Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Geez, the zombie apocalypse is tough shit…how do I know? … I’ve been there, and died…quite often actually. If you want to find out yourself how tough surviving the zombie apocalypse is you need to get the free mod for Armed Assault2: Combined Operations called “DayZ”. Yes, it’s free (if you already own ArmA2 + Arma2: Operation Arrowhead= ArmA2: Combined Operations).

You’ll start the game somewhere along the coast of fictional Chernanus, 225 km² of open world post-soviet territory, with basically nothing but some painkillers, a bandage and an empty backpack.

Right now you are pretty save, there’s no one around and you are well fed, but problems will start soon enough and then it is all about survival. For example if it starts to rain, you’ll get wet. Being exposed to rain for too long causes your body temperature to drop and results in a cold or an infection. With a cold your body will shake and with an infection you will sneeze & cough and lose health. The best thing to do is get somewhere inside and don’t get wet at all. Next problem 🙂 to get inside you’ll have to find a house which is likely to find in a populated area. Thing with populated areas in Chernanus is, you won’t find a living soul there…but many infected roaming the streets.
So you got wet and need to heat up. How do you accomplish this task with no materials to e.g. start a fire. You get the drift 🙂 And this is only staying warm. Your character needs to eat and drink regularly. Your only choice is to carefully head into the villages & towns to search for loot that might keep you alive for another day…if your lucky. Because there are two different enemies that try to prevent you to make it another day.

First, the obious ones. As soon as you approach houses you’ll notice all kinds of walking deads nearby. Depending on how careful you move you’ll get noticed or not. You can lay low and crawl without making a noise or you can run and be seen like a lighthouse in pitch black night. The zombies make nasty sounds that really freak you out, especially when you crawled all the way into a building, hoping to find useful loot (being frustrated because there were only empty tin cans) and you hear loads of zombies growling and moaning as they pass the only door. Once zombies discovered you have three options: run, die or fight. Usually it’s one of the first two 🙂 because if you’re lucky to have a gun already, every gunshot will attract more zombies and is more of a last resort option.

Second, other players. You are not the only one trying to survive, so eventually you will meet other players. “Oh great, other players…one is always stronger in a team than alone” That might be the truth, but first of all you’ll have to figure out if that player you met is a Mr Nice Guy or a so called bandit. Bandits are player who have murdered other players for loot…or fun. I mean, this is the freakin zombie apocalypse, anything can happen. I experienced that a “Shoot first, ask later” mentality has established on the servers and after being shot several times although being unarmed and approaching as friendly as possible, the next player I see gets some lead 🙂 Sorry bro!

“So why is it so important to stay alive? Can’t you respawn?” – No, you can’t! And that makes this game so thrilling, realistic and frustrating at the same time. Once you’re dead you’ve got to start all over again. So many times I felt like deleting this game because I had a great character with lots of supplies and “boom” – you’re dead. And as it is still an Alpha there are bugs that sometimes make you lose your stuff or life, but hey…it’s an alpha and already awesome! So I can’t wait until it is finished! And no, I’m not deleting the game, because each time you die you also want to know: can I do better this time? And make experiences like this one

After 4 days of surviving on my last character, i finally died. I thought that i would be searching for weapons and supplies for hours. But i had quite a good start. I started at one of the spawns and instead of running across the coast like i usually do, i decided to run over a hill. I spotted a fire station and ran straight into it. I found an AKM (i think that’s what it’s called) and a nice amount of ammo. Within 5 minutes i found a town and looted the supermarket for binoculars, a watch, an ALICE pack, and some food and water.

When i found a cafe, i walked upstairs and to my horror, i found a dead player. This instantly made me think to get out of the town ASAP, but i had not searched any of the other buildings yet. Determined to find items but worried at the same time, i slowly moved into each building expecting to get a clip emptied into my face. I went back to the supermarket to double check if i had missed anything. As soon as i looked out the back of the supermarket…. Another dead body. It was now time for me to leave this town, seeing as it was the luckiest start i have had while playing this game!

For those who haven’t played ArmA2. Not only that there’s a huge open world with 30% accessible buildings, mountains and forests…there is also a weather and day/night cycle. It’s being used by militaries all over the world as simulator software and now, your first zombie apocalypse simulator 😀 you can shoot, loot, kill, die, make fire, set traps, hunt & gut animals, set up tents, use maps, repair vehicles, drive, fly…you name it!

