FORMERLY KNOWN AS DYSLIXEC Welcome to the Happy Kingdom! Name: Mikey Age: 29 Location: The Burgh Occupations: Graphic Artist / 3D Artist Current Job: Business Empire Consulting Position: Fun Stuff :D
Contact Information Email: nope!
Games for Windows Live: dyslixec
My Favorite Games of All Time (no order) Zelda
Ghost & Goblins
Kings Quest VI Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
Doom I & II
Duke Nukem 3D
The Curse of Monkey Island
Quake I,II, and III
Fallout 1 & 2
System Shock 2
Delta Force 1
C&C Red Alert 2
Alien Vs Predator 1 & 2
Battlefield Bad Company 2
Ghost Recon 1
World War 2 Online
Wolfenstein Enemy Territory
Quake World Team Fortress
Team Fortress 2
Day of Defeat
Recent games that I DO like Deus Ex Human Revolution
Games I am currently playing HL2DM
XCOM Enemy Unknown
Natural Selection 2
Deathmatch, you know what it is, you've heard the term since id Software coined it in the 90s. But how many of you really dove into it? I'm not talking about playing it for a month or so and moving onto something else that has flashier bells and whistles... But really dove into its mechanics and how it functions and using that understanding to better yourself as a player.
If you do that, you really start to see the art of deathmatch. When you start to understand what separates the competitive player from the casual one in a DM game, a whole new world is opened up to you.
"But I suck at DM!" I've been there, having gone through the 90's era of deathmatch I used to be absolutely terrible at DM games. When it comes to many competitive players today, I'll still get my ass handed to me when I go up against them. However, with every loss there is knowledge gained. With every misstep, and ridiculous death, there is a question you ask yourself "how can I do that?" The biggest difference is whether you actually try to discover how to do that, or just give up and move on to another game.
Think of it as an artistic dance, not many can just pick their feet up and become Fred Astaire. Like any other game or trade, many hours and many periods of trial and error are the only way you can really improve. It is not an easy journey, and I can tell you there are those who are still picking up the most famous DM games of all time (Quake,UT) starting off fresh and getting slaughtered. Their victories only matched by those who are at the same level they are, but for those that stick around and really want to see what they are made of, end up being some incredibly good players.
You've heard of Quake, and you probably have heard of Unreal Tournament when someone mentions deathmatch. But very rarely do you hear Half-Life tied into that mix, rarely do you hear those intense DM stories come from the HL2DM or HLDM world. Why is it so quiet? Is it not as exciting or thrilling? Is it just bland?
These are the questions that ran through my head throughout the years, but I never really gave them much thought just because of how tied down I have been to Quake. It was only until recently where I really started analyzing those questions. Over the past year or so I have been trying to find a shooter that makes my palms sweat, that makes me think on my feet and gets my adrenaline rolling, but nothing has really satisfied me.
Over the years I've bounced all over the Quake universe, dove into UT for several years on and off, and had my way with crazy team play games like QWTF & TFC. I even experienced the silliness of TF2 and the harsh 't' shaped spray patterns of CStrike, but rarely did I dabble in the Half-Life universe when it came to multiplayer. Which I find really funny because my two favorite Sci-Fi "worlds"of all time are Half-Life and Aliens.
So I decided to take a stab at it again, and dive back into the quiet abyss of the HL2DM community – what is left of it anyway. My first hour I played with raw vanilla settings and had an absolute blast. It was probably the most intense DM experience I've had in a long time. I'd even dare to say it was more intense than Quakeworld (which I recently took a break from a couple of months ago).
There is a special charm to HL2DM, and after playing it again for another 2 hours tonight, I think I have found out what that charm is, and why I think it is important that I tell you about it.
It's not just about guns and map control anymore. With HL2DM, VALVe has added a new layer to deathmatch. I never really noticed it until now, but when it comes to comparing HL2DM to Quake or UT, I feel it is in its own league of DM. The biggest reason for this is the physics, as silly/gimmicky as it sounds, that really is the biggest game changer here. Before with games like Quake and UT, to win the arena you had to understand the layout of the arena, know where the weapons spawn, and how long it took for them to respawn, and where the mega healths and high rated armors were placed. HL2DM has kind of thrown that philosophy out the window, or placed it in the backseat.
Where Quake and UT are the dance of movement and map control, HL2DM is the dance of deathmatch. Throw away your conventional knowledge of aiming at your target and shooting them, while yes it still applies in HL2DM, it is not the governing factor of a skilled player. Physics is king, and understanding how your weapons react to the environment can make all the difference in the world.
When you can take a file cabinet and block a possible kill shot headed aimed at you, and then use that file cabinet as death incarnate... you change the dynamic of deathmatch. When a combine orb is bouncing around a hall way, and will vaporize you the moment it touches you, but you catch it and send it back your to your enemy with the gravity gun, you've changed the dynamic. When you see your target out of the corner of your screen and you have just enough time to aim your crossbow at the wall, fire it, and hope for the chance of that bolt bouncing off the wall and nailing your target to the ground – you change the dynamic. But changing the way you play DM wont completely change everything, or hide the nasty red pimple DM games have always shared.
