Finally Played the Left 4 Dead Demo

It feels like a good game. It just plays like crap on my computer, and that has tainted the experience. I think it's a nice CO-OP to play with your friends, but once you get it done once or twice, it's not really as good. You have to play it on the highest difficulty, because otherwise you'll complete it, and then you'll be satisfied - if you're keep on trying to beat it, the fun lasts longer. I don't think the versus mode is going to add much in terms of longevity.

I'm a TF2er, as many of you know. Is L4D going to pull me away? I'll probably get the game, so I can play with friends, but from what I'm looking at now, it's going to be a 1 month hit, and then it will disappear if Valve or the community do not make some *good* maps and additional content. This is the sort of game that will only go as far as Valve adds content, because I don't see hospital or something turning out like de_dust2 or 2fort, a map that's just played over and over. But I was cynical to begin with, so I may have bias. I still think I'm going to remain a TF2er until a game like Battlefield 3, or maybe Quake Live, Battlefield Heroes, or Starcraft II, comes along. I haven't played it *that* much, so my opinion still may change.

This game is broken without friends, period. Actually, to put it in more general terms, it's broken if you do not have a microphone, and everyone doesn't have a microphone. It just isn't as fun if you don't. It's the sort of game that requires teamwork to succeed, and not only that, since its smaller than TF2, it's easier to have teamwork.

So what should you take away from this review? Well, it's definitely going to be a good game. So go download the demo, now. But I can't help but maintain some doubt that this game will be the multiplayer success its predecessors were.


What I'm going to get!

*Edited Post*

So now I've eliminated my choices even further down to Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead. I'll probably get both. I'm just waiting to make sure that there is longevity to these games, that a community forms behind them, they have lasting appeal.

There are some games that still have a chance but it seems like they're not going to be successes. Those include Call of Duty World at War, Red Alert 3, GTA IV, Far Cry 2. The general consensus is that these games suck. So I'm not going to take a chance on them...


Need Your Feedback - What to buy?

I can only afford around 2-3 games in the next few months, and I've made a list of potential choices. Give me your opinions on which ones to get, which ones to definitely not get, and which ones I might like, as a primarily FPS and RTS gamer. Oh...and I LOVE multiplayer.

Update: I have removed some of the games, according to the feedback you guys and others have given me.
They include:
- Spore - I hear it gets old quick.
- STALKER Clear Sky - Didn't like the first game, if I buy it, it will be only to admire the scenery. Doesn't run well on my computer anyways.
- Crysis Warhead - Hard to justify paying for a 4 hour campaign, and the multiplayer, I hear, isn't that great.
- Brothers in Arms - I'm not hearing much about it, good or bad, and it doesn't look unique.
- GTA IV - Just doesn't like it's going to appeal much to me. If the online game thrives, only then will I consider it.


Far Cry 2 (9)
Left 4 Dead (8)
Fallout 3 (5)
Red Alert 3 (2)


The Future of RTS Games - RTT?

Here's a couple of predictions and hopes about where I want this genre to go:

+ The rush tactic has got to be eliminated. It doesn't promote serious playing, and often shuts down matches quickly.
+ Battlefields have to accomodate 4-8 (maybe more) different players on several teams - large scale combat with an emphasis on teamwork and cooperation
+ Base building needs to be de-emphasized (maybe just a few structures, or no structures at all), so as to prevent camping by building a ton of base defenses and just letting your resources pile up
+ Micromanagement of units and actual warfare tactics need to be incorporated
+ All units must be useful - all units should have a strength and a weakness and use this strategically
+ Limited resources (or no resources management whatsoever, like a RTT), to prevent swarming with a gigantic tank army
+ Instead of managing individual units, manage a group like in Company of Heroes
+ A tech tree should not exist for units, but rather the units' abilities (from battle experience) or success in the battlefield for special technology (such as air strikes, satellite data, etc.)
+ Emphasize strategic positioning, such as taking particular buildings or territories, or holding a certain fortified structure

In summary, a game needs to be less about producing units and structures and more about using actual strategy. One thing I think is great about Company of Heroes is that you can't just let your units attack a fortified structure, you have to tell it to throw a grenade, a charge, or something of the sort. You have limited units and you have to use them strategically to win. Some distinguish this type of gameplay as a Real Time Tactical (RTT) game, but regardless, I think this is the direction that RTS games need to go in. The same old formula (build base, build base defenses, harvest resources, build big tank army, invade) is obsolete and we need this genre revitalized. Red Alert 3, a game coming out soon, is still guilty of many of these faults. While this style of gameplay can be fun, I think the genre and gaming has evolved and we need to see some smarter games out there.


