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  • unmanneddrone 2:41 am on August 14, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games,   

    @redswir1 Mace Griffin was a bit of an empty experience that, like many of those curiously ambitious shooters of last gen, would have benefitted from the horsepower and resources available now. I certainly had high hopes.

    I’d suggest checking out either Precursors or Parkan II on PC if you want a similar experience. Parkan II was really different to the original, eschewing a Battlezone-esque action-strategy for a space combat/FPS/light trader hybrid.

    Precursors is the Space Rangers 2 of sci-fi FPS-RPGs, with a rather competent space fighter module.

    Both utterly Eastern Bloc.

     
  • RedSwirl 11:41 pm on May 8, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Eastern European games,   

    @bowlisimo Yeah I’m gonna have to put the game down. I’m most of the way through the first “dungeon” now, and Darksiders, despite copying other games well, doesn’t really manage to have a soul of its own. While I don’t like the art style, I will admit that the storyline is actually pretty interesting. Mechanically though, I just feel like I’m going through the motions of other games, and this is coming from a guy who will defend the modern Zelda games that everyone else is bored with. I’d rather play Skyward Sword again than finish Darksiders. I’m also disappointed that Darksiders doesn’t really have any open-world exploration – the main reason I play Zelda games.

    I mean, God of War itself is a Devil May Cry clone right? But that game managed to bring its own sense of brutality to the table that gave the game a flavor all its own. You could say the same thing for Okami. I just think the main reason people are even into Darksiders is because it’s the closest thing there is to an HD Zelda game.

    Anyway, on EuroJank, enter DayZ: an ArmA II Zombie apocalypse mod.

    Now, before you continue, if you still don’t have a good idea of what ArmA II is, go back and read the description I made here a while back: https://squadronofshame.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/mega-deal-alert-arma-ii-7-on-steam/ This game is EuroJank incarnate, but no western shooter even attempts half of what it tries.

    Here are the basic details for DayZ:
    Multipalyer (like 50-100 players per server)
    225 sq km open-world map
    About 1,500 fast-ass, persistant zombies
    Low ammo/supplies
    Permadeath – you build a new character every time you die
    Human players can help, ignore, rob, or kill you.

    I’ve heard of people getting ambushed by gangs of human player looters, cooperation, backstabbing, just about the entire human side of surviving zombies. This game basically sounds like ArmA II, STALKER, Rogue, and Dark Souls all slammed into one game.

    In order to play it you at least need the ArmA II base game and the expansion pack Operation Arrowhead. It’s probably why the Combined Operations bundle is on the top-selling list on Steam right now.

     
  • RedSwirl 8:47 pm on May 7, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games,   

    Y’konw, I don’t think we’ve had a Squadcast episode about Eastern Europe. We’ve done missions for games from there, but not a squadcast on the region in general and what sets them apart.

    I was just interested since this thread got started up on GAF trying to define what “Euro Jank” is. I think the best summation I found was when someone described it as their tendency for “substance over style” when developing their games.

     
  • unmanneddrone 1:45 am on January 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, , , ,   

    @bowlisimo I’d messed about with it only intermittently before word of the Complete Mod surfaced, then put it on hold, then was preoccupied with other geekery, upon which the return to CoP was met with word of this Misery mod, so it’s all pretty fresh. I’m liking it, though. It’s definitely my favourite “terrestrial” game world, the ol’ Zone. I don’t know if you’re in the mood for more open world craziness, but have you ever considered Precursors…or Xenus 2 (the sequel to Boiling Point: Road to Hell)? Not nearly as much polish – can you believe it!? – as STALKER, but earnest Ukrainian sci-fi and South Caribbean FPS/RPGs respectively. Hideously bare-boned English releases, so much so that you’re best to seek out the Russian sound packs, but so much fun. I’ve lightly pimped them here, but you might dig them. Clunky, unwieldy, semi-broken, but ambitious and strangely intoxicating!

    Precursors Trailer
    Xenus 2 Trailer

    Both from the same engine. Developer went bust years ago, probably negotiating the 360 version, but there’s a small group of fans dedicated to slowly bringing in the fixes and patches.

    You probably don’t want more irradiated Eastern Bloc picnic simulators for a while, but keep these rough as guts gems on the list.

    In regards to time…I do tell a lie, because I got an hour or so last night where I was able to relive the Burnout 2 days with a good friend back home; bit of Steam Voicechat and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. Went to bed thereafter dreaming of Big Surf Shores and the Custom Roadster, all those years ago.

     
  • unmanneddrone 2:55 am on November 22, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, , ,   

    @beige @bowlisimo @any other fellow who’s a STALKER fan.

    The Misery Mod is at 93% completion for Call of Pripyat! Was linked to it via that scallywag @GKokoris, and by the heavens, that feature list looks like it’s going to be an absolute corker. Savage stuff. Waving e-peens only puts the member at risk of being torn off at the hilt by a snork, but it certainly looks like it’ll be one of those ridiculously terrifying and terrifically exhausting experiences.

