Tuesday, 20 September 2011

We Get Signal

Postnihilist here.

I just started graduate school, so I haven't been able to game very much. Also the wireless here won't let me either torrent or log onto Steam, so that's a hindrance. My gaming has been absorbed mainly be Mount and Blade with Fire and Sword, and a bit of Far Cry 1.

Far Cry is a great game. I've beaten it twice before, I had thought on the highest difficulty. But I'd enabled something called "Auto AI Balance" which apparently causes the difficulty to downgrade. I don't think I had it enabled the whole time, but either way, it's dubious that I ever beat the whole game on the highest difficulty. I'm trying to now and it seems harder than I remember.

The game has an intuitive, easy to use stealth system which enables game-play. Also you can carry 4 weapons, which is just more fun than the standard two weapon system. There's a real free-form element to game-play. You can approach enemy encampments from several directions usually, or sometimes bypass some enemies entirely. If you bring up your binoculars and scroll over enemies they get added onto your radar, the explanation for which in-game is a bit dodgy but not quite stupid, and either way it's an effective and fun feature. The guns handle well enough, and on high difficulty the lethality of enemies is so extreme that you need to be very careful and approach situations thoughtfully and tactically. I recommend it if you can deal with the somewhat dated graphics. It's also a very long game, which is in this game's case a good thing. The action is only occasionally repetitive, and they put you in a very wide variety of tactical situations.

Mount and Blade with Fire and Sword is a really unique game from my point of view. I finally managed to get a castle rewarded to me by the Crimean Khanate; it took long enough. I'd laid siege to and taken over several castles entirely on my own and eventually I got one rewarded to me. More importantly I got elected as my faction's marshal, so I get to lead the armies fielded by the Crimean lords. Finally our faction is making serious gains under my leadership; we're about to eliminate the Cossack Hetmanate.

There is too much to say about MBwFaS to get into here. The thing is the game format just doesn't have an easy analogue in my gaming experience and vocabulary, so I would have to detail most everything about it to give a proper explanation. One thing I can say is that it has the biggest learning curve of almost any game I've played, and there is also little help to be found online. Still, I'm having tons of fun with it (sort of surprising given how inherently repetitive the action is), so I recommend giving it a serious try if you're not turned off by having to use a clunky interface to have a unique gaming experience.

Keep gaming, it's good for you.