“Don’t get out of here, Stalker.” The Bucket Edition

I’ve come out of hibernation and college finals to say not just a few words, but many. As a response to mistermcconnell’s post about the possible closing of GSC Game World, I am also posting to honor the glory of the STALKER series…

And to the hope that STALKER 2 will one day grace the earth from the depths of Chernobyl.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl

The first game is set in 2012, within “The Zone” surrounding Chernobyl. Many highly valuable artifacts are to be looted, factions to befriend or fight-off, mutated packs of dogs to be avoided, and odd-jobs to be completed. Here, you are injected into an RPG/FPS hybrid of a very cool sandbox-styled way to play.

You wake up with amnesia, after being found among dead bodies with a tattoo of “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.” on your right arm. On you was found a PDA that merely says, “Kill Strelok.” So what do you do? You were found among dead bodies as the only one living, have amnesia, are among the desolate void called The Zone, and seem to have left yourself a message from the other-side: kill some dude.

That is the main plot: Find Strelok, and find out who you are. The rest of the game is made up of side-quests with missions between factions that exist in The Zone.

Factions/Groups:
Military
Stalkers
Bandits
Duty Faction
Freedom Faction

Factions: Join them, kill them, or be neutral

Duty are the a-holes that wish to bring order to The Zone, and so they treat everybody who isn’t Duty like scum. You suck, and you are not allowed here. This is ours, and we are protecting the outside world from The Zone. At the Duty base, there is also the infamous Duty member who stares at you and never stops repeating these exact words: “Get out of here, Stalker.” “Get out of here, Stalker.” “Get out of here, Stalker.”

Then there is Freedom, and they are the surfer hippies of The Zone. Peace, love, and freedom. You will almost always hear Freedom members say, “Dude.” Pretty cool cats, even if sounding retarded half of the time.

What about the mutants? Enough about the people.

The Bloodsucker

Mutated Vampire from Hell

This thing will scare the hell out of everybody the first time you see it underground, as you are fleeing military personnel.

Timeline of Blood Sucker confrontation:
“I just see floating eyeballs.” 1 second
“I see bouncing eyeballs and weird huffing.” 2 seconds
“WHAT IN THE TRIPLE FFFFFFFFFFF” 3 seconds

Later, once you know what they are, you just tell yourself “Oh God, I’m going to die” and start shooting fully-automatic silver bullets out the ass.

Now, that is just one special case. Aren’t there more? Why yes. Yes there are.

Homeless Man from The Sewers

What about ugly, homeless men? They have the power to psychically transfer their PTSD to you by merely staring at you. The screen zooms in on his horrid face and personal trauma, with the ensuing migraines damaging your health. Every time you try to do something, you can’t help but zoom in and stare at his horridly-malnourished face of pure evil. You better learn the “quicksave” key early in the game, or mutated squid-faced vampires will ruin you with the help of homeless madmen.

The game is an amazing experience, and should be played if you have never come across it. For newcomers to STALKER, and old, I wholeheartedly endorse this mod as it fixes many bugs/glitches and upgrades many aspects of the game (graphics, physics, awesomeness, etc.). That link was the direct address to the installer, while here is the summary outlining its awesome powers.

That is just the first game out of the three that have been released, and I cannot say enough about the game and it’s series. Maybe I will post again to touch on the other two games? With that said, I truly hope STALKER 2 can either be completed or picked up by a reputable gaming company for its release to the world.

–Side Note–
All pictures have been used from THQ’s website, which at the moment that I post this, just has a big image stating “Strap it On” with people falling through the air and wielding guns for Saints Row 3. This is an example of why we need more STALKER. Thank you.

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“Don’t get out of here, Stalker.” A plea from a S.T.A.L.K.E.R fan

Shit.

I just heard that GSC Game World may possibly be closing. This is a huge disappointment because the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series was incredible on almost every level.

Anyone who has played  the first game of the series should know about the “Get out of here, Stalker.” glitch that occurs in the Duty base.  Gah. I’ve got so many fond memories with this game series. I also heard they announced another sequel that they were going to completely redo and overhaul everything in the game. But the future is uncertain for the sequel now that they are closing. I just hope some shitty studio doesn’t get a hold of the rights and completely destroy the game I know and love.