    An excerpt from the features list, on the topic of difficulty:

    • Stronger and deadlier anomalies.
    • Zombified stalkers are mindless wanderers that attack everything and are killed effectively only with headshots.
    • Fewer weapons to be found in The Zone.
    • Low weapon and ammo ressources. No more “killing zombies to easily find loads of weapons and ammo”.
    • No gifts in your stash after the quest’s “friend of stalkers” & “monsterhunter”.
    • Changes to actor health system, item effects, economy and damage system for very high difficulty.
    • “Easy” and “Normal” difficulty setting has been disabled in the main menu. Only “Hard” available.
    • Minimap shows no enemies or dead bodies, only traders and your cooperatives.
    • Universal silencer has been removed: You will need the correct sound suppressor variant for your weapon calibre.
    • No warnings, task messages or safezone indications on pda during emmisions (only sirens).
    • Seek a more natural day/night rhythm without drugs if you want to avoid a blurred vision caused by headache or the need for recreation and rest.
    • Food doesn’t restore your health.
     
  • unmanneddrone 2:39 am on November 20, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, ,   

    I loved the French dev scene of the 90s, primarily due to Cryo, Infogrames, Delphine and Adeline. Cryo, mostly. While it’d be an unpopular view, they’d be my favourite adventure game developer. First Cryo game I ever played…nay…experienced (that nebulous notion) was their 1992 debut masterpiece Dune. Oh, how it shaped me as a young fellow, as a gamer, as a scribbler. A formative piece of entertainment, that much I can assure.

    And Eugen are French; those le Dressay brothers just doing their strategic thing and me loving them for it.

    @bowlisimo Keep it on your radar, I say. It’ll go on sale for some ludicrously low price over the holidays, I’m sure. Oh, here’s something you might get a kick out of…a mod for the original Real Warfare was used in creating a fan trailer for the Russian release of M&B: With Fire and Sword.

    @redswir1 I think the one thing that’ll always ensure we get our Eastern Bloc fix is that a lot of the studios specialise in catering to hardcore niches, stuff that would never fly with mainstream slack-jaws. Tank simulators like T-72: Balkans on Fire and the soon-to-be-released Steel Armor: Blaze of War, heavy-duty operational wargames like Achtung Panzer, the strange Icepick Lodge titles. Actually, my first taste of pure Russian madness came in the form of VANGERS: One for the Road…bizarre, but I digress.

    Have a look at Gaijin Entertainment…prominent Russki dev that did try and make the jump to console with IL2 Birds of Prey and Apache Air Assault. Both terrific and unique offerings for the console space, but nobody gave a rat’s ringus. Apache Air Assault was far too hard in the control department for your average Battlefield Blackhawk jockey, and Birds of Prey wasn’t flashy enough. I think the STALKER and Metro sequels on console will be slightly more popular, but they won’t have that widespread appeal that the big American shooters have garnered and kept.

    Me? Steel Armor: Blaze of War would be chosen over any wingnut backslap fuel any day of the week. It might not be as polished, but it’s a damn sight more interesting, far more technical and offers up environments and situations that focus on intricacy and hardware without…I dunno…turning it into something thematically cheap. I’ll take the battlegrounds of lesser-known conflicts like armour clashes in Angola in 1987 than yet another rejigging of the Middle East, and that’s where the Eastern Bloc studios’ strengths lie – being able to pursue these ultra-niche creations to the delight of fervent and supportive fans – fans smaller in number than those of the usual suspects, but it’s a global community and with development costs a fraction of what they are in the West-west, they seem to be sustainable.

    I never want to see the end of these glorious studios and their glorious projects, because it’ll spell dilution towards the same old shit.

    EDIT: I don’t want to come off sounding like a snobby, crotchety old dickhead…I love Battlefield and its combined role concept really brings multiplayer to a new level, but more often than not, these curious little projects out of the Ukraine are invigorating morsels of wonder – especially when set against their contemporaries in the medium.

     
  • RedSwirl 5:19 pm on November 19, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games   

    But on Eastern Bloc devs, I and others in the last few days have gone on about how that region is one of the only places on Earth with its own localized, culturally driven gaming environment that’s actually being noticed by the outside. Japan is the only other real case and they’re starting to be excluded right now. I always wondered why we’ve seen no similar movement from German games or French games, instead seeing all that absorbed into the AAA machines of Crytek (EA) and Ubisoft. Film, music, and comics all have local cultures all over the world that, while small, still get appreciated. Gaming is different – much more globalized.

    I’ve heard comments that some of the East Bloc guys are still in it for the love of gaming, but others are already starting to taste F2P and see it as the logical business future. My question is: what’s gonna happen when Eastern Eurooean devs get a taste of the console cash?.

    Right now that’s been incredibly slow to happen. The only Eastern Bloc game I can think of right now with a console version is Metro 2033. Other than that you got the Xbox version of The Witcher 2 coming next march which I hope people buy, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Most of these games though aren’t really possible on consoles from a UI standpoint. You can’t really do Mount & Blade or Real Warfare 2. I really would like to see console gamers exposed to the likes of Cryostasis or Amnesia. I’d love to see if ARMA3 were possible on next gen consoles. Stuff like that could blow their minds like Half-Life 2 and BioShock did. But once that happens, will those guys “betray” PC gamers like Epic, Crytek, and id?

