Wednesday, 21 December 2016

War Logged

I finished Mars War Logs over lunch, so just about sneaked it in before the end of the year. It's a fun little game, not quite hidden-gem territory, but pretty good nonetheless. It's a third-person action game with light RPG elements set on a colony on Mars. You start the game as a prisoner of war and have to escape the camp before joining the resistance (or not...there are two pathways through the game) and defeating the big bad. It feels like one of those games where the design guys came up with way more ideas than the developers could ever hope to implement. There's a lot of great background material that's barely touched on, and game mechanics that are just barely sketched out and then forgotten about. The character abilities are all pretty useless (a better chance of finding loot, the ability to craft a few more things...but there are only about 4 things you can craft anyway, and they're all common items), and the skill trees seem strangely inverted - the most useful things are all in the first couple of levels, and the higher-end stuff is made up of things like gaining a few extra hit points when you use a potion. However, the game itself is good fun, and the story pulls you along. There are some fun little quests to do; the combat is solid, if a little button-mashy (you could pause the action to enter combat command, but I can't honestly see why you'd ever want to, even though the game kept on telling me it was a thing I could do); the enemy selection mostly consisted of humans, but with a couple of other types thrown in. Strangely, I wish there had been a couple more boss battles (I normally hate evil boss battles, but these were okay), and that there had maybe been a bit more variety in the options you had with them, and with combat in general. The characters in general were good, though, and well fleshed out, even if a couple of them felt a little rushed. The voice work, on the whole, was great, with the main characters being consistently well-voiced, and most of the NPCs holding their own (even if the character models were used over and over again with a few different scars thrown in). The world building all came together to give you a sense that you were a small piece of something much bigger, which was great. I don't know if there are any plans to explore it further with any more titles, but the ending left it open enough. So, generally a good, solid, fun game that kept me entertained enough to want to finish it instead of playing Fallout 3 (which continues to crash with irritating regularity). Good stuff.

Next up on the randometer is...Black Moon Chronicles! Hmm, not one I recognise, though the name seems strangely familiar. Apparently it's a strategy RTS game, so could be quite fun. Also a late '90s Windows game, so it may not even work...

...And that turned out to be rather prophetic. I've tried running the game using various options - even made it as far as the main menu screen one time - but it always black screens and completely locks up my computer forcing a hard reset. So, nope. Ah well, it looked quite fun. Next up on the randometer is...Daikatana! Probably not much more that needs to be said about that one! Looking forward to seeing if it was as much of a disaster as everyone said.

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