I am sad.

Rick Perry – The biggest asshole ever

 

What in the goddamn hell is he talking about?

A war on religion? Obama has repeatedly confirmed that he is a religious man. And for a long time (and even to this day) a lot of Conservatives called Obama a closet Muslim, and they also constantly complained about that crazy Christian pastor.

Anyways, I’ve had some problems with The Witcher AND Red Faction. So once that’s sorted out then I will have a review for both up. Bleh. Check back soon.

Review of Operation Flashpoint:Dragon Rising

Well.

Playing this game in multiplayer with a couple friends over Skype or Ventrilo is actually a genuinely fun, deep, and engaging experience that requires patience, strategy, and some pretty good skill with the FPS genre.

However, playing this game by yourself will definitely cause a blood vessel in your brain to burst.

When I played the game in multiplayer mode with two other friends, it was an absolute blast. Sure there were some tedious and slightly annoying moments; but overall the sessions were pretty enjoyable. If you and your friends can work together and keep your heads on straight, then this game is definitely for you.The multiplayer is fantastic as it offers a lot of replay value and kept me and my friends coming back for more.

I mentioned earlier that there were some annoying parts. Well, one of them was that even though we were playing on the “normal” difficulty, and we would receive checkpoint saves during missions; whenever all of us were killed off the game would completely restart the mission from the beginning. This is a gigantic pain in the ass because the levels are massive, and there are tons of objectives that you typically have to walk/run to and they are usually a damn good distance apart from each other.

I’ll give an example using the shittiest drawing ever:

Okay. So we complete objective A. And then we hike our asses all the way over to B, complete it, and then hike all the way over to C. Alright. Great. So now we backtrack past B and head to D. But the shit hits the fan shortly before D and we get killed. Shortly after completing objective C the game informs us that we reached a checkpoint. But when we die before reaching D, the game does not load the checkpoint. It instead decides to take a giant shit on us and completely restart the mission from the beginning.

Yep.

The game looks pretty nice, I don’t really have any complaints about the graphics engine.Although on some levels a really thick, orange fog sets in like it’s the setting of a Romero zombie film.

If you have the patience for a couple minor bugs, and the rather high learning curve and difficulty level that this game brings; then you’ll love jumping into a game with a few friends. If you’re impatient and prefer something similar to Modern Warfare 2 or Halo, then you’re probably better off staying away from Operation Flashpoint.

Anyways, on to the singleplayer.

The AI completely takes away from the experience.

The bullshit robot responses and orders that everyone gives also takes away from the experience. “ECHO, NINER, ONE ZERO F ALPHA, MOVE TO GRID, DELTA, Z SIX FOXTROT”

And that’s how your character says almost everything. The only time any of them sounds even remotely normal is when they are being shot at and they yell and shout.

Returning to what I said earlier, in most of the missions there is a lot of ground to cover and a serious lack of vehicles. In most of my game sessions whether it was online or offline I ended up having to trek for what felt like miles and miles across the maps to finally reach my intended destination. There were times when it didn’t feel like I was playing an “intense and highly tactical FPS” but a simulation of the Native American Trail of Tears.

Most of the time I spent walking and running to the next objective, only to be instantly one-shot killed from several hundred meters away by a nearly invisible enemy. At this point the game would reload to the beginning of the mission and not the checkpoint, and I would fill my diaper with an aggravated shit.

Now that I think about it, I think this slightly less shitty drawing is more accurate:

The game also has a ton of menus, and a good number of them seem to just be there for looks. The menu I click through at the beginning of the video shows the loadout of your character, but you can’t really do anything with any of it. You can just hover your mouse over the icons and get a brief description of what a gun does, or what a first aid kit is used for. Yeah.

Anyways, the multiplayer is great. But if you’re looking for a rich and rewarding singleplayer experience you’re looking in the wrong place. Because Dragon Rising’s singleplayer is just plagued with shitty bumbling AI, and kind of a lame story that’s more of a backdrop for the action than something that should be taken seriously or even really paid attention to.

Come for the multiplayer. Don’t even try singleplayer unless you just want a laugh.

