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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

2015. Sze. 13.

As it is appropriate, I had read over what I wrote about The Witcher 2 (TW2). To sum it up: In spite of being short and bugged, it renewed the CRPG genre. The graphics was so wonderful, and the story was so immersive that even the pipe-like paths in the wild areas were not irritating. And there was a really branching story that made replay not just possible but almost mandatory. So, it is clear why that game was so popular. And it is totally clear, why such a strong sequel arose overly high expectations for the third installment. You know, it really fills the bill, but exactly that caused certain flaws in it. My first impression about The Witcher 3 (TW3) was that it is like a free roam version of the second installment, but bigger and more beautiful. The freedom factor is enormous; with the exception of a few story-related places you can go anywhere, talk to anyone, and get almost anything independently of character levels. You get all these on such big landscapes that give you limits only if you are a fanatic explorer like me, and only after hours of sailing, running, riding on various areas like seas, prairies, forests and hillsides. The terrain is really diverse and picturesque. Maybe this is the reason why the story is not perceptively branching as in TW2. It simply didn’t incited a replay, and I missed this kind of motivating force. It is true that the consequences of your decisions may become evident after a time, and this helps to make the setting more life-like, but I simply did not regret any one of my decisions, so I was not motivated to play the game again from the first steps. In general, the witchers’ famous neutrality and Geralt’s principles are close to me, so I didn’t kill sensible creatures, and I did not care if the fanatic population of a whole village was killed by their own idols. I tried to persuade them to leave the Ladies of the Woods (three especially ugly and ruthless witches), but they didn’t do it, so they caused their own doom. This was typical in every quest:...

Broken Age

Broken Age

2015. aug. 15.

There are two types of people: One likes the point’n’click genre, the other does not. There are two types of people: One knows the work of Tim Schafer, the other does not. And there are two types of people: One already discovered the Broken Age, the other did not. Because, we shan’t expect everyone to find logic puzzles entertaining. If you do, you certainly played some “clicking adventure” games, namely some point’n’clicks, and if you got into the habit of it, you might meet the Monkey Island series or the Grim Fandango. I admit—ash on my head, my name should be cursed—I missed this latter one yet. But I know the game popped out of Tim Schafer’s shaggy head, so I will buy it without further questions. Of course, even if you are not about clicking adventures, you can still know Tim. Besides the abovementioned games there are others tagged with his name, for example the Psychonauts, the Brütal Legend (I wrote about this earlier), the somehow unique Costume Quest, and the Stacking. What’s more, his name was enough to bring money to the crowdfounded Broken Age. Besides all these I could theorize a lot about the common beginning of fantasy and sci-fi genres, named speculative fiction (SF), and about them melting together again in our modern era. But, I more like to write a little about the game itself. The Broken Age is the newest SF point’n’click adventure game from Tim Schafer. And now you should read it again and feel how much this short sentence means. It seems almost natural the developers could scrape the money up on Kickstarter. And it is totally clean-cut why they advertised the game with this. Of course it piqued my attention. The story is kind of a modern tale with two locations and main heroes in the same time. Vella was born and raised in a little village, where young girls are sacrificed for the monster of the ocean on every 14 years, according to the tradition. At the beginning, Vella is among the sacrificial victims, but as a likely main heroine she does not resign herself to the inevitable, and does what she can to...

Alien Invasion

Alien Invasion

2015. Júl. 2.

I never was a big fan of XCOM. I haven’t got the faintest idea why, because basically I like all the SF sub-genres, the tactics and the turn-based combat. The XCOM-series simply did not catch me, even if I know it got famous by its own rights. But, when some years ago news and first trailers got published about a TPS-TBT XCOM, I felt I wouldn’t be disinterested. And I was not. In this form XCOM perfectly fits for me. The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (in short: The Bureau) finely gives you one of my favorite settings; the atom-scared years of cold war, when Russians are blamed for every attack on the USA, even if it is squarely alien by origin. The setting of The Bureau is a post-apocalyptic 60s, but there are no wastelands yet, because you can watch the process of destruction. Or not the process, rather the destruction itself, caused by an abruptly attacking extraterrestrial army. In this environment you play the great adventure of the uncharacteristically named veteran special agent of the CIA, William Carter. By controlling him you exterminate the aliens, collect their technology, give commands to the companions, and discover the secret behind the power leading the extraterrestrials. Okay, summarized this way The Bureau seems not a big deal, but it is a fine tactical shooter, and has an overwhelming atmosphere, in spite of the story being strongly average. Some says the AI of the teammates is very weak, but it seemed to me that I saw people disoriented by the chaos of the battle, doing the best they can in this state. This is the point of leading a team: The boss (namely YOU, the player) can reason the battlefield, estimate the situation, and find solutions by active, proactive or defensive reactions. The others are doing as ordered, or the team falls apart. The definition of “tactical game” includes the fact that your companions are dead without your commands. If they would be independent, there would be no need for tactics, because the AI would solve the situations without you. Maybe I am too protective of this game, even if I must admit that its story is not...

On The Sea of Remembrances

On The Sea of Remembrances

2015. máj. 12.

