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  • unmanneddrone 8:26 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Supreme Commander 2   

    @redswirl It’s hard to say what the quintessential cyberpunk game is…I’d say Deus Ex belongs to a clutch of titles that showcase the styling of this beloved geek-chic subset. Don’t forget the incredible Dreamweb from way back. I’d put that up there as a much more pure cyberpunk experience – taking its cues from the defining authors much more heavily. But, you’re right that Deus Ex is steeped in the thematics and aesthetics of cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk fiction and ideas.

    For me, the top three would be the original System Shock, Dreamweb, Syndicate and Deus Ex. A shortlist would include Uplink, Hacker Evolution, a slightly tenuous Omikron: The Nomad Soul and a little-known Aussie-made sandbox RPG called The Creed – think an open-ended RPG-lite Syndicate Wars – one that shipped with an incredibly deep mission creator; user-generated NPC logic chains and parameters, dialog options, the works. It’s existed on the PC in certain titles henceforth, but The Creed certainly blew my young idiotic mind back in 1998.

    Certainly looking forward to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

    In regards to @angryjedi’s always-enjoyable Whatchyabeenplayin’, let me throw down.

    Frozen Synapse @mjpilon and myself opened fire on each other for the first round of the tourney and by some stroke of luck, the deciding round had two bazookas on each team. Luckily, my rockets found some masonry to detonate against and bathed opponents in the warm wash of a high-explosive shockwave. HOWEVER, I must duck out of the tourney due to continued internet woes – woes that will now be fixed via the installation of fresh, faultless, flawless fabulous fibre-optics on the 20th of August. Thus, my worthy opponent, I had thee the baton and encourage you to make wurst from your bested opponents. Godspeed, @mjpilon.

    Alpha Protocol Oh how I wish I had the time to marathon games like the old days. Alpha Protocol would be done and dusted by now, but for what it’s worth, still enjoying it immensely. Rather janky in places, and certain areas feature some of the most pedestrian level design and furnishings I’ve seen in the modern gaming era, but you play for the conversations, and that’s what I’m enjoying most. And when the action sequences are this unreliable in terms of stealth mechanics (enemies either oblivious, or somehow they know you’re there from a mile away), I eschewed the stealth agent run and got busy with the Assault rifle proficiencies. Having a blast. I’ll keep the stealth antics for a more reliable system…like DE:HR or something. Or….

    Hitman Blood Money Doing another run on this in anticipation of the SoS mission. You really cannot beat Io Interactive for urban flavour. They craft the darkest and most delightful missions and scenarios. Looking forward to reading/hearing Squaddies’ thoughts on the game who’ve never played it prior. Contracts still reigns supreme for me, but Blood Money is definitely the most inventive and varied.

    Men of War: Assault Squad / RUSE Always going back and forth between these two. Nabbed the DLC packs for RUSE over the Steam Sales, so nuclear artillery, the Japanese faction and a nice selection of maps are now things to play with. Sad to see only one Pacific map, but the game at its heart really isn’t a grognardian RTS…it’s a beautiful real-time boardgame. Men of War…well…you know how I feel about that glorious RTT experience. Outside of the incredible physics and sheer danger enemies present, nothing beats taking direct control of an infantry flamethrower and flanking around a barn to hose a nest of German artillery with Yankee chilli-sauce. @beige and @bowlisimo, I do hope you fellows end up owning this one down the line. It’s great fun and terrific co-op.

    Supreme Commander 2 And finally, ol’ SupCom2. After fighting and besting an aggravating problem involving my Mobility Radeon and for some reason, it turning off geometry instancing (hideous graphical glitching thereafter), I’ve been continually enjoying just skirmishing against the computer. There are so many wonderful units and options within. Going back to what @bowlisimo said about the Chris Taylor titles being quite soulless, I’m in complete agreement…right up until SupCom2. I REMAIN IN A CONSTANT EROTIC TRYST WITH THIS TITLE. It’s a military science-fiction hardware lover’s wet dream. Dropships on automated deployment runs loading freshly-constructed ground units in batches of fifty, ferrying them to the front from the designated marshalling yards. Mobile shield generators flaring with every enemy shot made. Gargantuan experimental units thundering up out from their construction scaffolds and beginning their lumbering trek towards their rally point. Artillery raining down in salvoes of hundreds of shells, leaving the shattered hulks of quadruped gun platforms smoking and blackened. And need I remind the reader of an entire naval force crawling up the beach on newly-researched legs, their cannons brought to bear on the defenders?

    What’s more, SupCom2 has one of the best strategic zooms this side of AI Wars or, to a lesser extent (perhaps, more aptly, to a different extent), RUSE.

    It might look like a Michael Bay effort compared to the nuanced subtleties of Starcraft, but I would argue it’s as enjoyable and deep in its own way – just on a much grander scale. Amazing options in the tech tree to really direct what kind of force you’d like to build. More enjoyable for me, at least. Here’s a rather finely-soundtracked 4v4 video that sums it all up perfectly.

    How I wish these were marathon sessions, but home duties and scribble sessions dig into the gaming time. So, a mission here, a quarter-skirmish there, you know how it goes.

