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Monthly Musings: Damnation needs to be forgotten.


What happens when you get Marcus Fenix and Lara Croft plastered on Goldschlager and stick them in a hotel room? One would think, a pretty good third-person shooter with good platforming elements right? Nope, instead you get this afterbirth that decides to live and latch on to this world in the form of Damnation.

Blue Omega, (who laid off everyone involved with this game) thought it would be a good idea to place this in the Wild Wild West universe. Since Steampunk worked so well for Will Smith’s career, they thought the success would transfer over. I think that even Will “welcome to earf” Smith could not save it. The game itself however, is just afterbirth of greater games that came before it. It is sad though, cause despite all the horrible foulness that came with it, they had some ideas that did work.

The story of Damnation is, about an evil military being evil. Well, it actually says some nonsense about the United States Civil War lasting 20 years longer. So instead of ending in 1865, it would have ended in 1885 and we would have had cool flying ships? Maybe we need Day of Defeat to use its shitty time travel to have General Lee not surrender. I mean, flying ships and guns would have been cool. But that story becomes a non-issue very soon after you meet your leading man, Hamilton Rourke.

Now, it seems that there is a mold for lead characters that kill things. For me the formula is this:
1. Muscular body capable of heroic deeds
2. The “I’m a badass” look, most of the time ripped off from Clint Eastwood.
3. Kung Lao’s Hat.
4. Really big guns.
5. A dash of Yul Brynner for added Badass-ness
6. Mix till you vomit.
That gives you Rourke, the man born without a personality, and his sidekick?

Bolt on boobs Aka Yakecan

This is one of your early partners, yes sexism is alive and well in this Alt History/Steampunk era. How does her shirt stays on with her Lara Croft like moves is beyond me. Now, I know that girls with HUGE tits will never go out of style, but Jesus Blue Omega what the hell? When you were designing her, did you even think to ask around to see if this was a good idea? I mean hell, does her shirt have bolts that attach to her implants. I’m all for tits and ass in video games, but this just screams Steampunk hooker. Did I mention she is Native American?

Now besides the horrible character creations, and non-apparent story, lets talk about gameplay. When you have a mutated afterbirth, one would guess nothing works right. So this translates over into Damnation’s controls. Lets take a look at the father, Mr. Fenix and wonder aloud his involvement in this mess. Ok, so I am not really blaming Marcus, but damned if Blue Omega didn’t get on their knees for him. It has the same stiff-arm shooting that does not look normal and would hurt you, unless you here created from super formula mix. I have also read reviews that have mentioned Uncharted. Personally, I have never played Uncharted because I don’t play games on my PS3. The shooting aspect of the game is the lesser offender here. But, it could use so much more work in getting the game to register hits from far away.

Poor Lara, your genes have turned against you.Damnation wants so badly to hang with the platforming greats. Despite what you think of Tomb Raider it had a hand in the expansive free-roam environment that Damnation so desperately tries to copy. One thing that needs to be perfect is the camera. Unfortunately, the camera for Damnation is retarded. The camera loves to play hide and seek with you while you are trying for a ladder that is right in front of you. But the camera decides that it will not let you see it. You can manually pan to see the ladder, but it still takes work to get to the ladder. Remember early on in Lara’s life she would jump a few seconds after you press the button. Damnation is like that, but even slower. Besides a great camera, your character has to be fast, like that Usain Bolt guy. Either Blue Omega didn’t want to make Rourke faster, due to how he looks in the game, or because the engine would suffer. Whatever the case, when you think of platforming, you want a nice smooth entry. The Prince, Lara and hell even Faith from Mirror’s Edge got it right. Is it wrong for me to assume that big buff guys are not athletic enough? The Prince is the only one I can think of, Kratos was more of a button masher guy. For platforming in today’s video game environment, only tight assed women can do it right. Yes, Sexism is here, what did you expect from a guy whose name came from a GWAR song.

Damnation also gives us the tacked on multiplayer. Now, I don’t know if anyone has ranted on this or C-blog it but this must stop. I wont go too far into this, but why do developers feel the need to do this? Long story short, the utter reliance on expanding a games’ length just to add multiplayer is horrid. This afterbirth latches on to all the great and horrible aspects of current game design. The game is really bad, lets try to save it by adding on multiplayer and suck off Xbox Live for a few more hours. Ever notice really shitty games add on a multiplayer aspect for salvation? Damnation, Blacksite Area 51 and Timeshift all did this in an attempt to gestate their games into our minds. Please stop this, for the children’s sake.

Did Damnation do anything right? Should the whole game be forgotten and never seen again? The only shining beacon in this game is the level design, granted even that’s fucked. Think of it as a hot tranny, you know what you’re getting but you don’t care. The tits on the girl/guy/it fool you into thinking that it’s good. You want to only focus on the tits, but eventually you will have to come face to face with its other parts. Damnation is like that; the HUGE worlds that you can explore are great, but the fact that you have difficulty getting around them is the bad part. From what I can tell there is no map, there is no beacon that gives you a kick in the ass to point you in the direction on where to go. The only thing you have is a lame “spirit vision” that paints everything in blue.
The reason this is helpful, is because your partner loves to leave your ass in these HUGE areas. Other times, after clearing an area, you take off to the next part of the map while the A.I stands around waiting for something important to happen. But you know what? Fuck them for standing around right? Nope, they are waiting for you at the next checkpoint, with a look on their face of “what the fuck took you so long.” I know I was suppose to talk about the good things, but the loading times make these HUGE areas flounder. I suppose, since they are so huge, mid-map loading takes place frequently. Remember in Half Life 2 for the 360, it would load mid-map? Same thing happens here, but where as we can forgive Mr. Freeman, we cannot extend the same courtesy to Rourke.

This game should be forgotten, and with the developers getting laid off it seems that it will happen. But, it would be nice for the level designers to get signed on with someone who knows how to work a video game engine. The level design brought on by the developers at Blue Omega would bring some much-needed help to Tomb Raider. The level of mediocrity would balance each other out. Since I heard Lara is getting younger the next trip around, why not give these guys a call. Lets face it they’re not doing anything right now.
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About Necro BABSone of us since 6:37 PM on 12.02.2008

I am Mike, I was born in the year of the 82. I have more useless movie knowledge in my head then who knows what. I love my old lady as much as I love my burritos. My dog's name is Lebowski and he is awesome. I play video games.

Xbox LIVE:suicide by taco
Steam ID:richardnixonlovestacos


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