I love zombies. I really do. I don’t know why. Cos I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t survive the apocalypse. I’ve got no upper body strength. So I enjoy living vicariously through video games, i.e Dead Island. I really enjoyed Dead Island to begin with. It was scary, has a great range of weapons and I liked the freedom and enjoyed the missions. Then after encountering so many bugs, and doing the same thing over and over again, I got bored.
There’s four different areas in Dead Island to explore; the beach, the town, the jungle and the prison. Then within each of these areas are smaller areas like the police station or the resort. And then you get a number of side quests and story quests dotted about the world to complete in order to progress. These drag on. There’s only so many times I can be asked to find you canned food or alcohol. If you’re so desperate to find food, go out and find some yourselves!! I have an island to escape! An infected island! I’m sure there were some good side/story quests, I just can’t remember them for all boring, foraging quests I had to do! None of these I completed in co-op either. I turned that off as soon as I realised people could jump straight into your game and steal your kills and money! I’m sure the co-op is really good! Twitter seems to say some nice things. But I like to be warned in advance when someone joins my game! I’m planning a quick, second play-through for achievement sweeping.. maybe I’ll allow people to join my game then? Maybe.
Sat in a computer lab. Surrounded by cheering programmers. Solving puzzles and playing with physics. It was a couple of days before the release of Portal 2 when I completed Portal for the second time. Although a fairly short game (it only took me two hours), the prequel to Portal 2 was an absolutely fantastic masterpiece. It was funny, innovative and had just that right amount of difficultly to make it satisfyingly frustrating. Valve are geniuses. So does Portal 2 live up to the high standards set for it. Umm.. YES, duh. It’s better. Much better. You don’t just interact with GLADoS, the hell-bent, science-crazy AI, but Wheatley, BRILLIANTLY voice-acted by Stephen Merchant. (OMG, Nolan North voices some characters too!!!) You delve deep into the vast caverns of Aperture Laboratories, where you’re held as a captive test subject. Learn its history. GLADoS’ history! Even a bit of Chell’s history! I couldn’t put it down.
As I’m still making my way through the co-op campaign (which is as much a delight as the single campaign), I’m not going to talk too much about. Not when I have plenty to say about the single campaign! If you haven’t played the first game, you should still be able to dive straight into the storyline and not feel so lost. Wheatley does a lot of explaining for you about what happens in the first game.. minus the cake. Yes.. there’s still no cake. There’s something better. But I’m not going to tell you what. Spoilers. The storyline revolves around you having to solve GLADoS’ many, MANY test chambers. And there are ALOT of test chambers. But you also have alot of alternative areas to make your way through too. I’m not going to go into detail about any of them, because discovering them for yourself is amazing. For a lot of the “story sequences” when I would transition to new places, or a character would do or say something, I was sat with my mouth hanging open. And experiencing them for yourself is much better than reading them on some girl’s blog.
You know the type of game which people warn you against playing but you never listen? Well.. I was warned very strongly against Velvet Assassin, but being a sucker for games with heroines I went ahead and bought it anyway. You play as Violette, a British spy/assassin, who likes to sneak up on unsuspecting Nazis and filet them with a dagger. She also glows purple in the dark.
Unfortunately I’m really conflicted over how I feel about Velvet Assassin. It’s the type of game you will curse to high heaven whilst playing, but as soon as you take a break from it you’re itching to jump back in. It has it’s good and bad points, I just don’t know if the good points are strong enough to support it. The story is definitely a good point; inspired by a real-life secret agent, the levels are based around infiltrating numerous Nazi headquarters and taking out the guy at the top. At one point I even broke into a Gestapo prison to kill a fellow agent. As enjoyable as the story was, because of the time period, it also had some rather disturbing scenes. The particular level I’ve had vividly imprinted into my memory is set in a Gestapo prison in the Warshaw Ghetto. It’s pretty intense with the streets littered with murdered men, women and children. I’m even confronted by numerous hanged people, victims inside the prison. Later in the game, I’m trying to rescue a village set alight by Nazis. As I progress, I witness men lining people up against a wall and taking a flamethrower to them. I spent the majority of the game pretty shocked at what I was seeing during the actual narrative.
Who’d have thought sitting all day playing games would be so exhausting? I sure didn’t. And I don’t mean a normal gamerwhore session. I’m talking about the Eurogamer Expo 2009!! Nine hours of playing pre-release and new-release games and chatting up developers and reps. It was alot of fun. Let me explain..
It was the second day of the Leeds expo. We’d queued for maybe only half an hour. And we were let loose into a room full of Xbox and Wii pods and giant TVs with that other console attached to. We played games such as Avatar, AvP, Rabbids go Home, MAG and Blue Toad Murder Files. We also went to a Splash Damage talk on their new game Brink and made friends with some guys who work at Ubisoft over paninis. Unfortunately I had a full-on geek attack in front of them, but they seemed to like us anyway. Being a games programmer wannabe too, I talked to some guys from Ubisoft Reflections on getting placements in the industry and they were wonderful and lovely and helpful! It was a lovely and exciting experience!
Chantelle’s Top 5 Eurogamer Expo Games
1) Assassin’s Creed 2
Apparently the demo we were playing was a few months old, so our new Ubisoft friends didn’t think it was as awesome as what the final build is (yeah they’ve already been playing it). But after waiting for ages to play it I totally loved it! The free-running was very similar to AC1, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with that! The fighting followed the same principle, but the new weapons and disarming ideas were fantastic! I saw Ezio disarm a guard with an axe and then planted it straight in his balls. Awesome. Then I managed to break it. Ezio fell through a patio and kept falling, and falling.. and falling. Whoops. But I got to have a second play through because of it!
I also got shouted at for taking a picture of it. Tee-hee.