*Image courtesy of Google, video courtesy of me

This weekend on M and fuckin’ D (Update)

The weekend I thought was going to be completely free ended up being packed with bullshit. So I will be uploading the videos and posting the reviews tomorrow afternoon because I suck.

Since I’ve delivered on everything else pretty well recently, you can take that shit to THE BANK.

 

Reviews/videos of Mafia 2, Mirror’s Edge, Magicka, and Operation Flashpoint – Dragon Rising will be thrown at your faces. And part 2 of the Phat Boyz – Paint the Town Phat.

                                 Italian Sausage Fest 2
                                               This game is actually really great

                                 “Mah name’s uh Faith and I’m uh ninja”

                                I am going to destroy this fucking game.

One of them should be up tonight. The other three will be up either Saturday or Sunday.

*Images courtesy of Google ‘n stuff*

Review of Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a fantastic game.

You play as Artyom, a young man that was born after the “Great War” engulfed the entire world in atomic flames. The game is set in 2033, and it closely follows the storyline that author Dmitry Glukhovsky wrote with the same name. Since I had never read the book and I knew very little about the game I was completely unaware of what I was in for.

Clearly this video shows that I don’t handle pitch-black tunnels very well. Especially pitch-black tunnels filled with crazed mutant monsters running around, snarling at me and trying to eat my face at every opportunity.

I finished the game just the other night and I can honestly say it was one of the better experiences I’ve had in my video game playing career. The visual styles, art, and effects in the game were superb. Although I must say the AI was a bit off a times, and some of the animations were a bit stiff. But that’s fine, because these are small nitpicks at a glorious and great game that otherwise is flawless in my opinion.

Taking the gas mask on and off added a level of immersion that I really liked. Having to constantly check my wristwatch to make sure I wasn’t about to die, and having to swap out my gas mask filters were also very nice touches that pulled me deeper into the experience.

Warning: I screamed pretty loud in this video. Make sure your volume isn’t really high or your eardrums will burst and blood will spew out all over your monitor(s).

Most games don’t make me scream like a girl. Except Amnesia. And we’re not talking about Amnesia. Not now. Not tonight.

Anyways. The atmosphere of the game is brilliantly done. Artyom is a silent protagonist. Which in some cases works to the benefit of the game, but at other times it takes away from the experience for just a moment.

For example:

A character says something directly to Artyom. Perhaps a questions.

“Artyom? So where are you from?”

At this point, you stare at the person asking you and you cannot respond; Artyom does not respond. In fact another character (typically an ally) will speak up for Artyom. Which makes me wonder how the hell Artyom ever got anything accomplished if he never speaks to anyone, even when spoken to directly.

“Artyom! The monsters are coming grab a gun and let’s go!”

“…”

“Artyom you son of a bitch let’s goooo! Did you grab a gun!?”

“…”

And then everyone would die as a result of Artyom and his lack of communication with everyone and everything.

But then there are other times where it works to it’s advantage and benefit. Because it continues to take you deeper down the rabbit hole.

For example:

Something bat shit coo-coo bananas happens. You’re ambushed and somebody in your group is killed and another is dragged off or wounded. When the smoke clears and everything goes quiet again, someone will look at you and say something similar to “Wow Artyom, that got pretty hectic, huh?”

At this point I will say “Hot fuck. Yeah. We almost died man.” to my computer screen. This gives a slightly more engaging experience because Artyom probably doesn’t have words for what just happened. But I do. So instead of hearing Artyom mutter “Yeah man you ain’t kiddin’.” I just blurt out “Hot fuck. Yeah. We almost died man.”

Oh yeah I think I screamed in this one too.

I loved everything about this game. It had a few minor flaws, and there were a few moments where these flaws slightly, if momentarily took away from the experience. But as I said they were brief, and soon after I was talking to my computer screen and shouting and screaming.

If you are a fan of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series or Fallout 3, you may enjoy this game. Although I would recommend this to S.T.A.L.K.E.R fans over Fallout 3 fans simply because apart from the post-apocalyptic setting, Fallout and this game don’t have much else in common.