Discouragement, it is a DM games worst enemy. When a skilled player matches up against a new guy and sends his ass on a one way trip to a rage quit, that big red pimple shows itself. With games like Quake and UT, in the standard DM environment you spawned with the weakest weapon, and little to nothing for protection with no elements to aid you other than trying to beat the other player to the closest weapon or armor, the red pimple shines. I believe in HL2DM has slightly improved on this issue.
In HL2DM, no longer do you have to 'escape' and pray that you make it to a weapon because you cant defend yourself. Here you spawn with your gravity gun, smg, pistol, 2 grenades and a melee weapon. This lets you pack enough fire power out of the gate to be able to hold your own.
--The gravity gun: will give you a distinct advantage being able to use the objects in the world as defense or a one-shot kill wonder projectile, or perhaps even give you the chance to catch a combine orb or grenade and send it 'priority first' back to the owner.
--The SMG: will give you a slight punch to take out a weak player or suppress a target from a distance, and if you're lucky enough to spawn next to an SMG grenade, give you a greater chance of taking out nearby targets much faster.
--The Crowbar: can be your close encounter finishing tool should you end up in that situation,
--The Grenades: become extremely useful especially when you use your gravity gun to send them greater distances or cook them so your target doesn't have time to dodge it.
--The Pistol: I've taken so far to be a last resort weapon.
This video is a demonstration of highly skilled HL2DM players: These guys have thousands of hours clocked into the game so don't expect to reach this level immediately – but if you can understand and learn the basics of what they use so well, you will definitely be on your way to becoming a skilled DM player.
Those few weapons and tools have completely changed the atmosphere of deathmatch. Yes you can still get spawn killed, it happens in any DM game. Now you wont feel like a poor sap with no way to defend yourself when you spawn near an enemy target – use the world to your advantage – that is something Half-Life 2 taught us when it came out. Even though this will not completely end the hideous red pimple of discouragement that DM brings to many new players, it at least treats it to where it is not as much of a sore as it used to be.
Beyond the way the weapons and tools have changed the art of deathmatch, movement is still a solid factor in HL2DM. Its a bit of a mix of 'bursting' the sprint and qw style strafe jumping mixed together. These take time to learn and master, and there are many people out there who try to help new players understand how they work. Fortunately for HL2DM, the requirement for movement is not as crazy as it is in Quake, where literally every where you move you're strafe jumping, circle strafing, etc. In HL2DM, from what I have experienced, it seems to come in bursts on most stock maps. Break into the competitive style maps and you'll see it used more often.
So is HL2DM Bland? Does it not carry the excitement as other DM games? I personally do not think so, I think it actually brings a breath of fresh air to the Deathmatch genre, fresh air that has been hiding in the jungle for many years, like the illusive fountain of youth. But unlike the fountain of youth, this really exists, and we are playing right now, so you should join us!
Deathmatch is a tricky beast, and as I said before its biggest enemy is discouragement. It's hard to balance giving the freedom to a player to develop intense competitive skill, while still catering to the new guy who has no idea wtf is going on. However, the plus side to many DM games That the veterans and skilled players are more than willing to help new players; especially when it comes to a game mode that has slipped into the shadows over the years. We want to help you, we want more players to play against, we do not want to see Deathmatch become a 'interesting' side show. We want to rekindle its flame.
But because of discouragement , lack of knowledge or dedication, it has slipped into the shadows practically unnoticed. That worries me, I'm worried that come Half-Life 3, and Source Engine 2.0, Deathmatch will not be around in the Half-Life universe. That, because of its lack of interest and/or understanding, it will not be on the development table at all. I wrote this article because I believe VALVe really has something that has changed the dynamic of Deathmatch
I am by no means a pro player in HL2DM, but I'm definitely not a noob to Deathmatch, so I hope that this information and my words have piqued your interest in trying it again. I hope that the video shown didn't discourage you but rather lit a fire under your ass, like it did mine. Please feel free to ask me questions on how to improve your play style when it comes to DM games, or how to break into this game because I will be more than willing to help, so will many of the skilled players out there already.
Whatever you do, at least give it a shot. Try to experience it with the knowledge that I gave you today, because most likely you will have the same reaction I did which was "Holy shit, I just got owned, but that was FUN!" There is something special about being launched out of a window by a flying toilet only to have successfully returned the favor by smashing someone into a wall with a car.
Good Luck, Have Fun!
If you wish to add me on steam my username is:
wλstelander (copy pasta this it due to symbol)
And if you wish to give HL2DM another go, you can join my server with your friends, or with me, and experience what has been missed by so many.
Hostname: Questionable Ethics | HL2DM
(you can add the server via favorites tab in your steam server options or connect via console)
Over the past few years I have gone through many different parts of space, taken a break from it and resubbed several times over. Something about this game keeps me hooked, no matter what I try to do, no matter how hard I try to get back into my bread and butter of gaming (first person shooters) the crys of New Eden keep me from leaving. So here I am again, doing my little spin to shed some light on why you should be playing this game.
In my previous article I wrote about how EVE is an unforgiving universe, how the entire universe is built by the players, and its future determined by them as well. The past year or so the gaming community has seen clear examples of that. Ranging from the Jita Riots, to the Burn Jita campaign. The pilots of New Eden have formed an living, breathing society that is just as powerful, and just as Corrupt, and just as deadly(virtually) as our real life societies today. Sure to some EVE is just a game, but to those who have invested time into this wonderful virtual world it is more than that.
