Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Killer, Crusader, Revolutionary

I was up until 6 a.m. over this past Saturday night, binging on Oblivion.

I followed the Dark Brotherhood quest line to its inexorable conclusion, with no shortage of surprises along the way. Just as I was starting to question the point of moving from one dead-drop to another for another parcel of gold and another mark, the whole thing got turned on its head in a crazy and amazing way. No one should play Oblivion and skip over this 'faction.'

Right after finishing that, I started on the first expansionary quest line, Knights of the Nine. I had previously thought to just create a new character for each faction, and had for a few, but here I just decided to continue on with my Rogue I had been using as an assassin. It's easier to fast travel around the world if you've been around a bunch of places before. So I took my remorseless death dealer on a pilgrimage around the world to the shrines of the nine divines, gathered the sanctified relics of a holy knight, restored an ancient order of crusaders, and led them to combat an evil from beyond the realm of mortals. It only took about 4 and a half hours.

Now the only major things left in Oblivion are the Arena (no plans to do this) and the larger Shivering Isles expansion, which I'll come back for sometime later. My copy of Red Faction arrived yesterday afternoon.

I got about three hours with the game last night; long enough to liberate the first of six Martian sectors. It's pretty awesome so far. This GeoMod 2.0 tech is tons of fun. If you've ever wanted to plant charges around the circumference of a giant smokestack and blow them all at once, this is your game. You can demolish bridges as your enemy is crossing them, or just bring down their base on top of their heads. The game has a GTA-like open world mission-based structure to it, but gives you even more freedom to go about your objectives, simply because if you don't like where the entrance or exit to a building is, you can create your own in seconds.

I've been on a number of different mission types so far, ranging from defending rebel camps to extracting hostages, destroying important enemy facilities, and puzzle-like destruction challenges that give you time and weapon/ammo limits. It's great fun so far, and I'm excited to explore more of Mars and blow more stuff up for fun and profit. The multiplayer has been getting a ton of praise from RL friends of mine and lots of people on forums and podcasts, too, so I'll need to check that out soon.


Greg said...

Alright, at the risk of sounding totally biased against the Red Faction destroy anything mechanic, I have to say that while driving a vehicle in the demo, the objects in the world felt too destructible.

It kinda spoiled the feel of the game for me.

Count Elmdor said...

It's definitely exaggerated. One or two good swings from your sledge will basically create a doorway to walk through, but I think doing it that way is preferable to it taking 10 swings for the same thing.

My experience with vehicles in the full game so far is that they're great (especially the heavier ones) for taking down buildings that aren't surrounded by outer walls and exploding gas tanks/silos.

A lot of structures are fortified with either walls and other debris or just by the natural terrain, though, so it's not like one big truck is always an instant win.

In one area there is a wind farm of about 12 big windmills you have to destroy. In one of the light/mid size vehicles I was able to just crash into 4 or 5 of the windmills and bring them down, but most of the others were behind something or situated somewhere that would require me to get out and use the sledge or explosives.

I can't wait to get to the jetpacks in the campaign.

Greg said...

Ok, this is off topic but since you enjoy metal you should check out this drum solo by the drummer of a death metal band called, Cryptopsy.

It's badass. Try to watch/listen at least until the 3:00 minute mark. The solo doesn't really start until after the first 20-30 seconds.


Count Elmdor said...

That was pretty sweet, thanks. I haven't been paying much attention to the music scene in the last couple of years, and I'd never heard of Cryptopsy.

I've got a friend who burned me a bunch of stuff by Lamb of God, Nevermore, Nile, Behemoth, and others, but I just haven't gotten around to listening to it yet.

I saw Opeth here in Portland a while back, though.

Count Elmdor said...

Goddamn, I just looked it up, and that was May of last year when Opeth were here. And the worst part is that they were here again May 12th of this year and I didn't even know about it!

Greg said...

Cool, I couldn't remember if you were into underground metal much or not.

I haven't heard much of Lamb of God but I just listened to some stuff that was up on youtube and it isn't too bad. I'm sure you've heard something about Nile. They are one of the heavier American death metal bands. Check out the link below for a cool preview of one of their songs.


With Cryptopsy, I can only really recommend one of their albums entitled, "None So Vile." If you like brutal frenetic death metal, that album will not disappoint. All of their other work pales in comparison.

Greg said...

Oh, I forgot about this Swedish band called Meshuggah. They are considered Grindcore by most but I consider them to be part of death metal.

I'm no musician but I hear their stuff is very technical. It is kind of an acquired taste for me and the more I listen to them, the more I can appreciate what they do. Timing and rhythm is really tricky at times. It seems very mathematical to me.


Count Elmdor said...

I'm familiar with Meshuggah. They've been around a long time. Aside from Opeth, I like Children of Bodom and Strapping Young Lad. Other stuff I've listened to through some friends--Mercyful Fate, Morbid Angel, and some others.

Otherwise, I'm into Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, and Demons & Wizards, the combo band of those two.

I also like the thrash greats, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax (especially with John Bush singing), and some of the southern sludge/groove; Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, Black Label Society, and most of all, Down.

I'm also big into the big 4 Seattle grunge bands, mainly Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains (and Jerry Cantrell's solo stuff is among my favorite).

From there I go into classic rock; Zep, Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Sabbath, Purple, etc. Guitar stuff--Hendrix, SRV, Vai, especially.

Also, not exactly rock--but Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is one of my top 5 bands of all time probably.

I love music, I just don't pay much attention to it anymore, lol. Only so much time in the day, I guess.

Greg said...

Cool. You have a much wider taste in music than I do. Once I discovered death metal, that was pretty much it. Metallica didn't cut it anymore for the most part, with the exception of some most of their early albums which are still cool despite the ballads they throw in.

Nothing against ballads, they just aren't what I look for in a music album.

Back on the topic of games, I did receive Infamous but only spent a few minutes with it. So far so good. I am wondering if you are curious about Prototype. It seems to have quite a bit in common with Infamous.

Count Elmdor said...

Not so much Prototype, but definitely Infamous. I should be getting a copy of that in trade sometime soon, actually.