In February 2011 a friend showed me “THE” trailer of Dead Island and I was blown away 🙂 this game had to be awesome. Soon more info leaked and I was sure to buy this game as soon as possible. As we all know things never go the way you expect them to go, so instead of September I got it a few weeks ago.

The game takes place on the fictional but nontheless beautiful island of Banoi, a holiday paradise. At the beginning you can choose out of four different characters, each with its own biographies and skills. Once I chose to be “Sam B.”, a one-hit-wonder rap star but quite a tough guy, I woke up in a room of the Royal Palms Resort, only to find the hotel pretty much devestated. On your way out of the building you have a first encounter with zombies, luckily you get rescued by other survivors who’ll take you to the life guard station down at the beach. From there on your mission is pretty clear: find a way out of this zombie apocalypse! To finally get of the island you have to do many quests as the plot evolves.

First, you have to fight your way to a life guard tower which, as a fenced complex, functions as your first home base in the game. Once you clear out the complex, the group of fellow survivors moves in. By talking to them you’ll get assigned to many different quests. There are important quests which will bring the plot forward and side quests which you can do for fun and experience points. Yes! Although a First Person Shooter you can gather XP and deploy them to certain skills.

There are plenty of quests and vary from “find out if  my husband is ok” to “gather supplies and gas at this gas station” over to “finish an SOS sign made out of suitcases on a hill”….does sound a little like “go out, kill zombies and bring something back” to you? You’re right, and I must admit I skipped a few side quests during the end of the game, but hey, still a great game 🙂

And here’s another reason why: how many ways to kill a zombie? Well Dead Island covers quite a lot. You can use many different things as weapons: baseball bats, hammers, iron rods, knives, broomsticks, paddles. Of course there are axes, machetes, sickles, shotguns, assault rifles, pistols, grenades, molotovs. You can crush skulls, amputate limbs, set them on fire, blow’em up, throw knives at them, run them over with a car….you can even (neat little detail) get the special skill to stomp on a zombie’s head once you brought him down.

You better be careful and take care of your weapons though…ammo is scarce (at least at the beginning) and your melee weapons wear down after bashing to many heads. Luckily you can repair or even mod/upgrade your weapons at a workbench. Now here’s a little detail which I didn’t like. Out in the zombie world one can gather many usefull things e.g. duct tape, batteries etc. You can also gather money….and with this money you go to a workbench and repair your items…”WHAT???” – Yes! You don’t see anybody walking around in Fallout repairing at a workbench with money, unless there is a person who fixes it for you.
While we’re at it, I don’t like the way you can restore health in Dead Island. There are medkits of course, which is fine, but more often you heal yourself by drinking energydrinks or eating fruits…I mean “Come on!” The only unrealistic thing in a zombie game should be the zombie apocalypse, everything else should fairly realistic.

Apart from the last two mentioned details Dead Island still kicks ass! The successor Dead Island: Riptide is already announced, where it will take place or any other details isn’t out yet.

If you haven’t seen anything yet, watch the famous trailer now!

Last Light – Enter the Metro is a moody short film following the post-nuclear scenario of the game Metro: Last Light which should appear 2013. Metro: Last Light will be the long anticipated sequel to Metro 2033 which was released in 2010. I got Metro 2033 on my list for a blogpost itself, so stay tuned 🙂

I’ve done it again 🙂 I just backed Dead State, a zombie survival game, on Kickstarter with 15 $ which entitles me to a downloadable copy of the game once it’s finished (Hooray, can’t wait, but backers of to be patient). Dead State will be an RPG set in the fictional town of Splendid, Texas. You and your group of survivors have barricaded in the school of Splendid. You, as the leader of the group, can assign jobs to e.g. fortify the shelter or assign someone as a chef (which leads to a boost of morale because of better food etc.). Eventually you will have to head out to scavenge for supplies.
Interaction between you and NPCs is a key factor during gameplay. In general, the focus of this game is you and the fight for survival in general, not the zombie killing itself. If you have to kill zombies (rest assured it definately will happen), it is going to happen round based which I, as a great fan of Fallout and Jagged Alliance, think is great. A fog of war will add extra moody atmosphere…but why am I talking/writing all this….DoubleBear Productions has made a very informative video


