Previews (Warhammer, PC FPS titles)

PC back catalogue

With a gaming PC in the house after a long hiatus, I’ve naturally seeked out demos of interesting PC titles I’ve missed over the years. Some initial impressions, then:

Far Cry: highly interesting. Runs super-smooth with high settings and looks lovely. The sense of freedom is something I haven’t previously experienced in a shooter title and it really feels like you can approach situations any way you care. I was initially lured by the bright, tropical graphics, but the gameplay feels like a winner, too.

I played the demo through obsessively, delighted at how challenging it was. As a sidenote, I remain a fan of the checkpoint system. I don’t want to break my immersion with quicksaves – which often leads me to forgetting to save my progress if the game doesn’t have a checkpoint system. Checkpoints also split the game into bite-size chunks. This demands further play.

FEAR: FEAR is perhaps the PC title I was most looking forward to, but I’m a little disappointed. The controls feel as off as they did with the 360 version (a Monolith mainstay, unfortunately) and the graphics stutter more than they do on the Xbox. I remain intrigued by the premise, so I’ll likely look more into it, but with diminished expectations. It could be I’d be better off with the 360 version, which runs smoother.

Half-Life 2: that’s correct, I haven’t played Half-Life 2 yet, though the original game is among the best games I’ve ever played. I intend to, especially after playing the demo. The game still looks good and runs super-smooth.

Gameplay feels more like, well, playing than running and gunning in the classic FPS sense. With limited ammunition and the environment-manipulating gravity gun, you’re left thinking of other ways to solve the problem of staying alive. The aesthetic design is so cool, too.

Warhammer: Mark Of Chaos

I only briefly treid the demo of the new Warhammer real-time strategy title. It felt a lot like actual, miniatures-based Warhammer, which is only a good thing. I’m not sure, but it looked like they were even playing by the “real” rules. Units are counted in models, not “men”, and that kind of thing. There is an option customize some unit colors, although it would be awesome to be able to actually “paint” the models.

I was worried they’d go the popular Warcraft way of candy colors and high fantasy, but it seems they’ve kept the premise down low and gritty. My other fear was that they’d go all Warcraft on the gameplay, too, with base-building and whatnot, but this seems unfounded. You pick forces, set them up and go at it.

This is very much the way I envisioned a computer-Warhammer back as a kid when playing around with the models. Only that with a computer game, you can field a thousand-strong army and it’ll only cost you the 50€ for the game.






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