EVE is without a doubt one of the greatest social experiments to ever be conducted in our lifetime. Scoff at that statement all you want, but there is something magnificent at what this game has accomplished over the past several years. The amount of work players have invested into this game, the communities they have built, the amount of friendships won, and friendships lost over this game has baffled many. The scheming, the actions, and the passion everyone has for this game far exceeds anything I have seen in any other game.
A good friend of mine that I've known in 'the real life' for quite some time plays EVE with me, we are both in the same corp, and have never been able to really escape from this game. Every time we talk about the game, or talk about things going on, I feel like I'm having a political discussion or talking about our real lives and how it is being affected by the chaos going on in the world. But at the end of the conversation you come back to reality and realize New Eden is only virtual, the politics we were just talking about so passionately was just in this game. The investment that your emotion has on that moment is truly mind blowing. Aside from its emotional implications, theres an "economic study" of sorts that goes on with many EVE Players. When I ask my friend how much ISK he has made today he would tell me how he might not have made much, but he has been reading these market reports from New Eden and sees a spike in a certain raw material and tells me how hes going to take advantage of that influx to make more money by the end of the week. He ends up pulling in double what he made the other day.
How many games out there can you say you have approached them with the same passion as you do with things in the real world? If you would have told me back in 2001 that I would soon be playing games where the players would build their own government structure, they would control vast territories, form alliances with other players, have diplomats keep peace between those alliances, have players become someone who can study the financial market of a game so that they could become billionaires. Or have players that would spend their time to make friends with people in an alliance, only to end up stabbing them in the back a year later, destroying years worth of work..If you told me this back in 2001, I would have laughed at you.
But its here, its real, and people including myself, are invested in it.
Over the past several months I have rejoined my friends in the CIRAD Corporation in the FCON Alliance, which is part of the Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC).. which has other alliances in it such as TEST, GOONs, TNT, Razor, and more. Since ive been back, so much has happened, so much has changed, so much destruction and so much rebirth. I took part in actions that destroyed an entire alliance within a week through the means of total war, and I have witnessed the vanquishing of innocence in a section of space that everyone thought they would be safe in. Just recently I drank the tears of some poor sap who was dumb enough to bring this into battle. Yes, you see that correctly... that is a 3.1 billion ISK pod kill, and that was in a PVP fight. Apart from causing tears I am currently building up a propaganda machine for my alliance and our coalition that has captured the attention of the CFC leaders. My wonderful way to make ISK is by making posters in photoshop for my glorious leaders. Welcome to EVE, a game where even propaganda serves a strong purpose.
This sounds fucking incredible, but the game is so complex!
This is the nature of EVE unfortunately, its greatest strength is its complexity and its player driven universe, but it is also its weakest link. How do you get a new player into a game without removing complexity? Without restricting other players their freedom to do whatever they want, wherever they want? That is a question CCP and the community of EVE online has been struggling to answer for a very long time.
But, there is a way...
If you truly do desire to explore the world of EVE, and you really want to take a crack at it. The best way to go about this is to do one of two things:
OPTION 1: Know someone who plays EVE, and can show you the ropes: This can be extremely helpful, and can definitely get you on the right foot; guides and tutorials can only do so much.
OPTION 2:Join EVE, Do the 3 core tutorial agent missions, Join EVE University: This is probably the best option for those who have no friends in EVE or no friends in general. EVE University is a neutral alliance that helps new players get into EVE Online. They will teach you ANYTHING you want to know about the game, it costs you NOTHING to join. And they will supply you with materials and goods, and lend you ships so you can learn how to play EVE the way YOU want to play. From nullsec pvp, to high sec market trading, EVE University has been the saving grace for many new EVE Players. And here is the best part, you go at your own pace, you can go for a month, or you can go for 3 months, it all depends on how much you want them to teach you, and what it is you want to learn. You want to see everything that EVE has to offer? Then EVE-Uni is for you!
Prepare ahead of time, Grab the essentials! The following are a list of community developed tools (which CCP Backs completely) and communication tools that will do SO MUCH for you on your journey into EVE. These tools will also most likely be used through your schooling of EVE University, so grab them now so you're ready to go!
Teamspeak 3 & Mumble – A majority of the EVE Community uses either Teamspeak 3 and/or Mumble for voice communication. So grab it, install em both, they will be used by you on a regular basis, especially for EVE Uni and any other major alliance you may end up joining.
EVE Fit Tool – This tool will allow you to plugin your character API which will take all the information about your character (skills you've trained, ships you can fly) and will let you know how well you can fit a ship with your current skills.
EVE Mon – This is going to be your swiss army knife of EVE Online, this tool will allow you to build skill training plans depending on what you want to do, what ships you want to fly, and what weapons you want to use. You put together a ship, with good fittings, and then you can take all the 'required skills' it has listed and slap them into a Skill Plan.. this skill plan will tell you the best approach on what skills to train first, in what order, and what your character attributes should be set to for more effective training times.
So you have some basic understand of how to get started into EVE, and what route to go that will truly help you in the best possible way. Be bold pilot, a world of hatred and love awaits you.
You will go through many trials and tribulations, you will become swallowed by both, and you could become drunk with so much power to the point where you will longer have mercy in your heart. But that is only the beginning. Our world is about to expand drastically in the coming months. War is at hand, and no longer will we be only fighting in the vacuum of space. War is coming down to the dirt. Mud and rock has returned to the palms of those who wish for more territory. What will happen when the DUST settles?