Another odd thing about this game is that the in-game currency is high grade military ammunition. Not money. Not bottle caps. Just high grade ammunition. It’s a bit weird at first, because the only way you can tell the difference between the low grade ammo you use to shoot mutants with, and the high grade is that the high grade is slightly shinier than the low grade. And for whatever reason if you hold the R key for an extra second or so you will actually load your military grade ammo into the gun you’re currently using. Which is nice, because the high grade ammo does a lot more damage, but at the same time it’s used as currency. So at one point I loaded the high grade ammo into my assault rifle and kicked ass for a while. But when I moved onto a new metro station I didn’t have any way to purchase med-kits or gas mask filters. Or anything.

“YAHOOO I DUN KILLED DEM MUTANTS WIT’ DIS HERE HIGH GRADE AMMU-NISHIN. OHHHH BAY-BAY LOOK AT DEM CORPSES SMOKE.”

“And now you can’t afford to buy anything back at the station. Good job shit head.”

Also, I fucking love those Russian accents. It makes the game that much better. Cori and I briefly picked up on the Russian accent and used it while playing Bad Company 2.

I’d jump up in the air and fire a rocket from my RPG and shout “IZ RUSSIAN, NO?” and he’d ragdoll across the screen. Good times.

Evolution of the GTA series – GTA IV DLC

Right.

So in the Lost and Damned, you play as Johnny Klebitz. A kick ass mean muggin’ biker with a slightly goofy Southern accent. And he’s Jewish. A Southern Jew.

In the real world Johnny Klebitz would never be able to function as a Southern-Jew-Rebel-Biker-Rascist-Criminal-Financial Advisor.

Uh. Yep.

So. You play as Johnny and he is a high ranking member in the biker gang “the Lost MC” or just “The Lost” for short. The Lost get into all sorts of shenanigans, such as illegal motorcycle street racing, illegal beating of rival gang members and civilians that get in their way, and illegal shooting of police officers and rival gang members. Also, they smoke and sell crystal meth.

Yep. Good ol’ bikers. Anyways. The Lost and Damned is packed with fist fights, gun fights, and lots of violence. I really liked the development of Johnny as he turned into a loyal member of the Lost that took orders without question, to a member of the Lost that began to question his leader’s motives and decisions.

The rest of the characters are just pissed off most of the game, and they hurl insults at one another.  But the other characters aren’t important so I won’t talk about them. Like I said they’re just pissed off.

I won’t stay on the Lost and Damned for long because Johnny is my least favorite GTA protagonist so far. Because of his thick Southern accent.

That’s it.

Anyways. I did enjoy the Lost and Damned, but the missions felt sort of recycled. This was a big problem in GTA IV, because every third or fourth mission you went on you would simply barge into a warehouse (or a similar, large and decrepit looking building) and then you would proceed to gun down dozens of armed men. And then you’d leave with Roman, or Little Jacob, or some other similar ally and that was the mission. I mean they were fun the first few times. “Oh. Okay we’re going to this large warehouse and we’re gonna get into the SHIT.” And then Niko dives over the hood of a car and then blind-fires over the roof and screams “FUUUUUUUU-HUUUUCK YOU!”

But then you do the same thing repeatedly in the Lost and Damned. Bleh. I guess it just got a bit repetitive. If you really dug the shoot-up-a-warehouse-full-of-bad-guys thing in GTA IV then you’ll probably love the Lost and Damned.

Anyways. The Ballad of Gay Tony was much better in comparison to the Lost and Damned.

Well. The Ballad of Gay Tony has clubs. That was the selling point. Go in and dance and mingle and listen to the super fly electro songs boom out of the stereos. That’s all it took. I like BoGT A LOT more than LatD. The storyline is a bit more interesting, and the characters are fantastic. The character Yusuf is my favorite because of his ridiculous antics.

Yep.

BoGT also brought back something great from San Andreas that GTA IV left behind.

Parachutes.

It also brought back some more of the more ridiculous missions that remind me of the old games. Like pushing a guy that is afraid of heights out of a moving helicopter; so that you can dive out and fly down after him. All of this so you can get information out of him. It reminds me of the SA mission where you tie a mobster to the front of your convertible then drive on the freeway into oncoming traffic to get information out of him as well.

The ridiculous characters, missions, and storyline all tied together to give a much better experience over LatD.

*images courtesy of Google*