Category: Gaming

Corrosion: New Mission

We’ve just released a new mission for Corrosion. Anyone with a reputation of 50 or over now will get a msg in their inbox asking for a meet. A rich man wants you to retrieve a reminder of something that was taken from him by a gang. You have to find that item in the gang’s hide out. (Not without them putting up a fight.)

With the introduction of this new mission there will the introduction of three new enemies. Previously, there were just the ghouls to fight — mindlessly running at you hoping to claw their way through your stomach. Now there are dogs, gangers and ganger lieutenants to deal with. Some of them carry weapons and shoot at you from a distance while they sick their dogs on you.

Also, while ghouls were mindless, gangers are social creatures. If one of them spots you, he’ll warn the others. If you attack one that hasn’t spotted you yet and don’t immediately kill him, he’ll warn the others. Yeah, it’s not so simple anymore. :)

Also, there’s the option of searching mission premises after you’ve cleared them. You might be able to find something worth using or selling…

Dragon Age: Origins – Arcane Warrior

Dragon Age: Origins

As some of you might know, I’ve been playing Dragon Age: Origins pretty solidly for the last few weeks. I had bought Mass Effect on Steam, talked about the richness of the game with Richard and he gave me his copy of DA:O because he said it had the same depth. I started playing it a little bit, then a lot, then abandoned Mass Effect all together in favour of DA:O (to be picked up later) and now I’m pretty hooked.

The game has an over-arcing storyline, with four sub storylines and several dozen smaller storylines running through it. The four sub storylines are like separate chapters in the story that you can follow in any sequence you desire. You can either go to Castle Redcliffe, where Arl Eamon, a powerful ally has been gravely ill. You can go to the Circle of Magi, who’s tower has been overrun by deamons. You can go to the Dalish Elves, who have been set on by werewolves, or you can go to the Dwarves of Orzammar, who are currently without a king while two factions are vying for the throne.

I first went to Redcliffe, only to find out I really needed the Circle of Magi to finalise that storyline, so I went to the Circle of Magi after completing 99% of the story in Redcliffe. Then completed them both in succession and went on to the Dalish Elves, which I thought was a really solid storyline. That’s where I picked up the Arcane Warrior specialisation for my Mage. Then I went to Orzammar and completed that last night.

What I only realised in Orzammar is that heavy armour suddenly didn’t require higher strength to wear, but higher magic! I could finally take off those horrible robes and wear a kick-ass set of armour. Holy mac, the game suddenly took a turn for the awesome! The idea of the Arcane Warrior was one that I was attracted to almost immediately, but I couldn’t figure out where to unlock it, so I chose the Spirit Healer as my first specialisation. It was the most practically applicable most of the time. I usually run around with Alistair as the main tank (champion/templar), Leliana for traps, lockpicking and archery, and Wynne for the needed healing backup.

Man, if I had know how cool the arcane warrior was, I’d have done the Dalish Elves storyline first and then the rest. I think I made a lot of mistakes with my build, and unfortunately you can’t respec in the game.

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Review

Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Kane & Lynch: Dog Days, the sequel to Kane & Lynch: Dead Men was quite a ride. This time around, the story was simpler and the interaction between the two protagonists more interesting and more intense. The look and feel of the game improved greatly, and while there was still some snags with the controls, the overall gameplay experience improved pretty dramatically.

Story

In Dead Men, Kane and Lynch are put together by The Seven, a council of top level, international crime bosses that Kane used to belong to. Kane stole money from them and he has to get the money back. The Seven stage a prison transport escape for Kane, who is en route to death row, where he is to be put to death for past crimes. They put Lynch, a wife-murdering sociopath, in the same transport and make sure that Kane is prepared to get busted out. After the escape, Lynch is tasked to help Kane retrieve the money he supposedly stole, while The Seven threaten to kill Kane’s ex-wife and daughter. Pretty soon both Kane and Lynch get burned by The Seven but manage to turn the tables and start hunting for them all over the globe, this time as partners.

