A puppy, probably much like the ones Ivan Pavlov surgically implanted various things into
Many games ensure your adherence to its mechanic via a Skinnerian approach called Ratio Reinforcement, particularly MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. This basically means that after a predefined set amount of work, you are rewarded. the work required may gradually increase after each reward. Sounds like a typical level system, doesn't it?
However, when Mr Blow applies this concept to MMORPGs, he fails to address the other aspects and rewards of the genre. Ask yourself what differentiates World of Warcraft from other offerings in the MMORPG space, or other games with level systems for that matter. World of Warcraft is successful for the following reasons -
2. Popular and Familiar World
3. Large Social Following
4. Sufficient Depth to Retain Long Term Players
Increasing one's levels may provide an incentive to remain in the game, but the overriding factors in levelling up are not some psychological reflex action, but a desire to experience new content/abilities, and the drive for increased social standing in game. While it could be argued that this is what Mr Blow meant, the article implies that players participate in these sorts of games purely because of these psychological traps.
If that is the case, why aren't other MMORPGs as popular? Why do relatively few people obtain the maximum level in the various Japanese RPGs that come out?
lvl 70 Tauren get all teh biznatches
Implying that developers use psychological traps to keep players in their games fails to highlight what makes each game so special, and cheapens the industry as a whole. Whether you appreciate a certain game or not, a lot of creative energy and hard work went into the production of almost every single game out there, and if the industry itself cannot recognise this, how can it hope to be taken seriously by others?
Random Marketing Goon: "Hey, I just had a killer idea for the new console!"
Billy Gates: "Go away, i'm busy!" <grumbles>
Random Marketing Goon: "How about we release interchangeable faceplates for the front of the console, allowing consumers to customise their 360 like they can already do with their mobile phone?"
Billy Gates: "ZOMG THATS BRILLIANT!1!!one!1 When you go home tonight, there will be a new storey on your house."
Well, sounds good in theory, doesn't it? Somewhere along the line, however, this idea just fell apart.
Currently, at least in Australia, I have only ever seen a grand total of FOUR (that's 4) Faceplates for sale at regular retail outlets.
Camo Faceplates - coz it's a jungle out there?
Don't get me wrong - I don't really care one way or the other, but with all the hooplah surrounding the release of Bioshock, including the 50k odd faceplates released to retailers, you would think that someone could make a tidy bit of moolah selling these babies off? I know I am getting sick of seeing the same generic white faceplate staring at me like some sort of giant Apple product every time I change games.
That in turn got me thinking about faceplates in general, and how little are actually out there. I have seen a limited edition GRAW2 and Splinter Cell: Double Agent faceplate, along with the previously mentioned 4 faceplates - 2 different kinds of camo, an orange swirly pattern, and a standard dark blue.
Because when I think customisable faceplates, I think "Orange" and "Swirly"
Sure, go on the 'net and you may see a few more, but that doesn't help the myriad of casual gamers out there that seem to be this generation's target demographic, does it?
How are things in the 'States? Is there a wider selection, or is this half baked effort pretty typical worldwide?