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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:...

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines; Undeservedly Forgotten

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines; Undeservedly Forgotten

2014. nov. 14.

I cannot understand why certain games don’t become series. There is a unique setting, a good system and such a selection of characters which is much weaker in other games. What’s more, all of these contain so much opportunities that wouldn’t be exhausted in another three or even five games after this one. Bloodlines got an average of 80% in the press, became a golden disk, and was forgotten undeservedly. Compared to the whole setting it is only a tight extract, but it can find its legs easily. In appearance the World of Darkness doesn’t differ from our petty human world. However, inside we find nothing else but creatures of darkness and endless webs of their intrigues. These creatures are leeching on us, humans, or they use us for cover, sometimes they need us for other reasons, so we can feel ourselves safe, more or less. Basic laws of survival are simple: Besides guarding your secrets and keeping your humanity it doesn’t harm to get to know the power structure. Vampires introduced strict regulations on “birth control” and maintaining the principles of hiding in human society, so they are not overpopulating humanity – and because they are small in numbers, they do better keeping their existence in secret. They are not invulnerable, and if every armed organization calls a hunt on them, they won’t last long. Forget garlic, and the stake is causing only some paralysis, it doesn’t end what nature started. They don’t have to sleep in coffin, and they are not sucking common people dry in the alleys. This setting is like Interview with a Vampire‘s (1994.), but in a darker, grimmer and more horroristic tone, dated 2004. Bloodlines basically is a computer role-playing game, and within this category it’s a TPS/FPS action-adventure game dressed in horror elements. Maybe this sounds difficult, but everything is true. It is an action-adventure game, because during character development you are forced to put a few points on combat characteristics. In most of the quests you can tackle your enemies or talk yourself out of the given situations, and it happens that you can avoid combat entirely by sneaking. However, some fights are unavoidable, and certain...

Editorial Note: Where Are You, CRPG?

I met a guy, someone’s someone, a young one. We talked some, mostly about games, and it turned out, I quote it: “I only played one RPG, Diablo II.” I told him that’s not an RPG, as I know, it was only diversified with a character development system. For this he said, who the f*ck am I to know better? I answered no one, no one, steady on, let D2 be an RPG. That was all. But in real, who am I to tell an opinion? The boy was around sixteen, and I’m playing pen and paper and computer RPGs for seventeen years now. There are approx. 20-22 different role-playing games laying on my shelves with 5-6 strategy games. Some of them are written by my own hand because I just borrowed the originals to translate them for me and my friends. But it is surely more interesting for a Gamedroid-reader that CRPGs were not waiting for long. I was a third grader in high school when I got my first desktop computer, a 286 brought by dad for a piece of homemade salami. It’s display was a small mono Unost television tinkered to be acceptable for the 4-color CGA. Particularly the PC was able to force 16 shades of gray out of this configuration. Well, this stuff saw a lot of interesting thing like STUNTS and POP 1-2, besides such curiosities as Ultima IV, Death Knights of Krynn and at least two parts of the Eye of the Beholder series. So, maybe there are some basic experience behind my opinion. Well, this is enough from the whining framed introduction. Let nostalgia come. Richard Garriott counts as the creator of CRPG with a cute little software titled Akalabeth, which was like ten white lines on black background. Like a dungeon crawling with stickmen. Then nine chapters of the Ultima series was developed from this – one of the most popular Ultimas, the fourth one can be found at the Doggies (www.homeoftheunderdogs.net) in a renewed version. I don’t guarantee it works on Win7, but if it does, you can get to know the feeling of Pen&Paper role-playing games from it. Take, for example, that tiny...

The Witcher 2

The Witcher 2

2014. nov. 13.

Sometimes the question comes into the geek mind: What may you expect from your favorite genre on the actual level of technology? Then a game comes and by overdoing the expectations it pushes this “actual level of technology” into your face. My favorite genre is CRPG, and in their times I considered these games amazing (not going back to the ancient times of gaming): Baldur’s Gate (1998), Arcanum (2001), Morrowind (2002), Arx Fatalis (2003), Fable (2004), a Gothic 3 (2006), Fallout 3 (2008), and now The Witcher 2. In the end of the 90s, Baldur’s Gate showed us what quality means in the CRPG genre. It has predecessors and successors alike, bot for its complex story and excellent playability made it one of the most popular, and later, one of the most remembered games. The second one on the list, Arcanum was not just only freeing the term of “walkable area”, but it offered a flexible development system and can be proud of the most complex dialog system to date. Unfortunately, it was full of bugs. With its huge world Morrowind too was ranked among the free roam role-playing games (like all The Elder Scrolls series). Its graphics (in its time), its system and story served high quality game experience. In spite of this the unlit world of Arx Fatalis brought the style of dungeon crawling back, but in the same time it showed such a movement-based spellcasting system that didn’t just made us forget the narrowness of caves and tunnels, but it seems as if the experimenter mood behind the idea would be missing from newer games. Fable. We can say Fable contained everything that a CRPG must have regarding social opportunities, and that made it the most stylish game on the world. The next one, Gothic 3 showed an exceptional combat system. For example, I was unable to melee effectively, while my kick boxer friend could easily kill even three foes in the same fight, irrespectively of their level. It was because with arches and range estimation in archery, and quick dodges, step-ins and precise strikes the combat system of Gothic 3 stood relatively close to simulating reality. Of course, if you...

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

2014. nov. 11.

Bethesda took a hard row to hoe by trying to revive a legendary series, the Fallout saga of Black Isle. Ancient Fallout fans of the gamer population – who got into this post-apocalyptic, radio active world in 1997 and 1998, Anno Domini – were making grimaces on the first pictures and videos. Most of them were seeing just a post-apocalyptic Oblivion behind the trailers, and this scared off a lot of players even at the beginning. Somewhere I can understand it because the IV. episode of the legendary Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion was dividing RPG fans seriously. After Morrowind, a classic CRPG, Oblivion from the Spring of 2006 was an action-adventure game full of RPG elements. It was disappointing for a lot, so they had the right to be afraid of an “Oblivion with guns!” – quoted from Todd Howard, leading producer of Bethesda. Todd felt like this, but what we got in the end was much more than a new Oblivion with firearms in a nuclear setting! The story and setting of the Fallout series is based on America in the 50s. This was an era of nuclear arms race, silly songs, cold war producing the antagonistic America Dream, exemplary life in a carefree consumer society which raises and feeds perfectly sterile plastic emotions. However, the creator of the Fallout setting, Tim Cain was dare to go further and changed history. The world of Fallout is like a future imagined in the 50s. The main characteristics are the wanton use of nuclear energy, the advancement of technology to a point where robots are serving a softened puppet society and cars are fueled by fusion power, and finally, the frenzied nuclear arms race. Cold war lasted longer than in real, till in 2077 the fear of a world in flames came true. As a requiem of the long war against China, the whole planet was sprinkled with atom bombs. Of course, the American Dream must have not to dissipate, and a chosen lot escaped to underground shelters built by Vault-Tec. Years passed, generations grew up before the huge airlocks opened again, and people could start a new life on the wasted surface of Earth,...