Game of the Month - October 2008

Well, it's been another month, and we all know what that means!

Pathetic menstrual humour aside, it has been a big month for gaming. We've seen the release of some big name titles, as well as demo releases for some exciting concepts that are set to release sometime soon.

Firstly, I'd like to talk about some of the demo releases.
In the past week, demos have been released for three titles that I care to mention, two of which I have been looking forward to. I am referring, of course, to the Mirror's Edge, Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts and Tom Clancy's EndWar demos.
Having only played the Nuts & Bolts preview so far, I'm not really in a position to comment on the other two. However, Nuts & Bolts looks like it should be great fun, given what I've already played. One of the best things is that it is a completely different game from the first two, rather than a modern attempt to recreate the 90's magic. In particular, the ability to build your own vehicles is a huge bonus, especially given the way the game implements each vehicle's unique design.

To be honest, I spent as much time building vehicles as playing the actual demo, so I won't say anything on the gameplay, but the creativity allowed really blows me away. It seems that this is the year of the user-generated content.
We have Spore, letting us breed the most unimaginable creatures; Far Cry 2 letting us construct beautifully realistic worlds in a breeze and now Nuts & Bolts is opening up the world of vehicular customisation.

Anyhow, onto the Game of the Month:

...And the winner is...


Far Cry 2
Just Cause and Mercenaries 2 taught us that open-world sandbox games do not work in flat, open worlds. Grand Theft Auto 4 taught us that cities are the best option for sandboxing. Far Cry 2 reverses this whole equation.
Sniping and stealth are the name of the game here - if you're playing it and aren't using a sniper rifle, go and get one now. Right now. We'll wait - go.
Right, now that he's gone, we can talk about the other good stuff. Everything feels very realistic, from the weapons jamming and degrading to the map while driving and the fire mechanics.
Far Cry 2 makes fire fun. Buy it and set fire to things. Then install the game and play it.


Suppose these guys deserve a mention too:


Fable 2
It's been a little while coming, but the wait was certainly worth it. A lot more freedom (especially in moving around the game world) than the original, as well as modified combat and magic.
Great British humour that everyone can enjoy and a pleasing art style (even if some of the geometry is last-gen) make this a great game.
My biggest complaint is having to tell people that it's not out on PC. Yet.


Dead Space
This got a lot of good reviews, citing great atmosphere and tense combat as the highlights. They also mention that most of the game's objectives are lightly veiled key hunting quests. Maybe if I hadn't read a single thing about the game before playing it, I could've coped.
It's 11.30pm. The lights are out. The headphones are clamped on my head. Dead Space is playing. The atmosphere is great. The combat (when it comes in tiny bursts) is great. Yet this cynical little voice inside my head is noting the objectives and becoming bored and whiny very quickly.
The prequel DVD (which I watched at a friend's place) lead me to believe the game would be much better than what I played was. So watch that and be scared and then go play the game. But don't pay full price for it.


The End! Post comments!

1 comment:

Talsidor said...

DEAD SPACE > FABLE 2.
THERE I SAID IT.

More comprehensibly, I sympathize with people's woes about the 'find the blue key' gameplay, but the atmosphere and RPG elements have managed to keep such a realisation firmly tucked away from my time with it.
I have bucket loads of fun everytime I start it up, and would be doing so much more frequently if it wasn't for Far Cry 2.

Dead Space: Downfall; the only good video game movie? You decide!