Great work on the podcast, gents! Nothing really to add, once again gloriously covering the topics like nobody’s business. I’ll only add that Homeworld remains the only game I’ve been truly satisfied with in terms of an ending only because the bond with my “people” was set early and incredibly well, with the journey against all odds coming to a dramatic close and an honest, endearing finale.
Incredible that, of all the genres renowned for storytelling, an RTS has the competition beat in terms of saga evocation and a closing that is pristine, subtle, restrained and satisfying. Anyway, just one fool’s opinion! Onto other things.
Care of the generous @poimandre I just played a number of rounds of the direct-download PSN multiplayer FPS Blacklight: Tango Down. It’s rough, but it’s ready. Incidentally, only a few days ago I played my first ever bit of Call of Duty, online at that…and it didn’t really gel with me at all. I do love the notion of the fierce, no-holds barred world of the competitive shooter – regardless of its stereotypical adolescent denizenry – but MW2 had a much more frenetic flow than I’m accustomed to. Anyway, having had an eye on Blacklight ever since it dropped on 360 and PC earlier in the year, it was great to see it tweaked and updated for the PSN release.
It doesn’t really compare to what I’ve played of Modern Warfare, possibly more akin to a slightly arcade cyberpunk Counterstrike. Less spec-fiction than NeoTokyo, though. In any case, it’s a perfect example of what people either love or hate about the current bevy of shooters – not that the inundation theory REALLY stands up to scrutiny. Consistent positive feedback loop of unlocks going towards new weapons, equipment, custom parts and weapon tag buffs; you either like this kind of extraneous motivator or you think it creates a disconnect between motive, drive and outcome. Being fairly new to the idea, having cut teeth on Bad Company, it’s a nice touch – especially considering the mix and match nature of the gun customisation.
The gameplay is frenetic, but controlled. I’ve only sunk time into team deathmatch, but there’s a roster of other game modes available and spread across, what, twelve maps? Fantastic addition to the Cheap Fu argument. Really enjoying it so far. Fifteen dollars on the NA PSN, I imagine the same goes for XBLA.
I will say the techno-themed aesthetic is jovially dealt with here, dropping a minimap in favour of the “HRV” – a visor you activate that negates weapon usage but allows you to see through walls and structures to attain the location of team mates, points of interest and enemies. Despite sounding like a novelty, it really helps to channel players towards each other and eliminates camping to a large degree. Also, running with the cyberpunk/electronic warfare aspect, you can hurl electro-flashbang grenades that scramble your visuals, throw down the electronic interference version of a smoke grenade etc. which leaves a much cleaner taste in the mouth than some grunt splattering the walls with your brain. Thumbs up thus far.
@angryjedi Neverwinter Nights, eh? Damn the timezones, but as a single player game…what’s the gist? You know my terrible flaws as a man in regards to fantasy…although, I’m easing back into the trope realm by way of Rise of the Argonauts. Last fantasy game I played was…Lord, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption.
P.S. I miss our valiant leader @RocGaude