Shortening the Stack

I haven’t been doing much gaming over the past two weeks, but I did manage to remove two games from the “stack of games I bought and need to finish” pile. The first was Crysis: Warhead, the stand-alone expansion to Crysis. I actually whipped through the campaign fairly quickly, and quite enjoyed it. There was a far greater emphasis on the action this go around when compared with the original game; there wasn’t much time between fire-fights to catch your breath. Other than that, it was basically more of the same from the original campaign, and the game-play did start to wear a little thin towards the end. Still a very nice game though, and well worth the $9.99 that I paid for it off Steam.

The other game I finished, as the picture above may suggest, is StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. I have to admit that I’ve never been a huge StarCraft fan; I much preferred Total Annihilation back in the day, and my progress on the StarCraft II campaign had stalled a while ago due to lack of interest. I ultimately decided to just get it over with however, and forced my way through the five missions that I had remaining. My initial enthusiasm for the game had taken a nosedive as I progressed through the campaign; each mission feeling pretty much the same despite varying little gimicks attempting to set each level apart. The story, of course, was very well done and was the game’s redeeming feature for me.

Continuing Crysis

I finished Crysis the other day and have already started up the expansion, Warhead. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a first person shooter enough to play it all the way through, but I really enjoyed Crysis. I have a feeling however, that once I’m done with Warhead I’ll be ready to leave the Crysis world behind.

Speaking of first person shooters, I fired up the Duke Nukem Forever demo (pictured) and played through the first level real quick. First of all, I can’t believe this game is actually coming out after so many years. Secondly, the level I played seemed cool enough. Obviously I can’t judge the game based off of two minutes of play time, but I was a little bit turned off at the fact that you can pick up a log of feces and throw it around, leaving streaks upon the walls. Really? Is that necessary? I’m still interested in the game though, and will likely pick it up when it comes out, more for nostalgic reasons than anything else I think.

Something Old, Something Newishly Old

I have once again cancelled my World of Warcraft account.  It has been quite a while since I last played, and I can’t see that changing any time soon, as I need a break from MMOs. If I find myself needing a fix in the coming months, I’ll likely give the free-to-play Lord of the Rings Online a go. I haven’t played that game since it was in Beta however many years ago, and even then I didn’t spend too much time with it.

Looking for something to play, my willpower was once again overtaken by a Steam sale, and I purchased Crysis: Maximum Edition this past Friday. It’s several years old now but I had never played it and the sale was good, so I picked it up, and thus far I’m impressed. The graphics are amazing (pictured above), and I’m having a blast with the game play. My expectations weren’t super high for it due to some unfavourable forum comments about the game, but I certainly don’t have any complaints at this point.

When not playing Crysis I’ve been dabbling in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion again. I had abandoned the game after finishing the main quest, but I’ve always planned to return in order to finish the Shivering Isles expansion and the multitude of other quests still available. Currently I’ve been going through the Fighter’s Guild quests, and there’s no denying it, this is still a great game.

I finished the main quest at level 14-ish, and I was very careful to level my character as “optimally” as possible. For those that don’t know, Oblivion features a complicated leveling mechanism that I will not bother trying to explain here. I kept track of my progress with a spreadsheet in order to maximize my skill increases, and my character was just about as powerful as he could be in Oblivion’s “monsters level with you” system. Coming back to the game now, I decided I just wanted to see the content and not worry about how I level, so I decided to cheat.  Using the console I leveled my character (“properly” and “efficiently”) up to 26. Of course, given that the monsters level with you, I am not an all-powerful uber-god; in fact, all it really did was populate the world with different monsters that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, which is pretty cool.