Multiplayer RTS games - What Makes a Good Game

I've been playing Red Alert 3 all weekend, and while it's pretty much the same old RA2, I think things have changed in the RTS genre and this game, and here are some things that I don't like.

What ticks me off is that you have to defend against 3 possible attack routes - air, ground, and sea. What I generally do is build air and ground defenses, but if the opponent launches an all out attack on those routes, I'm screwed. So If I build ground attacking vehicles, I can own the opponent, but I get screwed when it comes to air combat, because airships can take out my tanks. Ships are powerful, but useless when the opponent moves theyre base inland, so your destroyer army can be screwed over easily.

Some call this balance, but I just hate it now. With something like CoH, where a game was won by better battle management, not by who can building the most units, each game can be different. With Ra3, there's one strategy that you generally use to thwart the enemy, and that's to flood them with units after scouting out their weakness. Sure, that takes some smarts, but for the most part, it's a pretty dumbed down process.

So basically, my beef with Red Alert 3 is that there's not enough variety to the gameplay, and not enough skill are required - there are some units and factions in-game that are noticeably more powerful than any other, and once you know what they are (and how to counter theyre weakness), you're set. I'd like a little more depth to the game.

This is rather ironic, because when I first played CoH, I complained about its depth. Now I think that it's what makes a good game - micromanagement of a limited number of classes and units, for real battlefield simulation.

Also - I HATE RUSHING. It's a cheap tactic, and if both sides do it, it only promotes random deathmatching, stalemates and lucky victories.

The closest I've gotten to starcraft is watching other people play it. How is it in this regard?


System Shock 2 Impressions

Well, well, well - I got SS2 and started playing. Here's what I think about it.

I started the game up, watched a nice intro movie. Then I spent a good 15 minutes doing training - I wish it was more expedient, the voice actors took forever.

Anyways, I soon got to the actual game. So apparently I'm an amnesiac marine, and something has gone "terribly wrong". Cliche plot, but all right, I'll take it.

So I keep on going. I have a sudden urge to pick up every damn item i can get my hands on. That includes the flower pot lying on the counter.

I can barely tell what's going on, because there's fast-paced music blowing, zombies swarming me all over, and my guide is blurting something about a medic station. While I'm fighting one zombie, another one flanks me, and I turn around to fight. I start hitting it with my wrench (I'm conserving ammo, because I'd think the worst is yet to come) and its not falling....then it hits me, and I go down. Then I realize the last time I saved was all the way at the beginning of the level, and I whack myself in the head, quit the game, and decide to blog.

So far, it's looking like an interesting game, though I'm clueless as to what's going on, where I'm supposed to go (I hear something about taking an elevator, but something happened that made that malfunction, so I need to get some energy cell, yadda yadda yadda). It's a little scary at the moment, a zombie appeared out of thin air and spooked me. One thing I don't like is that there are too many rooms, I can barely figure out where I'm supposed to go. I'm the kind of person that explores every last nook and cranny of open world games because I don't want to miss out on something good to pick up. This time, I restrain myself and go through one path, wherever it leads.

Ok, I'm heading back, wish me luck...

Update 1: Ok, I just found out I dont need to use the save/load thing, there's a chamber that respawns me. But I come out with low health. It's also pretty challenging, I've died several times.

Update 2: About another hour into it, and I don't exactly know where to go. I'm in the medical area, trying to find some person.

Update 3: Ok, I figured out where to go, even picked up a shotgun. I'm dying a lot, unfortunately.

Update 4: I'm stuck on the engineering level. I'm looking at a walkthrough.... The game is decent right now, it's definitely very difficult, it's definitely very scary, the graphics are pretty bad (and not varied), the gameplay is pretty mediocre as well (I spend a lot of my time swinging a wrench because I have to conserve my ammo, and it swings ridiculously slow).

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