It's right around the corner, the next major advancement in the EVE universe, DUST 514 is soon to bring war to every edge of the galaxy. And soon our PS3 companions will be doing our biding, and will also suffer from our acts of betrayal ;).
This great social experiment is about to expand beyond our wildest dreams. Are you ready?
The beast has finally returned, and in no better fashion with the glorious words of "Hell...It's about time." Starcraft II is finally here, a masterful release on a platform that has not had a good massive jolt of sales in a long time, excluding MMO's. So how is it? Was the wait worth it? Does it hold up with only one campaign instead of three? Stay awhile and listen...
I will tell you my first expectations going into Starcraft II, from what I experienced in the beta, was that I will receive more of the same from the original but with some new units replacing the old ones. Fortunately, I was quite wrong on that regard, while Starcraft II keeps the same formula of the original title, the new elements it adds on all fronts provides for an extremely unique and spectacular experience. Blizzard took their same gameplay formula and melded it with an interactive story experience that is not seen very often, if at all in the RTS genre. With blends of DoW II's unit upgrades & tech customization mixed with a Wing Commander like mission lobby setup, Starcraft II has truly put itself at a new level as an RTS and is definitely not the same old thing as before. Your involvement with the story, your involvement with the characters and your continuously evolving army has been pushed one level higher in Starcraft II.
The story of Starcraft II takes place 4 years after the Brood War expansion. Here you play as the infamous James Raynor, that good ol marshal from Mar Sara who robs from the rich and gives to the poor type of Stallion man. You learn that he is about to kick some kind of rebellion into over-drive against the Dominion, which is controlled by another SC1 character known only as Arcturus Mengsk. Throughout the game you help Raynor battle through the tryanical Dominion Empire all the while trying to avoid the Zerg ad Protoss threat. However, the story becomes much more involved after the first handful of missions, and you really start seeing a threat that is larger than that of the Protoss, Zerg, or the Terran put together.
While going through this experience you are given a series of wonderful options. You can choose which planets you want to go to, and do the missions in any order you choose. This ability is granted to you, so you can use strategic thinking in building your army. On one hand I can to this one planet and get +3 Zerg research, which will evolve the technology of some of my units, mainlly for offensive purposes. On the other hand I can go to this other planet which offers me +4 Protoss research which will push forward my technology tree that evolves mostly defensive abilities and building production.
Beyond the Zerg and Protoss research are mission credits, each mission will give you a good bundle of credits you can use to upgrade individual units or hire mercenaries to your base. Unit upgrades range from the foot soldiers, to your base structures themselves, and they all have their up sides. However.. you will never be able to completely dominate the tech board and have all of your units upgraded so you must choose which ones you want to upgrade based on your play style. It's also wise to hire mercenary's as well, as they provide a quick and powerful advantage on the battlefield. While there is a cool down timer on their use in the game, once you select them to be used they will come down in drop pods usually in groups of two, and you can select more than one type of merc at once provided you have the resources for it. This at times will give you a huge boost in offensive or defensive power when you need it.
Throughout my experience with Starcraft II, I would have to say the one thing that really turned me into a giddy school girl was how much more the story was presented to the player. It was in your face and you felt like you were a part of it the whole time. I think the biggest factor for this wonderful presentation is the Wing Commander like mission lobby. In this lobby you are, throughout most of the game, on your ship and from here you can travel to the armory, the cantina, the lab, or the ship's deck. Each area has certain characters that you can talk too that will tell parts of the story, and using this sexy in-game engine that Blizzard has designed, the Facial animations and character detail are absolutely superb. While you go through the game and you are interacting with characters you are also presented with crucial choices, where you have to choose to help or abandon a specific character. Depending on your choice depends on which way the story unfolds to you, and it will also unlocks specific missions, and units or technology. So there definitely is room for replay value if you want to experience both sides of the story, and want to play every mission involved with the campaign.
Beyond interacting with characters each mission lobby section provides some kind of army enhancement. The Armory for example is where you upgrade your indvidual units abilities, whether it be better armor, longer range weapons, etc. The Cantina is where you will talk to a shady looking fellow who will give you guns for hire, with each new unit you unlock through the progression of the campaign, new mercenaries of that unit will be unlocked for you to purchase. Then there is the Laboratory, here is where you put your Zerg & Protoss research to use, each race adds to one of two Tech Trees that effect your overall base abilities or adds new units / structures to build list. You also will eventually acquire a protoss crystal which allows you to read through the mind of a particularly famous Protoss character from the first game ;), in these visions you will be playing through as a protoss and get to experience how some of their units work in the campaign.
Well this is all well and good, but what about gameplay? Well, like I said, Blizzard has kept the same formula of Starcraft with Starcraft II so if you know how units move, bases build, what each structure does you will know, for the most part, how the game operates. But what Blizzard did that was really interesting to me was the story involvement with each mission along with the variety of each mission. There was not a single mission that I played throughout the campaign that I felt I did before in a previous mission. Every mission had a unique visual style, unique lighting, unique style of play. Now the first couple of missions on Mar Sara where kind of slow and bland, but I think they were more of a 'getting your feet wet in unit control' than anything else. Beyond the world of Mar Sara you really start to see the true meat of Starcraft II.
