The OnLive service hit the UK recently. The principle is simple – you never install the game locally, your machine just sends all your input to their server, it does all the rendering and sends the images back to your computer to display. You don’t need a powerful PC to run the top end games, just a reasonably fat internet connection.
SJohnston has previously had a look at the service, taking a good look at the more technical aspects of the system and enumerating the advantages and disadvantages. Even with all this in hand it’s fair to say I was still very dubious of the service, but the opportunity to try PC games out for free, or even rent them, had drawn my attention – I was just waiting for it to land on my shores.
Now that the launch mess has been sorted out, I finally got my hands on a proper copy of Dead Island. Dead Island is best described as being the unholy lovechild of Left 4 Dead 2 and Borderlands, combining the zombie survival genre with Borderlands style loot collecting of weapons. Being a fan of any game involving zombies, I spent 30 hours thoroughly exploring and enjoying the game before writing this review.
Warning. Contains some spoilers!
Tropico 4 is the latest installment published by Kalypso where you rule over an island
sweat-shop paradise. Having played the previous games, I am eager to resume my enlightened rule over the puny Tropicans while exploring the new features and gameplay. There are 20 new missions and 10 different maps waiting to be dominated explored.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a bloody good game and one that I have been having a lot of fun with recently. Hell, I even had the foresight to sneak in an early question on the game to pick up my first Taxonomist badge on the network for it (muwhaha, that’s how to do it folks!).
However, it’s not without its flaws, and now that I’ve reached the end of the game there’s one part of Deus Ex where I’m left feeling just a little disappointed, not enough to spoil the game for me, but just a little niggle that I’d like to discuss today.
That is niggle is choice. It’s something you may have heard the developers talk about in pre-release coverage, and the game presents a lot of choice, in many different forms too, but some of it feels a little flat…
Oh, and a quick warning: spoilers ahead, so stop reading if you’ve not finished the game yet (no really, I’m going to ruin the ending for you if you’ve not made it there already)
I am a huge fan of games involving zombies (I’m also a sucker for games involving jet packs). I am COMPELLED to play any zombie game, be it Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead or Atom Zombie Smasher (great indie game, by the way). Naturally when the first Dead Island teaser video came out showing the infection of a little girl using a nonlinear sequence presentation, I was hooked. I have been waiting eagerly ever since to play this game. Unfortunately, despite the release of the game on Steam, I am still eagerly waiting to play this game. So with no game to review due to its extreme bugginess, I have to occupy my time in another manner, so I present to you:
The 10 Buggiest (released) Games of All Time
Bastion was released for Xbox LIVE Arcade on 20th July and on PC via Steam on 16th August, and is one of those games that had been on my watch list. So when I spotted there was a demo available on Steam, I gave it a quick spin. As soon as the demo ended, I was left wanting more and picked the game up the next day.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game, and it deserves the praise it has been getting. Let me tell you why, and maybe convince you to have a look if you haven’t already…
First, a confession: I never played games on Facebook because I found them all annoying, and I generally don’t use Facebook a lot anyway. I’m a Google fanboy though, so I’m on Google Plus a lot more. When Games for Google launched, I decided to give them all a try, and see what I’d make of them. As a first remark, I listen to music all day long, and I hate it when in-browser games start playing annoying tunes. Worst of all: every game hides their mute button in another place, and they don’t always seem to work right of the bat. On top of it all, they forget my sound settings when I get back… -1 so far!
The diary continues! While Gamescom 2011 is over now, we’ve still got 2 days of diary posts to get through. We had a late start on Saturday because I slept in to try to catch up on some sleep. We left the hotel around 12:30 to head to the Koelnmesse. The traffic jams were horrendous, and the parking areas that were open on Thursday and Friday had completely filled on Saturday. Signs directed us to drive to the Lanxess Arena’s parking garage, where we spent 10 minutes trying to drive around and actually find a parking spot.
While checking Twitter, I saw Gamescom had tweeted that they were closing the Koelnmesse because it had reached capacity, which I have later learned is around 62,000 people. They were only letting people in when others left. Ugh. We shortly debated going back to the hotel, but I’m stubborn, so I insisted that we give it a shot anyway. After finally finding parking, we walked to the Messe.
13:30 The line was huge. We must have seen hundreds of people standing in line for the East gate. My mind was boggling. It was also incredibly hot, around 34C/93F, and probably hotter than that in the full sun. We wanted to get an idea of how insane the line was, so we kept walking until we arrived at the East gate entrance. It was there that we noticed a second line had formed going in the other direction from the East gate. It was probably a 10th of the length of the other one, so we scootched in there.
14:37 We barely missed getting in. They kept letting people in in small groups then holding off again. You could hear people cheer every time they decided to let more people inside. It was hot, crowded, and a bit nerve-wracking, as whenever another push to the doors started, people became antsy and aggressive. I was literally standing in the doorway now. A woman was separated from her husband or boyfriend or whomever she was there with. She was able to get through, but security closed off entrance while the man she was waiting for was still in the crowd. She looked to be on the verge of tears. Sometimes people would walk by inside and take a photo of the waiting crowd, then walk smugly on their way.
14:47 Finally! I’m glad we were at the very front of the crowd, so we could get out of the way quickly. After the long walk back to the the main halls, we headed to the NCSoft booth because I wanted to try to get my hands on the WildStar demo.
Late Saturday evening at Gamescom, I decided to see if I could brave the line to demo the Playstation Vita. It was nearing 19:00, so I figured the line may be more manageable at that point. Luckily, I was right, and we only ended up waiting around 15 minutes.
While we were standing in-line, someone came out to explain how the process went. The names of the games that they had offered were on cards, and we had to pull a card randomly while they were face down. They had several games I was interested in, including ModNation Racers, LittleBigPlanet, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and the one I’m most interested in and maaaybe possibly considering getting a Vita for, Sound Shapes (I have a music game obsession, so sue me). I eagerly drew my card, turn it over and it was…
I’ve seen a few mentions of The Stanley Parable kicking about since its release at the end of July, and these seem to have been very much on the positive side of things. It had piqued my interest, and over the weekend I finally got around to taking a look; I wasn’t disappointed.
Let me try to explain why, while trying to keep spoilers to a minimum…