It's been a hell of a busy month. First, a Road Map re-vamp:
I've been playing a crapload of Bad Company 2, lately with a friend who I got to buy the game. She's new to it, and hasn't played that many shooters, but she seems like she's having fun when we're in the squad taking out guys together. What a great game; this might be the best multiplayer shooter, or at least on a level with Team Fortress 2.
Playing Bad Company 2 (and it's veteran system) got me really interested in trying out other games in the series (and outside it, even). First, I picked up Day of Deafeat: Source on Steam for 10 bucks. It's a WWII-themed multiplayer shooter on smaller maps, more in the classic form of the genre, but updated with modern UI and achivements and such, being a Valve game. It's fun, and I found a newb-friendly server to play on, too. Next, I was in Best Buy and saw the Battlefield 1942 Complete Collection (all expansions + BF Vietnam) for another 10 bucks, and so I picked that up for the veteran status and to see what the original was like on PC. It's kind of archaic, but definitely functional, and there are plenty of servers still up and going. I only messed around in 3-4 matches so far, but you can see the lineage, especially when you look forward to Battlefield 1943, which I purchased on PSN for $15. This was released only last year, if memory serves, and it's "a re-imagining" of 1942's Pacific theater maps. It's very good, especially for a downloadable title. It runs on the Snowblind Engine, same as Bad Company 2 (and the original). It's got Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Coral Sea, which is a planes-only map. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a quick-access shooter on their box without needing to toss in a disc after they've watched a movie or what have you. I think, along with BC2, this one will have the longest half-life with me, just by virtue of its convenience.
MAG, incidentally, is having a double-XP weekend this week, along with some free DLC. I'd like to check that out after a good week of nothing but Battlefield (as far as shooters).
The rest of my console gaming lately has been playing God of War (the first). It's good! It's not f'ing amazing or anything, but it's plenty fun. It's not been since Ninja Gaiden Black that I played a game in this genre, and that was a while ago, but leaving aside graphics (resolution) I think I like God of War better. I think NGB has the advantage as far as depth of the fighting system, but I'm not one to delve into that stuff. I'm a button masher when it comes to this type of game. I vastly prefer the story and presentation of God of War to Ninja Gaiden's senseless jumble of random anime tropes. It seems like Ninja Gaiden's combat was a lot faster, though. Kratos definitely lumbers at times, and hits with force, whereas Hayabusa is all about speed and precision. I guess both games have their moments.
Repeated issues with my PC led me to wipe it and install Windows 7, along with replacing the GPU and Motherboard (courtesy of Dell), meaning that the last few weeks of PC gaming has been more about re-downloading and re-installing and re-modding than playing very much. Just last night I re-downladed Torchlight, and thanks to the magic of the Steam Cloud, it installed and there was my savegame and all my settings, just waiting for me to jump back into the game. Awesome! I want to finish this one up reasonably soon (and start another playthrough, probably).
I also have really been meaning to get into and play and finish the Dawn of War II campaign, to get some more of the 40K goodness up in this bitch, and to then get the new Chaos Rising expansion and maximize my Space Marine Glorious Brodiosity For Make Benefit Of Glorious Emperor. Since re-installing the game I've just played a few rounds of The Last Stand mode as I mentioned on the podcast.
Having finished up Far Cry 2, I now have a real taste for the open-world shooter. Also possessing three STALKER games, I was debating on which to dive into. I'd started Shadow of Chernobyl (the first) before, but had recently heard that the new one, Call of Pripyat (the third) was definitely the one to play. I tried starting with CoP, but the sense of backstory and availability of kick-ass mods to the original led me back to it, tweaked out with the Complete 2009 mod that makes the UI better, fixes tons of bugs, and just all around makes the game better (and waaaay better looking, too; even better than vanilla CoP). A couple of hours in, STALKER feels like Oblivion with guns (ignore the fact that Fallout 3 has been tagged just that), which to me, is AWESOME.
Last but not least, I let my curiosity get the better of me and resubscribed to EVE Online, creating a new character and starting off a new career as a space explorer. I think I'm supposed to make tons of money charting unknown places and salvaging stuff from them. I managed to piss off the agent giving me my missions, though, and now she's not talking to me. I have no idea what I need to do to get back into her good graces. In the meantime, I'm starting on some of the military training missions in order to be able to defend myself against rats (the npc mobs in the game) and other player-character pirates and such when I'm out in the wilds of the void. What a crazy game. It's very cool and sci-fi-economic-political, but dense doesn't even begin to describe the complexity of EVE. I need a lot more time to acclimate.
As you can see, I've got a lot on my plate right now!