The variety of missions really impressed me.. ranging from the zombie like invasion mode where infested colonist would assault your base in massive hordes by night, but would die by day break.. to intercepting and robbing Dominion trains to gain supplies and acquire a special piece of technology. There is another mission where you are having to gather special resources on a boiling planet, where you had to move your base to high ground along with your units every couple of minutes to avoid losing them to a flow of lava. The most painful yet exciting mission was moving your base every 10 or so minutes forward trying to fight off Protoss on your front lines.. while you have a burning horizon of flames coming towards you ready to whipe out your base from the rear. Each mission in Starcraft II had its own special flavor, my personal favorites were the final missions on Char, to me they were by far the most epic, and definitely sealed the deal for me on how grand Starcraft II really is.
Now I know there was some voiced concern about there being only one campaign with this release and Battle.net being required to play. Regarding the campaigns I personally am glad that Blizzard split the campaigns up... why? Because it allowed them to focus on each campaign with detail, which has resulted in one of the most robust and exciting single player experiences Ive ever had with an RTS. So dont fret about Blizzard abandoning the three campaign system, because there is enough meat in one campaign alone to satisfy you and leave you with wanting more with the same amount of quality and detail. Now in regards to Battle.net just take it in like you would steam, you dont [need] battle.net to play the singleplayer campaign or skirmish modes vs AI, you can play all of that in Offline mode, so there really is nothing to really worry about.. its nothing like Ubisoft's DRM thats for sure. Battle.net if anything streamlines the community closer together and with the Facebook implementation you can see which of your facebook friends have starcraft 2 add them to your battlenet friends list and get a game on.
In the end Blizzard has proven one major thing with Starcraft II, and that is you do not have to change the formula of an older game to fit it with modern times, that a game can still be the same as it was 10 years ago and if blended together correctly can still be a magnificent experience to todays standards. They kept the same formula, but melded it with that of different genres, and in doing so has created an experience I have never felt with any RTS until now. Blizzard went above and beyond my expectations with Starcraft II and delivered the most engaging and certainly most epic experience I've ever had with a Real Time Strategy game. My hat's off to you Blizzard, you did not disappoint and you certainly have my heart pounding for the expansions now. Now to Battle.net and to experience what has changed since beta...
Also, Starcraft II's soundtrack is fucking superb, and the Terran music is absolute win. Firefly meets Starcraft? I'll take that any day.
.... Oh I'm sorry did you want a score? Well too bad, I find that system to be an industry killing joke! >:E But here is your 100 anyways.
This article is NOT endorsed by NMA or any other website. It is merely a collection of opinions from both myself and from the general voice of the Fallout community prior to Fallout 3.
I am here to bring a defense to the "fanboys" of the gaming industry, at least to some of them. But with this article I'm going to focus on a particular group because I am a part of this group, that being a Fallout fanboy. This article's purpose is mainly to bring reason to why there are fanboys, and what our valid and reasonable arguments are towards the Fallout franchise. Please understand that this is not a post to instigate thoughtless argument, rather to show you that there is validity on our side just as much as there is on the other. I know this article is LONG, but it needed to be in order to really explain the reasons behind the storm.
NMA (No Mutants Allowed) is an extremely die hard Fallout community that has become a staple of 'extreme fanboyism' because of their "attacks" towards Fallout 3 and Bethesda. With their position on the new direction of the franchise, everyone seems to mention them in almost every article regarding Fallout 3, or a future Fallout title. However, nobody ever seems to write about them in a positive light, they are always regarded as some sort of bastard existence.. Ghouls to Tenpenny, if you will. Well prepare for something a little different, for I am one who fully supports, respects, and understands NMA and their gang of "goons". You see, unlike most people who label these guys for 'hating Fallout 3 because its different' I actually lurk on their forums on a daily basis, and have done so for quite some time. I read their arguments, and understand their views on Bethesda's direction with the Fallout franchise, and you know what I've come to find? I find myself agreeing with them on many of their very legitimate and valid arguments.
History time, or Where it all began...
In comes Project Van Buren, the code name for Black Isle Studio's version of Fallout 3, with a very similar gameplay style to the originals, but on a 3D Engine. For years, those of us who have been playing Fallout 1 & 2 for years have been waiting for a new age in the series, and here we thought it was on the way. This wasnt a perfect ship of fools however, there was still a good group of fans that did not welcome Van Buren, in particular because of the 'real time' combat elements that were to be added to the game. But thats another story, let's continue... Around 2003 the future of Fallout 3 was looking grim, with reports of Interplay closing down Black Isle Studio, the question of whether the series would return at all was now being asked. However between the closings in 2003 and up to 2007 rumours grew more and more that Fallout 3 was going to make its return. It became known that Bethesda got the license to develop the game after Interplay closed its doors, but to what extent no one really knew what to expect. In April of 2007, Bethesda successfully acquired all rights to the Fallout franchise, leaving Interplay with $5 Million+ and rights to develop a Fallout MMO (Project V13) within a certain time frame. So now we knew, it was really going to happen, Fallout is going to make its return to the gaming scene.