You can make your pledge right here:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/70755535/dead-state-the-zombie-survival-rpg

So after reviewing the comic books and tv show of “The Walking Dead” now it is time to mention something about the spanking new computer game by Telltale Games. It is an adventure game set in the zombie apocalypse of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

You get to play as Lee Everett, who’s about to serve his sentence in a Georgia prison outside Atlanta. When the cop hit’s a zombie prison all of a sudden is not a big deal anymore. Now it is time to talk to & rescue people, make the right decisions, smack some zombies in the head with a hammer (or a screwdriver, or an axe, or a car, or….) and solve the occasional puzzle. This will happen over 5 episodes, from which at this time you can play the first straight away. The other four will be available to you on a monthly basis.

So what’s my opinion on this? Hmm, I am not completly satisfied so far, but on the other side it was only the first episode I played. I like the idea of a zombie adventure game and some features were quite nice, but I am expecting more in the next four episodes to make it worth my 25 bucks.

So while we are at promoting stuff 🙂 here is another great project which doesn’t only need publicity but your direct help…only if you want to of course and there is something in it for you aswell. In the 1980’s Wasteland was a revolutionary game, set in a post-apocalyptic south-west America. It set new standards for the whole RPG genre which are still important today e.g. choices you make will present you as good or bad to NPCs etc. To be honest with you I haven’t played Wasteland yet, but it always popped up and was out there as the foundation of Fallout and many other great games. So without hesitation I backed the project to produce a sequel. Please at least checkout the info on kickstarter and spread the word. I want this game 😀 and if you feel the same, throw in 15 bucks and get a downloadable copy of the game.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/wasteland-2

Now here is an awesome indie game I’d like to present today. I’ve come across Project Zomboid a few months now and been hooked up since. The idea behind this game is big and I think it’s (gifted) developers have achieved a lot. Basically, all you have to do is to survive the Zombie Apocalypse and I am afraid to tell you…eventually you will die 😦 sorry ’bout that! Question is, how long will you survive 🙂 and what tools, what skills and what tactics does it take to survive as long as possible.

The developers of Project Zomboid want to make the game as real as possible (of course without sacrifying detail over fun…no need to virtually go to the toilet), so your character has to sleep, drink & eat, is scared and feels pain, but he also is creative, reinforces doors & windows, builds molotov cocktails and uses homemade and found weapons. With a smart interface you can combine object and tools to build the stuff you need, take care of your wounds and dress the latest zompocalypse fashion 😉 the game principal is as easy as it is brilliant, all you have to do is survive (as long as possible).

Compared to the new fancy Dead Island  graphics PZ comes along with a rather simple appearance. You control your character from an isometric perspective in a pretty much oldschool world of pixels, but again: simple=brilliant. Project Zomboid is the perfect example for gameplay beats graphics. So support this bunch of zombie pixel pioneers and get their game while it is stil in development mode. They get the funds to take it a step further and you get it cheap plus free lifetime updates. If your not quite sure, get the free demo and see how long it takes you to die out there 🙂

And of course, here is a nice trailer to give you a quick insight 🙂

Left 4 Dead – a survival fps

Posted: January 3, 2012 in Games, Zombies

Although the likelihood of an apocalyptic pandemic by the Zombie Virus might be a rather small one, I found it very thrilling…probably the most thrilling of all (is thrilling the right word, regarding we are talking about the end of the world?…who cares). While most other post-apocalyptic scenarios contain a huge death toll, a hazardous environment (such as contaminated areas), food shortage, breakdown of civilisation and infrastructure, rivaling groups fighting for the last resources…the Zombie Apocalypse has one extra feature that spices everything up! Exactly! Zombies! The world is a totally different one when everybody who used to be all of a sudden wants a bite of you.

The Zombie Outbreak of Left 4 Dead (2008) is a little different to most movies & games. While one bite usually means certain death, our four protagonists are immune to the virus, which only helps a little if everybody else is turned into an extreme aggressive mindless freak. This difference results in basing the virus on a rabies-like pathogen (like in Quarantine) rather than on Solanum (like in Dawn of the Dead).
Two weeks after the first infection, Bill, Zoey, Francis and Louis are trapped on the roof of an apartment building surrounded by zombies. Not only that, they just found out that some of the infected have mutated and gained special abilities (more to that later). Now the normal infected are the easy ones to fight off.

