Wednesday, 3 March 2010

World in Battlefield or Why the Swedes are Gods of Gaming

It was an otherwise ordinary day in the blogosphere when the wanderer returned; trolls were trolling, noobs were whining and pwners were pwning. All of them stopped, however, when the wanderer revealed himself upon the hillside, his golden armour radiant in the morning sun. Looking down upon the masses, he sneered, and whispered: "I am returned, slaves of mundanity; and I bring VENGEANCE."

Well, here we are again; both ignoring the fact that I have barely thought about blogging for the last few millenia, or at least months. I was inspired to this by an anonymous commenter on my last post mocking my inactivity- WELL, Mr No Name, I will tolerate my own impossible laziness, but I will not tolerate people reading my blog and asking for more content! What is this, some sort of good, professional blog!? Jesus!

Since I appear to be here again, allow me to give my approximately quad-monthly update. This is started (Emperor only knows when it will be finished) two days before the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2; the demo for which, interestingly, I played and enjoyed like no demo since the first Bad Company's. From the demo, I feel confident in saying that this game will be off the chain. It seems to me that what they have done is taken some of Modern Warfare's rather excellent controls and gameplay mechanics, and added them to the already tried and true Battlefield formula. The result? A game with the outstanding vehicular/infantry combat and epic scale of a Battlefield game, but the ultra-tight mechanics and pace of a Call of Duty title; a recipe, I'm sure you'll agree, for southern-fried awesometude. There is a great deal of fun to be had in all aspects of gameplay; fighting as infantry is exhilarating, laying down support as a tank commander empowering and acting like the god of thunder in his war chariot in an attack chopper downright spectacular. The improved environmental destruction now allows for the complete levelling of some buildings, opening a whole new realm of tactics- instead of attacking an objective or enemy directly, bring their cover down around them like an earthquake-whisperer. Truly, I am counting down the hours.

On a slightly related note, I recently purchased Massive Entertainments RTS title World in Conflict. This, too, is a high-quality modern combat game developed by Swedes about Russians invading everything. Perhaps they know something we don't. At any rate, the games portrayal of epic, superpower versus superpower war (it's set in 1989, when the Soviets invade Europe then the US and cause World War 3) is extremely effective both as a gameplay and a story-telling environment. Thanks to the wallet-womping Steam deals, I got both the original game and the Soviet Assault expansion in one fell swoop, so I experience the additional missions viewed from the Soviet side interspersed among the American/NATO campaign of the original game. Both put you in the uniform of a faceless, mute lieutenant, so the stories unfold by the communications within missions of your fellow officers and the start, end and inter-mission cutscenes. Both campaigns have interesting characters- the Americans have the brave, determined colonel and the enthusiastic-but-limited-aptitude captain, while the Soviets have the world-weary, patriarchal commander and the young, zealous and patriotic lieutenant. On both sides, you've got enough military hardware to make even a gun nut like me back down, in the form of infantry, vehicles, tanks and choppers, but, not unlike my beloved Dawn of War 2, the game does away with basebuilding and resource gathering in favour of pure kickass combat. What distinguishes it from other games in the genre, however, is the "Tactical Aid" menu- this is a bar that allows you to call in support in the form of air or artillery strikes of varying magnitude and occasionally airdroppable units, based on your mission performance. This is initially entertaining, but the first time you carpet-bomb the heart out of a Soviet armoured column, you realise the tactical possibilities offered by the tool. Aside from the fact that I am a sucker for any opportunity to stomp some socialists, I reckon this is a damn good game.

I'm not gonna make some sort promise to post more; we both know I've lied to you before. So all I will say is make sure you read this one good, could be a while until you get another.

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