What came next was a storm of insanity, disappointment, anger, and excitement all rolled into one. 2007, a year of fire and flames, Fallout 3 started to make its way to the public surface. Starting with a teaser trailer at E307, the sound of the Ink Spots, and the voice of Ron Pearlman rang through the LA Convention Center Theater. For a brief moment, everyone who knew what Fallout was, knew what was right in front of them on that giant screen. The same thought came through all of their minds "Wait.. is this?... can it be? ... IT IS!" and ended to the words of "War, War never changes." everyone knew it was finally coming, Fallout 3 has returned. Throughout 2007 the world of Fallout was relativily silent, with the exception of the worried flock over at NMA, and other locations where the Fallout loyalists made camp. Although speculation and concern already began to grow, our judgments were reserved for the most part.
War may never change, but Fallout was about to recieve a face lift so drastic, the only recognition it had with old fans like us would be with its name, Nuka-Cola, and Pipboy. Change is scary, its like that with anything in life, you become accustomed to one specific way of doing things, but the moment that goes 180 you feel as if the floor has been removed from under you. This is what happened with us Fallout fans, the more interviews that came out, the more videos and screens released, the more we began to raise the question "Is this really Fallout?" While some completely spit on the new direction the franchise was going in, there was still a good amount willing to accept this new approach and actually began to enjoy seeing it in this light. Were we still upset to see this drastic change in play style? Yes we were, and still are in a way, but its not something that is strong enough to stop us from enjoying a new approach.
Lets put the fear of change into a different perspective for the moment. I'm going to use Counter-Strike for an example. Now imagine if Counter-Strike 2 was announced, but instead of being a First Person Shooter as it was born to be, it was changed to an isometric turn based strategy game. Could you imagine what kind of storm would arise from the CS Community? Now look at it from our perspective, right before our eyes we were seeing a franchise that we have played for at least 9 years, turned from a complex, and in-depth isometric turn based RPG into a First Person Action RPG Shooter like Oblivion, but with guns – yes. So really, is our cry of foul and concern THAT unreasonable?
But why have such concerns when a major development team like Bethesda is working on it? This is a valid question, now allow me to answer that for you. Many long time Elder Scrolls fans will come to agree with the change that happend between Daggerfall, Morrowind and Oblivion, while this voice was nowhere near as powerful as NMA's, they still had quite a bit to say about the changes in the Elder Scrolls series. Elder Scrolls went from a complex, rich, in-depth, and rather challenging RPG series with Daggerfall and Morrowind, to a guided, simplified, and less complex "watered down" RPG called Oblivion. This isnt to say that Oblivion was not fun, not at all. But there were core features from the previous installments that were stripped away, that many loved, and many missed with the release of Oblivion. Eventually many had to wait for people to mod it and fill in the gaps, gaps that were previously filled with Daggerfall and Morrowind.
Now back to Fallout, where we see Bethesda has its hands on one of our favorite games of all time. What is going to happen? Are we going to see another Morrowind to Oblivion transformation with the Fallout franchise? Already we have seen them drastically change its play style, what else could they possibly be doing to it? These were the concerns of all of us, the reasons why we all loved Fallout, were on the verge of being completely non-existent in Fallout 3. From all the previews that came from magazines and websites, many of us started to lose faith that Fallout 3 would be a true continuation of the series.
Well now wait a minute, what makes a true continuation of Fallout? Is it simply the visuals, atmosphere, names, sounds, and story that makes a game franchise what it is? Or is it the core mechanics of what that game is, how it plays, and how the player interacts with it? Well really, you need both. Because that is what Fallout was defined on, on the game that it was, its story, its mechanics, its world that was built, the characters, etc. All of that is what defined Fallout as an excellent game amongst its fans.
So now we get to the point where Fallout 3 has turned the page. In 2008 gameplay footage started to finally rise out of the Bethesda Studios, and at E308 we finally got our first glimps at what it looked like in action. You want to talk about a crowd of confused, excited, and upset individuals? You only need to look at the fanboys like us, NMA, DuckandCover, etc. I never saw so many mixed reactions from a particular fan base in my entire life, myself being one of those confused individuals. Many of us were excited to see the new footage, some really loved the different approach the game and where it was going. But we also had the man on our shoulder, telling each and every one of us that something was not right, that something was missing. This become more evident when we saw the gameplay presentation on the E3 show floor during video interviews with Bethesda.
Our worst fears about what would happen to Fallout were coming to fruition. While visually the game was beautiful, and captured the post-apocalyptic world to some degree, the mechanics and core RPG elements of the universe were slowly seeming to disappear within Fallout 3. Did that mean we would completely ignore this game? Not touch it? Boycott it if you will? Well, some had the desire to do so.. but myself, and many other fanboys.. we held our judgments before we played it. So of course we would buy it, and of course we would play it. So now it was just a matter of waiting, waiting to see how much was really missing from the new installment of a game franchise we loved for so many years.
On October 2008, the time finally came, Fallout finally returned to our computers, and many of us, whether we were against it or not, still purchased this game because of its name, and we needed more of it. So what happened? How did it turn out in our eyes? Well for the most part, many of us did not like what was missing from this new installment. And it was not so much the fact that this was in a completely different play style, it was more of the fact that the RPG, story, character, and interactive elements that made Fallout what it was, were either missing or lacking greatly. Well what were those things exactly? Well that is a big ass list, but I will cover some of the core things that really diminished our view of this being a trueFallout game.
