Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Assassin's Creed Revelations

Because that's the game I finished the other night and finished last night. I just had a few things to mop up, but I'm done for now. I may head back into the multiplayer from time to time, but I've had my fix and am once again up to date with AC. It feels good; it's one of the few series I am current with. How was the game? It was pretty decent. It was like Brotherhood with some extra fluff mechanics and a ho-hum plot tying Altair's life post AC1 into Ezio's role as an Assassin mentor later in the timeline, and both sets of memories back into Desmond's shattered psyche to prep him for the (intimated) big huge showdown to come in the next AC title.

It wasn't great, but I like these games. I will say that the historical stuff is always great. I also really like the characters in these games, Ezio, particularly. Desmond is a fool and I couldn't care less about the modern day side of the franchise, but I do really appreciate the historical settings and the idea of an ancient shadow war between the factions of the order of the Assassins and the Knights Templar.

I think the series needs a drastic revamp for the next entry, and hopefully Ubisoft is already on track with that. Tying up all the loose ends with existing characters and settings presents a golden opportunity for another paradigm shift on the order of the changes made from AC1 to AC2. Don't fuck this up, Ubisoft.

The only other game I've been playing much of over the past few weeks is Nehrim, the total conversion mod for Oblivion that I've written of before. I'm still less than halfway through the game, plot-wise, but in terms of raw hours, I'm probably closer to two thirds done, if I had to guess. I front-loaded my playthrough with a ton of grinding and side quests and random stuff, so the payoff should be a breezy back end. We'll see about that. Nehrim is like a more plot-intensive, slightly more linear and directed Elder Scrolls game. It's very good. Definitely give it a whirl if you own Oblivion on PC and aren't deep into Skyrim right yet.

I also bought Dirt 3 from Steam a few weeks ago and I've been racing in that a little bit here and there. Not much to say other than that I am super casual, all-assists-on, touristy driver man, here. It looks really damned good on my PC, and runs at an obscenely good frame rate. And rally is a nice change of pace from the usual type of racing game I play.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Runner-Up GOTY?

It's going to be a tough thing to decide, this year. Here are some of the games I need to consider:

Dark Souls
Frozen Synapse
Portal 2

Games I like well enough, but am fairly certain are not runner-up GOTY candidates:

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine
Total War: Shogun 2
Red Orchestra 2
Section 8: Prejudice
Assassin's Creed Revelations

Battlefield 3
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

If there's a high profile 2011 release missing from that list, and there is, more than one, it is because I haven't played it. That's the first hurdle a game has to overcome for consideration. If it hasn't won my money and time during the calender year of its release, whatever the reason, it's not eligible. Sorry, Skyrim, sorry Gears 3, et al. Them's the arbitrary breaks.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fighting My Way Back

I am in the middle of so many games right now, it's obscene. I don't even know where to begin to go about clearing my plate, forget the backlog! The ones bubbling up to the top of consciousness lately though, are Nehrim, which I've put a bit of time into lately, Fallout 2, which I desperately want to get back to and finish, Blade Runner, which I just want to experience, and Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I feel the most guilty about not having played through yet.

And now, lyrics from a Thin Lizzy song, the inspiration for this post's title:

I'm dustin' out/and I'm going in/
and I'm kickin' up/'bout the state I'm in/
'cause I'm tough, rough, ready, and I'm able/
to pick myself up from underneath this table

Fighting my way back
Fighting my way back

Realistically, this is not the time to be fighting the good fight. I've got my health to take care of (I need way more exercise), a kid to help out with, stuff around the house, a novel I'm trying to write (little by little), and on top of that this is the season that all the huge games come out. I'm playing Battlefield 3 every night now, even if it's just an hour or so, and I'm planning on playing Assassin's Creed Revelations the first day I can get my hands on it. That's not to mention the myriad of other games I have sitting around unplayed for one reason or another. I had to force myself to stop playing Dark Souls before I got so far down that hole my entire month would disappear. I'm pumped to get back to it at some point, though.

I guess I should give an update on Dark Souls, seeing as my last post several weeks ago was when I was just about to start it. I did start it, and I started it well as a knight. I think I am soul level 19 or so right now, and I have progressed far enough to have rung the bell on top of the undead church, and then onto find my way to the Capra Demon, which is the next fool to be felled when I get back to the game. I didn't know where to go immediately after ringing the first bell, so I tried both the graveyard catacombs and the underground grotto accessible via elevator under the Firelink shrine. I've been playing as a knight, as I said, with heavy armor, and using both sword and spear, and even an axe, briefly. I've upgraded my broadsword a couple of times, and I think I'll stick with it for a while. What a great game. I hope it doesn't take me two years again to circle back around to this one, as it did with Demon's Souls.

I feel like playing something tonight, but what? Some Battlefield, to be sure, but what else? Maybe I'll try to make some more progress in Blade Runner. I've never really played a point and click adventure game before, and I like Blade Runner, the film.