Posts Tagged ‘THQ’

I’m rather chuffed with myself I have to say -I completed Darksiders over the weekend! Yay me!I think this is actually the first game in a long while that I’ve just sat down with the aim to complete a game, outside of the fact that I had it for review or whatever. I’m not much of completionist as you may have picked up on by now.

Story driven games like Darksiders pull me through the most, but then I’m liable to get bored if the game mechanics are too boring or grindy, which was in danger of happening here but the key difference I think is that I had a purpose. You may remember I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago seeing the sequel, and in preparation for that I actually read up on the first game. Kind of spoiled the ending for myself, but it actually sounded like a decent, iconic moment for a videogame, and so as soon as I got back I bought it from ShopTo.net (GAME were out of stock), and the sometime last week I think I started playing it – doing a couple of hours every night before marathoning it during the Easter Weekend to finish it off.

It’s weird – knowing the ending beforehand gave me an end goal, a reason to put up with the oddities, the repetitions, and the rushed plot devices that littered the game, and when I got to that scene I wanted to see (which I probably could have easily looked up on YouTube), I had a real sense of achievement. More so perhaps than if I didn’t know what was coming. It was definitely worth it, and I don’t mean to make Darksiders sounds rubbish, because it really isn’t. Other people I talked to said the first hour or so was really boring, and I could kind of see that but again I knew what the game was about, and I knew where I was headed so it was easier to bear – perhaps foreknowledge really isn’t such a bad thing after all.

It’s a shame really that the second game isn’t going to continue on from that ending – it’s very much a “Can’t wait to see what happens next” moment, but given that the first game was a tentative first step into a new IP, the second is going to expand on the universe and the lore more, and then probably bring it all together for the third game where they’ll continue on from there. Assuming THQ survives long enough to help Vigil get a third game.

It’s like I said in my preview though – parallel stories are a dangerous thing, and I hope it doesn’t prove to be too tenuous a link to the original game – but it does have to account for the time of the other three horseman whilst War was incarcerated for 100 years at the beginning of the game. One of the game’s leads mentioned to me in an interview that they’d gone into the first game very much with a sequel in mind, and you can see that with the amount of loose ends they leave.

I doubt I’ll pre-order it though – too much potential to disappoint right now for me to commit financially for it, plus I’d like to get it for review if possible, but being freelance now there are even less guarantees.

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter.

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Sorry about the lack of blog-age past couple of days – March is actually a pretty busy month this year in terms of games. Been to London quite a lot recently, with all of the write-ups that entails, not to mention several games on the go for review. Saw Red Faction: Armageddon and Homefront from THQ this week – although that’s about all I can say about those for the moment due to embargoes, and I’ve got several other trips planned over the next week or so.

Just finished reviewing Dragon Age II for the site – you can read my review here if you’re interested. I liked it, it was enjoyable… narrative is a lot better than the first game, but then that’s about it. Whilst the console version is far superior than the console versions of the last game – I fear that in trying to… I don’t know, appeal to everyone? It lost something. Check out metacritic and you’ll see that it’s certainly been divisive, even the PC version. I’ve got code in for that but I’ve yet to try it out.

One thing that’s struck me as odd with the whole RPG thing though is that you still have to choose who you bring with you on outings… I don’t quite see the point to it anymore. Surely the technology exists to have everyone coming with you if you wanted? If not always controllable then at least present. In fact the ending sequence of DA2 has your entire roster fighting a long side you, even if they’re not part of the party. I can just imagine how that conversation would go in real life:

“Right, we’re off to save the world from unspeakable horror! Dave, Steve, Karen, you’re with me. The rest of you stay here.”

“What, why?”

“Well Dave’s got a punch like an ox, Steve is known to have a deus ex machina or two up his sleeve, and, well, I’m sleeping with Karen.”

“No I meant why are you only taking three? We’re all ready, we all want to get stuck in.”

“Sorry… er, budget cuts. I can only afford to insure 3 of you at a time. I would take you with me but… you know… Legal would have my balls on a platter.”

“Well… what are supposed to do in the meantime then?”

“I don’t know, twiddle your thumbs, stand around… knit. What do you normally do whenever you’re left behind?”

“… all of the above, pretty much.”

“There you go then. Right, let’s go! Oh, by the way Steve, I need you to put this dress on. It has +1 Dexterity…”

It’s just one of those gameplay conventions no one’s thought to mess with I guess (although if you know of any examples of where it has been altered, feel free to share). RIFT, and MMO I’m currently playing through at the moment, is a game that tries to mess with certain MMO conventions that have arisen – such as the safety of quest hubs and enemies on the road, etc…

Anyway, I’ll be off – need my sleep! I’ll try and resume normal programming ASAP.

Until next time.