One major RPG elements that we disliked in the new installment was the stats system. The stats system really meant jack compared to what effect they had in the originals. You really had to stack a particular attribute with almost all of your starter points to notice any real major change or experience any major consequence in your characters progression in the game. In the previous Fallout games setting up your character stats and base perks were a strategy for any new character you made. You had to really think about what type of character you wanted, and think about what you would be limited to doing in the world. You literally were building your character and the direction he would be going in for the rest of the game. Was this a perfect system? No, Was it broken? In some aspects yes, but it definitely had more substance to it than Fallout 3, it had more of an effect on your character than Fallout 3's stat system did thats for sure.
Think of table top / pen & paper RPG's, you build a particular hero and put stats in a focused area of abilities depending on what you want your hero to do. This was to ensure that the player couldnt be anything and everything as one character, it enforced role playing. This was one of the major downsides to Fallout 3, that this aspect of really building your character really only meant..
"Hey, since you put most of your points in 'x' you will use that very well, you can still use 'y' and 'z' but you wont be as effective with it" Where in the originals it was more like "Hey, you are going to be good with "x", but since you sacrificed putting points in 'y', you wont be able to use it very well, at least not for a long time, and 'z' you wont be able to use at all."
There was a depth and strategy just in character creation alone that actually made you think about what you really want to do, and how you really want to approach the game. This unfortunately was not the case with Fallout 3, yes you had your core stats like the original, but when you put points in them they really did not do much in terms of limiting you to certain things, with the exception of lets say... lock picking. You were still able to do a good amount with little to no consequence, you were not really limited to what weapons you could use, you could use almost any weapon you could get your hands on. Yes your accuracy might be a little off and damage might not be as great from a distance, but you sure as hell were not as restricted in what you can use like the previous installments. Look at it this way, when you can take out Megaton with a pistol and an assault rifle at level 4 on 'very hard' difficulty no matter how your stats are set up, something is lacking, or very broken.
Next comes the writing, while I've heard many say the story to Fallout 3 was great! And the writing was fantastic! I've heard a great deal more, from both fanboys and those new to the series, come out and say that the writing and story was just down right crap, or mediocre at best. The one thing that we love about the original Fallout games was its unbelievably rich and deep lore, the more you play the original games, the more you learn about the games universe itself, and the more you realize just how much writing had gone into the series. Not to mention that your stats had a huge impact on your dialog options with the characters in the world. You come across all of this in playing the originals, you learn so much from the characters in the game, from the emotion in the voices of some of the key characters, to the text based dialog of the average joe that came across the screen. The language of the original Fallout titles were dark, bitter, depressing, and funny all at the same time. Many felt with Fallout 3 that this was rarely achieved, that it tried too hard, and had a reflection of Bethesdas previous 'dry humor' tossed in the mix that did not match the level of dark humor the originals had. Now yes, there was a lot of dialogue in Fallout 3, and a lot of things to learn about the universe from the characters, and other interactive elements. However, a lot of it fell short and dried up. At times the mood of a the majority of the characters felt too chipper, or drone like. Many of us fanboys felt there was lack of atmosphere and mood with many of the characters in Fallout 3, not to say there was none at all, but it was definitely lacking compared to the original titles. Which to us is a major downside considering the dark atmosphere and mood of the language played a huge part in the Fallout universe.
Finally, one of the last major issues that many of us had was the punishment and reward system of Fallout 3. It's so called "Karma" was about as dry and useless as the stats system itself. In Fallout 3 you could go through and be one of the biggest evil dick heads to ever walk the earth, so much so that you could make any tyrant look like the Pope, but guess what? No worries, you can still go into any town you want to buy, trade, and get quests.. the only down side is they might call you an asshole or talk to you in an upset tone. Oh you might have 3 guys randomly find you in the wasteland that want to shoot you, but thats about as punished as you would get. This is probably the one thing that really pissed off a lot of us with Fallout 3. You seemed to be rewarded more than you are punished no matter which way you swung. But when you did get punished it was in the most retarded way; killing someone in their house, alone with noone around apparently destroys your reputation, gotta watch out for them security cameras and ghosts I suppose. Then you have the two perks that make the system completely useless by automatically setting yourself as an angel of god, or the devil himself.
The one thing that was a corner stone to Fallout's universe was the moral ground that a player would choose to stand on. Was he going to be an asshole like the raiders, and slavers? Or was he going to be the "chosen one" to everyone trying to survive in the wasteland? Yes you had this in Fallout 3, but it really didnt mean a thing depending on what grounds you stood on. In the previous installments, if you were an evil asshole, you were an evil asshole, and a marked one at that. You couldn't dream of walking into a normal 'civilized' town without being shot at and run down at the entrance. Quest lines and the path of the story would change, the experience would shift to one of a murderer trying to survive. You were actually punished depending on what side you stood on, with a defined line in the sand of good and evil, and the consequences that followed with each side. This was, for the most part, not the case with Fallout 3, and ultimately one of the major disappointments to all of us.
What we were really disappointed with was not so much the change of Fallout, but the things taken out of it. The things that were simplified and watered down that turned fallout into a 'hand holding' experience, where everything was handed to you on a silver platter. What Fallout was to us, in almost every way in terms of its core mechanics, is not what Fallout is today, and its quite unfortunate, because we still hunger for a true to form Fallout title.
