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LONG BLOG

Cblog Recaps of 08/28 and SPIES VS MERC-ISMS

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Your heart slows. Echolocation reveals two figures heading in from the north entrance. You hang off a ledge, obscured by some scaffolding and office furniture. One moves forward, heading for the objective: a briefcase. The other hugs the wall and moves towards up the stairs, keeping his eyes forward in case something darts out into the open. Echolocation gives you unparalleled tactical awareness of your surroundings but neglects information on how dark and hidden you are. You hold you breath as the man steps into the elevated room and out the window at the briefcase, not noticing you at all as you hang helplessly from the ledge. You wait for the perfect moment. He continues to walk towards the stairs, strafing, until finally at the last moment, he turns to his left and faces the stairs.

You jump forward and in a moment in time that feels like hours, you race into him and bring your knife across his jugular. The kill is satisfying but the joy is fleeting. As soon as the other notice his death, they will know. You head back to your hiding place, hidden among the metal foliage. They will keep coming and they know you're somewhere. But can they find you before your knife finds them?

That moment was the game where things just clicked for me in Splinter Cell: Blacklist's Spies Vs Mercs. No small in part thanks to SuperMonk4Ever imparting his TDM sensibilities, but there's a lot more to Spies Vs Mercs than the fundamental differences between the two like the spies' spatial awareness and the merc's sheer firepower. Most of the high learning curve comes from learning how to be a good spy since mercs simply need to keep their head on a swivel and unload all their bullets into anything that moves. And learning how to be a good spy is important in all modes besides TDM because it always involves the sides switching so you're gonna play as a spy at some point.

Playing as a spy against live humans playing as mercs is just so satisfying. It is impossible to think of fighting mercs as a spy as a simple matter since spies have so little health and have such crappy guns (SMGs are only good up to medium range. Merc rifles and shotguns are generally dangerous at any range). You're gonna have to earn your assassination attempts because even if one is a slam dunk, paranoid mercs will always use the buddy system to avenge the other. But the different goggles you can use with the different suit abilities and secondary gadgets (sticky cameras? More like sticky bombs) give a truly unique cat and mouse element to spies vs mercs. The question is, who is the cat and who is the mouse?



While the merc presets are sufficient to get you going (because any merc gun is fine and any merc tool is good), you're gonna need at least 10 levels worth of unlock tokens to make a good spy loadout because I feel the preset spy classes are too stiff or ill designed. I mean, the predator preset has the digital ghillie suit (cloak) and a stun crossbow which can guarantee a melee kill. But the silenced boots are a questionable choice and it's wearing the gas mask. No one uses the VX gas grenades so far in my experience. Maybe they do in Uplink or something but Predator wastes the headgear slot on a gas mask where it could have UAV blocker or RFD blocker. Meanwhile, everyone is using UAV blocker and I can't go 10 seconds without hearing the blocked sound effect that someone is wearing it to counter my drone or intel device.

Meanwhile, my custom cloak spy is made to be aggressive. EMF goggles provide real-time wall hacks up to medium range while the RFD blocker means I can use it with reckless abandon without worrying about mercs detecting my goggle usage. Sprinting boots make me faster and takedown gloves extend my melee reach. Together with cloak and a stun crossbow, I can aggressively circle hotspots with my goggles to steer clear of trouble and choose when I want to dip in and stab from merc necks. With a planned purchase of gadget pants, I can carry both flashbangs and smoke grenades to continue aggressive tactics with aggressive support tools.

Maybe it's unfortunate I don't feel the same flexibility or creativity with the merc options. I can still choose if I want a motion detector, RFD, or ATS (directionally detecting loud noises) but the rest of the choices are mostly "how do you want to counter the spy customizations?" But that's ok because it's also satisfying to blow a charging spy right of his socks with a shotgun blast.