If George Orwell did not write the 1984, then a lot of other artworks would not exist today. Bradbury: Fahrenheit; Lem: Eden; Terry Gilliam: Brazil; David Bowie; Eurythmics – and the list is not exhaustive. Oh, and of course, there is the video game titled Remember Me. Jean-Maxime Moris, creative director of the game said in an interview that originally they wanted to work on the topic of global warming with a story placed in a seaside city, but in the end (he did not say this, but he should) they renewed the cyberpunk genre. Cyberpunk was based on the technological development seen from the 1980s, and Dontnod Entertainment made it fitting for the 2010s. The style elements are very clean-cut. Neo-Paris could be Night City with its giant holo-ads, surveillance camera drones, cyberpolice and vertically differentiated social classes. This is the city you get to know in a linear story, and I must admit it enthralled me. I was fascinated not just by the orgy of visuals and the perfectly built cyberpunk environment, but everything else that strengthens these. You continuously get information about this brand new world in which guns are banned, mammoth corporations and “freely” elected dictators rule, the middle class vanished, and memories worth more than gold. The main elements of every action-adventure game are atmosphere, game mechanism and combat. I would not write more about the world setting, because I would only go into raptures over it, because the atmosphere, let’s say, carries the whole game on its back. Of course, the visuals are greatly supported by the eerie music of Olivier Deliviére, and I felt that every design element is on its proper place. Bad criticism the game received was mostly about the mechanism. It got lots of cold; in a linear story you travel between battle scenes by unmissable platform jumps, and combat almost always means fighting against more than one enemies. But I ask: Really? Are these the biggest problems? How much games do have the same mechanism? OK, you need no dexterity for climbing walls, and that means you get help in continuing the story. Platforming is simply not important here; in my opinion, it...

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

2014. nov. 19.

Much water was flowing down on any river of Lordan or even on a gutter of glorious Anor Londo, and this time was filled with as much blood, defeat, victory and experience. And with four playthroughs, which, in the case of Dark Souls, is a really big thing. Chiefly, because one has less and less time for games, especially when they require such deep immersion as Dark Souls. The first try was hard, yes? Did you do it? Did you sweat through the hardest game of all time? (In fact, it is the hardest of the new generations.) Furthermore, do you dare to say it wasn’t so hard? Well, adventurer, there is a New Game+ option for you, in which you can restart the whole game with your achieved levels, acquired skills and items. You are the hero, you are strong, brave and hard to defeat, so let’s go! Then think it over again after the seventh defeat from one of the first opponents in a corner of the first dirty dungeon. Do you really need this? Is this what you wanted? But really, how could a lvl100 hero bleed out in a place where you were the merry butcher earlier? If the answer is yes, then you started Dark Souls for real. Take the whole first playthrough as a tutorial, training, or as an easy walk in the park, because the “Prepare to die” motto just got its meaning. I will never forget the feeling when a stone-hard critter chased me over three areas (when you normally play, it takes several hours to get through an area), it came after me through stairs and ladders, and nothing could stop it. Finally, when I thought I shook my pursuer off, it finished me with one blow from behind. Hello, Dark Souls, hello Death! Well, the point is taken. Dark Souls is hard for the first time, makes you sweat mercilessly. But for the second time, moreover, the third and (God saves us) the fourth time it becames so hard that may be called inhuman. But I wanted this, really, and I do not want to polish myself. I sought this: a meaty, bloody, raw...

Vindictus — Season 2

Vindictus — Season 2

2014. nov. 14.

Well, as I mentioned earlier, Vindictus is on my Top 5 list of MMOs, and that was deserved by a pleasantly presented prologue, a coherent story, a finely tuned development system, and a destructible and weaponized environment, which latter is still not widely used in MMOs. Besides, Vindictus can stay on my Top 5 MMOs list, because it is improved continuously. I didn’t play it for years, so I couldn’t lure my old character out to the sun (but I couldn’t use her name either), but there was no worry about it. Since the publication of the article linked above there came three new characters, some serious Raids, and new game content called Season 2. (And ‘Episode 3’, and… —Garcius) The instance system changed not a bit; you still board a ship alone or with a little team, then there comes the hack’n’slash on the selected difficulty level and tricky skills for tearing the mobs apart. About the new Raid locations it is enough to mention that in spite of the earlier stages these offer rougher tasks done by bigger teams fighting against exceptionally hard bosses. However, the new characters are worth to be detailed a bit. I did not write about the older ones, because they embody the basic types: the knight Fiona builds on shield defense, Lann is an attacker with two swords, and the sorceress Evie throws fire and ice. The new threesome shows the extremities. Like Lann, Vella slashes around with twin swords, but her acrobatic style makes her a meat mincer built into a spinning-top. She reacts with easy jumps and direction changes for every button pushed, and instead of any block she protects herself by doing fast dodges. On the area of heavy beating, Karok offers a relatively easy playing style. This big guy walks with a waist-wide battle pillar on his shoulder, and the lower level boss fights are only about knocking the opponent out, then beating him till he comes to his senses. Then knocking him out again, then beating him till he comes to his senses. Then knocking him out again… Later the play with Karok goes harder, for example he will be able to...