     
  • unmanneddrone 5:17 pm on January 2, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, ,   

    @bowlisimo and any other STALKER fans…can I just get a group hug and a round on me for this Ukranian gem? After entertaining my visiting family for a few weeks, I found the time to burn a little midnight oil and get back into the zone this eve. And as I retire just past the hour of two in the morning, I’m grinning from ear to ear and thinking that this could very well be the most atmospheric game known to man. Be it sitting on a hill and watching mutant dogs terrorise a patrol in a rainswept valley, picking your way through a deserted factory and happening across the remnants of a shoot-out, crouching at the end of a corridor with a shaking pistol pointed at where you think a Spetznaz soldier will appear or simply trudging about with the odd howl of some unknown creature echoing out across the countryside…you can’t deny the brilliance of STALKER.

    The character designs, the dilapidated machinery, the scary underground sections – topping my most scary gaming experience – to the almost perfect balance of sim vs accessible shooting and weapon feel…it’s all so damn sumptuous. Gloriously depressing landscapes and wonderfully subtle writing.

    To balance this dark and brooding experience, I felt a little colour was the order of the day and decided upon the recently localised Precursors! A nice balance, though still in the realm of former Soviet Bloc hijinx. Looking forward to getting stuck into that Ukrainian sci-fi RPG-FPS. Impressions forthcoming!

     
  • bowlisimo 11:02 pm on December 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, ,   

    @unmanneddrone I didn’t really get much out of Clear Sky. I don’t think they took the idea of a prequel far enough. You basically traipse through the same areas you did in the first game, but from a slightly earlier and different perspective (that doesn’t feel like a different perspective). I did like how the factions actually warred with each other and took/lost territory (although it wasn’t perfect), and ducking under cover from an emission from the zone was crazy. Waiting on a sale to pick up Pripyat.

    @angryjedi Hell yeah I’ve played Space Rangers 2. I picked it up when Beige was talking about getting it as a present a few years ago (pretty sure I’ve extolled its virtues on the old club page too). Definitely a weird genre mash-up. Not many contemporary games have the balls to launch you into several exceptionally well designed text adventures. The RTS missions were piss poor, but thankfully avoidable. It was just really cool to have a back and forth struggle in the galaxy between the Dominators actually happening at the same time that you’re delivering modulators and working your way up to a sweet space chassis so you can join in the fight.

    P.S. This is the best music in the entire game.

     
  • unmanneddrone 7:42 am on December 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games, , ,   

    @bowlisimo I agree wholeheartedly. Eastern Bloc ideas and notions are infinitely more exciting in regards to game development. STALKER is a prime example. Such evocation and grime-flecked romance throughout it all. The 2009 mod is essentially an overhaul of the default game, so nothing of the original intent is changed…but I highly recommend you check out the mod down the line when you’re in the mood for another trudge through the Zone. http://bit.ly/fkX6W8

    Also, nabbed Call of Pripyat Loyalty Edition off Gamersgate – eight bucks for the non-stand alone “sequel” was too good an offer to pass up. I hear Clear Sky is a bit of a disappointment, but down the line I’ll check it out. Consider me a STALKER convert and disciple.

    By the by, have you seen the two new Eastern Euro RPG-Shooters on Gamersgate? Xenus 2: White Gold – http://bit.ly/homp6s (sequel to the chronically ambitious Boiling Point) and Precursors – http://bit.ly/eTVZAG (Freelancer and a Halo/Outcast mix) just got translated into English. Hilarious voice work at times are the main issues with both, allegedly, but they appear to be terrific. White Gold the tongue-in-cheek product of a mating at gunpoint between Far Cry and STALKER, Precursors offering a unique, non-palette swapped galaxy to explore with fully-fledged planetary landscapes to walk, run, drive and fly machines around in – replete with indigenous lifeforms, various alien factions etc. – and space ship combat…kinda like Parkan 2 if you played that.

    Trailers:

    Precursors – http://bit.ly/idSe24
    Xenus 2 – http://bit.ly/ieJtic

    And just keep this in mind, you can ride a shark in Xenus 2.

     
  • bowlisimo 8:49 pm on December 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Eastern European games,   

    @unmanneddrone Awesome. I’m not sure what the 2009 complete mod is, but my friend and I both agree that default S.T.A.L.K.E.R. portrays a much better post apocalyptic atmosphere than Fallout 3 does (even though it’s not exactly the apocalypse in Stalker). Worth playing for the Eastern European game experience. They’re an acquired taste, but I love the hard depressing edge they build into their games, no doubt inspired by different cultural values and hard years spent behind the Iron Curtain.

    If you’re this far (assuming you’ve played The Witcher), you might as well try Cryostasis and then I’ll join you when you get around to Metro 2033.

    I said come een, don’t just stand there!
    I said come een, don’t just stand there!

     
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