My dad once told me that the random hotels and quick trips end up getting soulless and not really enjoyable anymore – I’m hoping I never reach that point. Press trips for me, whether they are quick jaunts into London, or going overseas for a day or a week or what have you, are all part of the experience for me, and experiences in and of themselves. I still love to fly, love to visit different places although I don’t really like staying too long – I’m one of those people who can be very rooted sometimes.
Saying that, the only holiday experiences I’ve had are with family – no offence to them, but those got boring after a while. I’ve always wanted to do a proper holiday with friends, as that would be a lot of fun.
Anyway – tonight, I’m about to embark on another one of my mini-adventures. After hanging out with the guys over at Videogamer.com for a bit ( to celebrate the launch of their new-look website ), I’m staying overnight in a small hotel in London so that I can catch an early flight from Heathrow the next day to Prague, in the Czech Republic. I’m going there to see 1C, a Russian videogames publisher who are a bit like Paradox in the sense that they specialise in smaller, more niche titles – although they have a lot more console offerings than Paradox at the moment. They are also apparently the second largest European publisher, with Ubisoft being the largest – who knew?
They have a few well known franchises, but again in niche areas – IL-Sturmovick is supposed to be a good WW2 flight combat game, the Men of War franchises (sucessor to Faces of War and Soldiers: Heroes of World War II) is, in my mind, the best offering they have. In wake of Company of Heroes, which Relic have seemingly abandoned for the moment, Men of War is the best there is. It sometimes has a problem balancing the micro management with the tactical element of the game, but it is really fun to play online and one of the few games where you really feel the chaos that was the second great war. You might also have heard of games like Kings Bounty, Death to Spies even Theatre of War – those are all 1C titles as well.
Last, but certainly not least, another game which I think is going to be big for them is Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. It is the sequel to Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, which in itself was based off the total conversion Red Orchestra mod for Unreal Tournament 2004. After winning the Making Something Unreal contest, the team behind the mod formed tripwire studios, and made a more complete, game, resulting in Ostfront. It’s a more tactical first-person shooter, and the sequel will feature many interesting features such as a first person cover system, destructible environments, off-map fire support, vehicles and as much else as I imagine they can reasonably fit in. World War II has been left behind by the first person shooter genre in recent years, so maybe there’s room for this game to carve out its own niche.
I’ve seen it once before, although it was at GamesCom, not the Prague showcase (1C does this every year), and it will be there again this year ahead of its August 30th release. Hopefully we’ll get some decent hands on with the game and I can get a better feel for what the finished product is going to be like. Shame it’s not coming to consoles at the moment – I still haven’t quite gotten into the whole WASD thing with FPS… might try giving it a go with me gamepad, see if I can keep up. You can read some thoughts I had on the game when I saw it last year here.
It’s only going to be a short trip – flying out Wednesday Morning, showcase in the evening, and then coming back Thursday during the day. Still, it breaks up the monotony of my typical day, which is sitting in front of my computer trying to amuse myself with blogging, or watching completely ridiculous videos on YouTube.
I might try and update Wednesday night, but we’ll see. See you on the other side if not.