    I shall leave it there. I’ll be offline at home until the 20th, but will browse via phone and hopefully drop a few comments when I’m at work. Keep it up, Squaddies.

  • unmanneddrone 12:49 am on July 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Supreme Commander 2   

    @feenwager I never doubted your taste, sir. Thumbs up.

    @bowlisimo Man, I totally hear you on that. Agree wholeheartedly, especially with the distinct lack of…I dunno…soul or character the earlier Chris Taylor games had. I tried my darndest with SupCom and Forged Alliance…but the economic model was a little complicated and it was easy to freefall into “Uh, so I’m bankrupt!?”. Was much more a Dark Reign fellow back in the day, even moreso than Starcraft! (Heresy klaxons blaring)

    SupCom2 was a whim purchase and one of the greatest “Wasn’t this supposed to be a middling experience?” pick-ups I’ve had the luck to have. Easy economic model, astounding unit animation that makes amends for the lack of personality strike, and quirky and outrageous designs.

    As single player games? Perhaps underwhelming, but in co-op and skirmish? Overshadowed unfairly. But hey, you know me and RTS titles. The more lonely they are, the more I want to be their friends. More often than not, I have more fun with them than the big titles.

  • bowlisimo 12:48 am on July 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Supreme Commander 2   

    @UMD I never went down the Total Annihilation “tech tree” (as Beige’s wife calls it) of the RTS genre. I watched my friend play SupComm a bunch when it came out, and borrowed both games from him not too long ago. I quit out and uninstalled it before I beat the first mission of the first game.

    To a man raised on Blizzard, Westwood, and Ensemble (and now Relic), the presentation was just…lacking. The robots and buildings didn’t excite me, the environment was bland, and I disliked the economic model. I usually don’t have THAT strong of a reaction to a game, but I dunno, for some reason it didn’t click.

    So, I respect those games from afar for pushing the sheer scale of things to insane heights, but as epic as they are, the SupComm series may not appeal to everyone here, even for 4 bucks.

  • feenwager 12:33 am on July 10, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Supreme Commander 2   

    @unmanneddrone Sold.

  • unmanneddrone 11:47 pm on July 9, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Supreme Commander 2   

    Fellows, I am willing to let all my future recommendations fall upon ears of sheer concrete, of tungsten and ceramic composites. This, I promise…on the proviso that even a single man pick up Supreme Commander 2 for the mere price it is going for at the moment. Less than a Frappachino with 2% vanilla, hold the sugar.

    Even without the expansion pack, SupCom2 is terrific. Best served in comp-stomp co-op, forget the campaign. And just remember, when you’ve researched the Galleon tech in the Cybran tech tree and all of a sudden you see your entire Cybran navy en route to a designated location turn in towards the coast and lumber up onto Terra Firma upon newly-researched legs – battleships thundering up through hundreds of their land-based comrades with elephantine grace and offering a supportive broadside from their naval batteries – you’ll know you’re onto something special. And that’s just early tech.

    This is my recommendation, fellows.

    P.S. The expansion is an extra 2-odd dollars. For a little over a fiver, you’re set.

    EDIT: And am thoroughly looking forward to your X3 impressions, @bowlisimo. Given you history with things like Space Rangers, this should be very interesting!

  • unmanneddrone 11:11 pm on July 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , Supreme Commander 2,   

    Some great Steam deals today, and a good effort by you, @RedSwirl, waiting for that final price drop on FS.

    It’s been a good sale thus far for strategy titles in general. Men of War: AS for 7 smackers yesterday or the day before, RUSE for a tenner today, as is Supreme Commander 2. Surely a few Squaddies would find those interesting.

    Another suggestion for @feenwager would be Hitman: Blood Money. Bit trial and error’y, but remarkably satisfying. Filled to the brim with dark humour and a terrific sense of place. For some reason, and maybe coming under fire for being somewhat contrarian, but where the NPCs of Assassin’s Creed felt like automaton, the Hitman world’s citizenry seemed far more alive. And Agent 47…I mean, you cannot find a more bad-arse bad-arse than him.

    Available on PC, 360.

    Oh, and I’ll throw in Mini Ninjas, too. The game for people who like Zelda-esque romps, but want something a little different. Funnily enough, I read it was a game IO Interactive made because their usual fare was far too dark, depressing and violent to take home and play with their young families. Highly recommend Mini Ninjas.

    Available on PC, Mac, PS3, 360.

    Happy 4th of July, US comrades.

  • unmanneddrone 10:47 pm on June 23, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Supreme Commander 2   

    @RedSwirl You seem somewhat hostile to the notion, Red. Granted, balance and progression being affected by the freemium model has been a bugbear of the subset for a while, but maybe this’ll be the year for you.

    Actually, here’s a little pimpage – another underdog of 2010? SC2. Yeah, the other SC2. Supreme Commander 2 can be had on Steam at a permanent price point of 15 smackeroos and by the heavens, was this title unfairly maligned. Runs smooth as silk, does away with the freefall economy threat of the original and the expansion, has great co-op/comp-stomp and while you’d never buy it for the campaign, there’s a lot of deep, glorious fun to be had. Great for vets and newbies alike.

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