Now this doesn't mean other fanboys or myself did not enjoy the game, not at all. I've had a lot fun with it, and I've played through it several times over to cover all the bases I could possibly cover with this game. But it definitely is not as enjoyable or as memorable as the originals, mainly because of the missing elements that made the originals stand out. Though with the help of mods, skins, models being made by the community, Fallout 3 has become a little more like the originals. But really, is that what it needs to resort to in order for the fans of a franchise to be satisfied? Fortunately there seems to be some light on the horizon, Obsidian seems to be going back to the roots of Fallout and appear to be delivering the missing elements of Fallout 3 with Fallout Fallout: New Vegas. We are still skeptical yes, but we have more hope for this upcoming title than we did with Fallout 3.
Was this all a change for the better? From a business standpoint, absolutely. It hits a larger market than Fallout 1,2, and Tactics could have ever hit in these times. Yes it sucks that the market for turn based RPG's is about 1/5 that of the FPS / Action RPG market, but thats what keeps the lights on. My personal wish is that some day, Bethesda will have the heart to release the Van Buren engine so the "old" community can explode with joy in creating Fallout offshoots or recreating the Fallout 1 & 2 universe in the 3D realm. I personally would still love to see a "next-gen" Fallout title in its original gameplay format.. but the chances of that are slim to none.
Really what this article boils down to is that us fanboys have a right to our opinion, and not all of us are batshit insane people with no valid arguments as to why we question and draw concern for the next title in a particular series we have grown fond of. We have a right to an opinion on the future of Fallout, just as much as those who have come on board with Fallout 3 will say about Fallout: New Vegas and its different direction. When the reasons of why we fell in love with a particular series are erased from the books and thought to have been lost forever, we have a right to complain about it, because those reasons are what made us love the game to begin with. Its what keeps a franchise alive, fans on both sides of the fence are what bring a particular game to a next installment. Half-Life did not get a sequel by having no community voice, neither did Quake, neither did Halo. Fans drive the future of games just as much as the money does, because afterall our particular fanboy feelings for a title is what brings that money to the tabel in the first place. So on this final note everyone just needs to accept the fanboys, let us speak our opinions on a game, and we will let you speak yours. We love these games just as much as you do, if not a little more ;).
Well now, it seems that Microsoft and MekTek exchanged some kind of behind the curtain favors to acquire the free release rights of MechWarrior 4! Joy has been spreading through the world this week as literally thousands of people are downloading this game and causing MekTek's "Awesome" cliient program to shit lazer bricks. With this, it has left many consumers wanting free shit very upset. So.. want to acquire this free game without the massive headache of shitting lazer bricks? Well look no further!
What is this 'MechWarrior' you speak of? Only the greatest thing ever created! Forget everything you found awesome about MechAssault / Chromehounds, etc.. MechWarrior is the grand daddy, be all end all of Mech Games, with the exception of Steel Battalion I suppose ;). In a nut shell MechWarrior is based off of the 'Battletech' Universe, where people fight in giant machines the size of buildings and pew pew lazer eachother to death. In other words, this series is awesome and you NEED to play it. You know whats even more awesome? This game will run GREAT on a netbook!
What is the best MechWarrior game? Well the entire series was, for the most part, amazing. The general consensus points to MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 3 being the best of the series. For me personally its MechWarrior 3 ;). BUT! this should not steer you away from trying MechWarrior 4, its still a fantastic game, AND ITS FREE! So GET IT!
How to get all this jazz without shooting yourself Well below are links to the direct torrent files that you can download with any basic torrent client that is not MTX ;P. Once these files are finished downloaded, you can easilly extract them using winzip/winrar, or any other .zip/.rar packaging program.
Once the files are extracted, install the main file first, and then the subsquent patches after that! And then you should be good to go! No need for the insanily broken MTX program at all, MechWarrior 4 in your hands, ready to play and be loved.
**If you are having slow download speeds, try to open the ports in your router to what you have set in your torrent client.
Pro Tips to Torrenting - Making your download and everyone elses an easy one 1) Dont limit your upload speed - Chances are if you are on average internet speeds, it wont do much to your download AT ALL, so dont do it. Plus there are torrent clients out there that will limit your download speed based on what you capped your upload at ;). Also, being a leech is being a douche, this shit is free and legal! Download away!
2) Patience is a virtue! When you start the download, give it about 30-40 minutes before you say "MAN THIS SHIT SUCKS ITS SLOW!" torrents need to collect and gather peer data and it could take some time before you start seeing your good download speeds.
3) Dont do this shit when you are playing games online, it will destroy your experience. Keep this sucker active when you are either playin a single-player game, or are sleeping with your hello kitty pillows.
Awww yeah thats right boys and girls, its time to play this trash PC game together in force! We are gathering in the Destructoid steam group Steamtoid - come by the Steamtoid chat room and rally up w/ the rest of the troops. We will be doing a BRORUSH of all games, where we all consume the name BRORUSH and play with nothing but noobtoobs and yell like little children in the microphone! If Activision wants to impose this console port on us PC gamers, then we will act like their intended audience! NOW COME FORTH BROS AND RUSH WITH US!
This short pointless FNF blog brought to you by Steamtoid : It's Bat Country!
yes it was necessary to url link this much