* - In memory of the legend that is Zelda

* - Viredae probably doesn't have a walrus mustache or a beret, but he tries debunking from myths

* - I didn't think the Wii U would want to lose its gamepad but Salty Hippo tells us why it shouldn't anyways

* - Everyday Legend interviews America's sweetheart, Usedtabe

A - Cindaquill thought the 7th gen of video games was pretty alright

A - Keeping fighting the good sexism fight and what not Arenegeth









R - Blinking Pixels reviews Saints Row IV

V - Nightv thinks mobile and casual gaming were a great thing

N - Hope you didn't experience any FFXIV launch woes like Stephy K




This doesn't really happen

R - The 2DS is a thing

F - Processing fail


~ StriderHoang

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About CblogRecapsone of us since 11:27 PM on 07.02.2008

About Cblog Recaps

Schedule:
Mondays - Lord Spencer
Tuesdays - Larxinostic
Wednesdays - DeadMoon
Thursdays -OrochiLeona
Fridays - Gamemaniac3434
Saturdays - AmnaUmen
Sundays - Riobux

Reserve Recappers:
Gajknight
LinkSlayer64
ShadeOfLight
Torchman
TheBlondeBass
Hypno Coffin

Current "Bloggers Wanted" assignment
Fake it until you make it

This month's bloggers wanted prompt is something we stole. You see, by stealing this idea, you have no idea how truly inept I actually am. By pretending to know what I'm doing, I have clearly used my ill-gotten status to meet such big-time celebrities as Darlington Woolie "Pie Stealer" Madden or Sara from [insert pixel indie game studio here].

This month's bloggers wanted was inspired by the internal enjoyment we had at reading TheBlondeBass' promoted blog on faking conversational anime knowledge. And now it seems as good a time as ever to pretend to know what's going on since the new Fate/Grand Order game launched and qtoid is talking about it. I am a big fan of the character design of Artoria in the blue dress, or Artoria in the suit, or Artoria in the red dress. But seriously, we enjoyed the format so much that we want to ask the community for their own ideas at faking it at all sorts of things.

But this prompt is not just for anime, of course. The video game industry is fractured with all sorts of niche interests that only an insane rich person with no job could realistically know everything about. This month's bloggers wanted is about taking a subject you want to offer advice on faking knowledge about in order to help the greater community, for better or for worse. If this doesn't sound serious, don't worry, you're not supposed to take it seriously. You don't have to be an expert in whatever you talk about any more than Bass is an expert in anime.

I seriously don't know if that was a compliment or an insult.

Offer advice on anything you can expand your mind on. Want to help people get into character action games? The more Ss you put into its grading system, the cooler it is! Want to convince people to get into the Neptunia series? Just say "Nep-Nep!" and you're all set to convince people of your technical knowledge! Can you get someone into RTS game by just talking about your APM? Someone's bound to believe some random technical jargon you made up!

To get started, start a blog and title it "Faking it: [your blog title here]." Then you can be as serious or facetious as you want as you provide advice on any number of things: learning how to play fighting games, trying a long-running franchise you've probably neglected, or even explaining a game's timeline. Heck, you can probably seriously try on that last one and we still wouldn't believe you.

Good luck this month. Only true cowards rely on facts. Real heroes pretend to know what they're doing!



Current Community Contests
PREPARE TO CONTEST - The Master Gaming List Birthday Giveaway!

Good Morning/Evening/Yesterday, my Friends/Robots/INSERT WAIFU HERE,

More or less a week ago, the Master Gaming List turned one year old. I had a speech prepared, but the blog editor ate it four or five times over the last few days, so I'm kind of winging it now.

Despite all of the threatening and cajoling I initially made to get you all on the list, I never imagined I'd still be adding names a year later (and by "you all", I mostly mean GajKnight). It was kind of a ridiculous undertaking at first, trying to make a semi-permanent, easily-updatable list of everyone's contact info. I'm not even sure what everyone was being hyped over last year that got me to do this.

That said, I'm glad it came together, and this list has lead to many other things for me on Destructoid; whether it was me becoming our laziest, cuddliest Community Manager, or our laziest, cuddliest Reviews-type-person, I have always enjoyed the full love and support of this community.

In thanks, and with the assistance of quite a few others, I've gathered up a number of game keys to give away to you all.

The Contest

I've never run a contest before, so let's keep things simple. Write me a haiku about your favorite game.

Rules

1. The haiku must not include the title of the game.

2. I will accept any other form of structured poetry if you are unable to haiku but can iambic pantameter (you monster).

3. Please state what key you are going for, and a backup if that one is taken (admittedly, it's quantity over variety here)

4. The tentative end date of the contest will be August 13th, and will be bumped at least once during that time.

Available Keys

-Stellaris
-Aporia: Beyond The Valley (Multiple Keys)
-The Witness
-Citadel: Forged With Fire (Multiple Keys)
-Armello
-Undertale
-ABZU

Thank you to all 282 of you who have made the Master List a successful project over the past year! I will continue updating it into the forseeable future.


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