Before I get to the gameplay, just as important: the atmosphere of the game. The game developers put very much effort in creating the feel for a post-apocalyptic atmosphere and succeeded with flying colours. It is dark and chaotic, sometimes your torch is the only illumination you have (and when you knock back a zombie it points to up the ceiling, leaving you unaware for a second where the next one might come from). The levels contain so many details, starting with the “US Army Survival Handbook” next to a dead body on the very first roof top to graffitis in the safe rooms along the way, telling stories of other survivors. When you hit a car with an alarm your adrenalin just rushes through your veins as the horde of zombies rushes attracted by the noice.

So they decide to leave the roof and fight their way through to an evacuation zone on top of the Mercy Hospital . This is the first campaign of Left 4 Dead. Each campaign is supdivided into several chapters. In this case the way from the roof-top to the nearest subway station(1), through the subway tunnels(2) to a different building, across the city streets and sewers to the hospital(3),  through the hospital (4) and a grand final battle on the roof top (5)before the helicopter evacuates them.

You can play this in singleplayer modus, but the fun starts when you play it in multiplayer modus as playing as a team rewards you with…well, survival 🙂 because this is where the special infected and their abilities come into action.
For example there is the hunter, a quick zombie that pounces from roof tops and knocks it’s victims off their feet. Once on them it furiously gashs their face and chest open and has to be either killed or shoved of the helpless victim by a team member.
I just wrote “the fun starts”…can this be exceeded? Four human players fighting of hordes of zombies and mean special infected, acting as a team to survive is just the starting part? Well, my favourite game mode is called “Versus” and it takes eight human players for that. Four playing as the  humans and the other four as special infected. It takes lots of teamplay and strategy to bring down the surviving team, but so does staying alive. Each team plays each chapter once as survivors and once as infected, depending on how far each team got as the survivors points are given out and the team with most points at the end of the campaign wins.

So who doesn’t know this game, here is the Trailer & Intro movie which is a great peace of cinematic art in itself…and leaves you right at the roof top where it all starts.

Fallout 1: The game

Posted: December 31, 2011 in Games, Nuclear War

War, War never changes

With these famous words the story of Fallout starts. The entire earth has almost been completly devasted in a nuclear war in 2077 which was fought between the USA and China over oil and uranium sources. Those who didn’t die instantly or a slow death of radiation had to survive in a post-nuclear wasteland. Soon they formed new settlements and founded new groups, gangs and tribes. Another group of a lucky few found shelter in several vaults built around the US.

It is 2161 in Southern California and Vault 13’s computer system fails! The vault’s water chip, responsible for pumping and recycling water breaks and it is the protagonists task to find a replacement. You, the Vault Dweller, have 150 in-game days to solve this quest. You can extend it to 250 days by sending merchants to your vault with water. By travelling the world of Fallout you will meet many survivors and explore different places. The possibilities to interact with NPCs are almost endless. You can carry on with side-quests, barter with or recruit NPCs, chose to be good or evil, and of course, there will be some unforseen events 🙂

The game has been released in 1997 and the graphics look like it, but the indepth story and atmosphere makes you look over this fact real quick.

  

So what kind of guy is this Vault Dweller? Well, that is totally up to you. Fallout has a very strong character building mode. First there are the SPECIAL stats, seven basic character attributes (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck ). At the beginning you can allocate a certain amount of points to these attributes, but as your character evolves they will too and add bonuses to your various skills.
There are 18 different skills (big guns, small guns, lock-picking, combat, etc.) to improve. Again, at the start you can decide which are stronger and which weaker. Whether you want to be the one man army using big guns or rather the sneaky martial arts dude. By reading books and magazines about first aid or guns found and bought in the game world you can also gain additional skill points.
To complete character building you can chose some character traits such as the “Small Frame” which improves your agility, on the other hand limits your carrying ability.

And of course, to get you guys into the mood, the trailer. As with all other Fallout Games that followed, the combination between 1950s music and american lifestyle with futuristic technology plus a good dose of black humor totally rocks this post-apocalyptic world.