Tag: Painkiller

First Impressions: Retro Shooter Redux

Courtesy PC Gamer

Back in the day, graphical fidelity on PCs was not really up to rendering 3D environments within simulations. The best they could do back in the mid-90s was some polygons stacked together to make landscapes to fly over in jet simulators. However, clever folks at studios like Apogee and id Software could fool the eye with what was called “2-and-a-half D” to make corridors and courtyards seem like 3D environments. They then filled those corridors and courtyards with squishy Nazis and demons for us to shoot at in games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom respectively. The popularity of first-person shooters exploded, with follow-ups including the medieval-themed Heretic and Hexen and Duke Nukem 3D, back when Duke was still actually kind of funny.

This was long before concepts like “modern military” and “cover-based” would come to dominate the shooter scene. This was before shooters slowed down, when frenetic energy and sudden, panicked 180 swings with a rocket launcher was rewarded with gibbets of enemies and a slew of points instead of some distant would-be teammate calling you something offensive. Some shooters have tried to recapture this feeling – Painkiller springs to mind immediately – but to really come to grips with this difference in gaming, you have to go back to the classics, and that’s exactly what some studios have done.

I’m going to do full reviews of both Rise of the Triad and Shadow Warrior‘s remakes. I know they came out last year, and I know others have covered them. But I want more people to check them out. I want folks to realize that this sort of shooter can be a ton of fun, and you don’t need remote-control drone strikes, glitzy latest-console-generation graphics, or half-baked invasion-of-America-because-they’re-jealous-of-our-freedoms conspiracy theories to justify that fun. And I want to convey more fully the impression I get from playing these games.

And that impression is, Holy shit this is fun as hell!

Games are about having fun. They’re about distracting us from chores and deadlines and every other actual stressor in life. I may enjoy a relaxing round of daily quests or dungeon-delving in World of Warcraft, or a thought-provoking intense game of Hearthstone, but sometimes I just want to blow something the fuck up. I want the thrill of fully automatic weapons, the visceral appeal of a well-timed sword strike, the inherent cool factor of heat-seeking missiles fired from the hip, and a commanding officer I want to pound into oblivion for being a bit of a twat. These games fulfill those urges, and in ways that won’t get me arrested. You should check them out.

I’ll go into more detail in the weeks ahead. I do need to talk about boring stuff like premises, plots, characters, all of that stuff. It’s what I do, after all. But for now: Holy shit they remade Shadow Warrior and Rise of the goddamn Triad and they look great and I’m laughing and it’s fast and fun and OH CRAP NOT-NAZIS ARE SHOOTING AT ME AAAAAAAAAAH

Incoming Extra Life

Courtesy Extra Life

The time is quickly approaching. In less than a month, I will be stockpiling almonds, dried fruit, chocolate, tea, and a great deal of bottled water for a lengthy, arduous, and draining ordeal. It is my intention to stay in this very chair as much as possible, for at least 24 hours, all in the name of children’s health in the city of Philadelphia.

Thankfully, I’ll be playing video games the whole time.

Yes, Extra Life is coming soon! Last year I pulled it off successfully, playing Alpha Protocol and other games (if memory serves, things got weird after hour 16 or so) for 24 hours and raising $250 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This year, I will be representing CHOP once again, and since I missed out on an opportunity to play Guild Wars 2 as part of a group, I’ll be doing my own thing for the second year in a row.

But which game to play? I’ve given serious consideration to a couple and narrowed my choices down somewhat. I’m not going to do any multiplayer games as waiting in queues is not playing. I also would like to have some sort of live, social component to the gameplay. At the very least liveblogging via Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and possibly streaming with Twitch. But I can iron out those details in the weeks to come. First and foremost, here are my top picks for Extra Life 2012.

Wing Commander (and sequels?)

I have to wonder if this old favorite is as good as I remember it being. Space flight sims are few and far between these days, and Wing Commander still boasts a dynamic, branching storyline, interesting and well-rounded characters, and evolving combat that simulate experiences like those from Battlestar Galactica. I want to see if the game (and, time permitting, at least its first sequel) stand the test of time.

LA Noire

This has been on my “to-play” list for a very long time. I’m torn between it and the Assassin’s Creed games I haven’t played yet (Brotherhood & Revelations) but I think LA Noire wins due to the style of the period and the prospect of thinking my way through interrogation scenes. Not to mention the fun of people yelling at me when I let a suspect go or start smacking a witness around. It would tie in nicely to those detective novellas I’m writing. Sadly, LA Noire has no vampires in it. That I’m aware of, at least.

Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013

I already started up the campaign for this game, but I do have the expansion, the rest of the main story, both revenge campaigns, Challenges, Planechase, and general deck management dickery to do. Of course if I run out of all of that stuff I can break my “no live games” rule and just play Magic Online to fill out the time.

Painkiller HD

If anything is liable to keep me awake for 24 hours straight, it’s blasting legions of the damned with a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning.

FTL

If you’re not aware of this little indy gem, you should check out these video looks at the game. It’s a Rogue-like game, hardcore in its approach, with permadeath, random events, surprisingly intense combat, and interesting decision-making. Plus I may let people name the characters on new ships! Then cackle when fan favorites bite the dust. Remember, it’s for the kids.

XCOM Enemy Unknown

I talked about this yesterday and I couldn’t be more excited to play the full game. However, I’d hold off on touching it at all if this is the way I decide to go. Oh, I’ll pre-order it regardless, but I won’t play it until the event begins.

So. Want to help me out?

The poll you’re seeing to your right includes the above games. If you like, you can pick one for me to play on October 20th! I’ll make my decision and lay out a plan of attack next week, in addition to updating my Extra Life profile and giving you all the information you need to donate, tune in, and watch me slowly destroy myself in the name of video games and charity. It should be loads of fun!

© 2021 Blue Ink Alchemy

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