In Dog Days, Kane is reunited with Lynch who now lives in Shanghai. Lynch is working as a thug for some a British smuggler named Glazer, has a girl and regularly takes his medication. Kane has been travelling the world, pulling heists where he could, but it becomes evident from the trailer to the game that the last heist went horribly wrong and his entire crew got killed while he got away, without the money. He wants to do one last job and then retire and so he gets in contact with Glazer, to smuggle some weapons and he is met in Shanghai by Lynch.

Before taking Kane to his hotel, Lynch asks him to accompany him on a little job he needs to do; having a chat with a local thug who has been talking too much. He needs to teach him a lesson, and before Kane knows it, he’s stuck in a gun fight that goes horribly wrong as they accidentally shoot the thug’s girlfriend, the daughter of an important politician/mafioso. That starts a chase through the sprawl of Shanghai as they are trying to flee the city.

Controls and Atmosphere

The reason I wanted to talk a bit about both the look and feel as well as the controls of the game is because they are very narrowly related. First of all, the game is absolutely beautiful, smothered in neo-noire that atmosphere that’s reminiscent of Miami Vice and similar shows and films. It shows both the glitz and glamour of a large city and simultaneously highlights that the shiny lights are only skin deep and that underneath that lies the filthy underbelly of a wicked, urban sprawl. The colours used in the game are all saturated neon colours of pink, blue and yellow and the setting is very rich and detailed. Also, the surroundings give a sense of endless openness and possibilities without letting you lose track of the path you’re┬ápredestined to follow. From the sweat shops you invade to catch a thug, to the low-rent apartment blocks you race through to save Lynch’s girlfriend, to the train yards, docks and airport you have shoot-outs in to get out of the city, all of them are covered head-to-toe in beautiful, rich detail.

The controls are a little tricky, but have certainly improved since the first game. The cover system works better and is more intuitive now, switching from one piece of cover to the next is also a bit more responsive, though the standard settings allow you to use the WASD buttons and RMB to walk and strave, you use the C to get into cover. All good. However, when you duck from one cover to the next, you use C+A to duck left, C+W to duck forward and C+D to duck right. I use the same finger (left-index) to hit both C and D. So a combo of those is a little tough.

The camera angle is also a bit problematic at times, but again, not nearly as terrible as it was in Dead Men. They actually chose a really interesting concept; a supposed third person carrying a portable camera to film everything. That camera man is always just behind whoever you’re playing at the time, be it Kane or Lynch, and sometimes ricochetting bullets hit the camera and make it go static for a moment. The camera is almost always moving, giving it a hard-nosed reality feel to it, and when the camera man is running behind you to keep up, the image becomes blurry and you can hear him panting. Sometimes, in the thick of it, he loses focus on what you’re trying to hit. The lighting becomes bad as fast-paced action leaves the camera struggling to keep up. The camera man is there, but he’s never part of the story. It’s very well done.

Final Thoughts

I thought this game was brilliant. From the rather brutal torture scene that leads into Kane and Lynch both running naked, cut up and bloodied into the streets of Shanghai, love handles and all, to the pixelated faces of the people you shoot in the head, supposedly because the camera man thought it was too gruesome for public consumption. The pace is fast and the panic on the voices of both actors is really well done, their frustration grows as they realise they are getting far too old for their gun-fighting antics. The only real complaint I have about this game is that it seemed a lot shorter than the first one, and that there was absolutely no end-of-game sequence, making the end of the game very anti-climactic.

Kane & Lynch 2 – Dog Days

Due to my webserver being down for a spell tonight as the administrator was upgrading the firewall (Thanks Marco!) I couldn’t really do any coding on Corrosion, so I decided to play some Kane & ┬áLynch 2: Dog Days. I have had this game in my posession for a long time but haven’t had the opportunity to actually play it. Having installed it and played the first chapter, all I can say is that it’s gorgeous! A lot richer, fuller and engrossing than the first one, but the characters are as damaged and flawed as they used to be. This is going to be awesome.

The trailer below is the opening scene of the game, which I just think is masterfully done. Kane’s violent scenes are so brutal and raw and so perfectly juxtaposed with Lynch’s tranquil and heavily medicated scenes. Lord knows Lynch needs his medication!