Sunday, February 26, 2012

Play Delayed Episode 3 - Part 1

Welcome back to my monthly (or maybe 6 monthly) video game blog. We are well in to the new year at this stage and you know what that means... Thats Right!!! New games! Am I playing them? No!!!!! Well, a little, I'll get in to that in time but first...

Army of Two - the 40th day

I am playing this again but this time on PS3. I don't know what it is about these games - they are obviously linear, they are repetitive but I just love playing them!

Army of Two - 40th day is a definite step up from the original game, intorducing more combat options and a new moral choice system. For example, there are sometimes when you can fake your death to trick the enemies, you can mock surrender and you can tag targets for elimination. From the first game, the gun play is pretty much the same, the shooting is still very nice and a head shot is often referred to as a "field goal".

The level formula is more or less the same as the first game, you start off and work your way through many waves of standard soldiers, then, after you kill so many of them and prodgress so far, you meet a bigger, badder and more heavily armoured enemy who has a bigger weapon and can only be shot dead by aiming for certain areas on their person. The first one you meet is the heavy shotgun, but after you figure them out they are pretty easy to kill, you can generally focus fire on the face until their helmet falls off and then you get the "field goal"... After that they are not so easy to kill, you meet the heavy flamethrower and heavy minigun and those guys require a lot more strategy to kill... Every so often you meet a situation where there are hostages being held and you have to figure a way to kill the attackers a free them, if you manage to save them you will get "morality +" if the die its the opposite, helping the civilians will will give you more cash and often give you more weapons to unlock and buy.

The weapons... It feels like there is not as many weapons available, the weapons are pretty cool, don't get me wrong, but it just felt that there was not that many to choose from, in particular the handguns, I only counted 3... I used them a lot in the first game but in this game, once I got the DEagle, that was it... By the end of the game I think I was using a m4 customised to high agro (scope attached and gold plated) and my special weapon was replaced by another primary weapon (instead of a sniper rifle). Another addition to the gameplay is the moral choice moments... The first one is your contact in Shanghai, do you kill him or let him live? But the best one I thought was perhaps the last one with the Russian merc, he helps you bust out of jail, gets you to the exit and provides you with cover fire, but when you get to the end, it seems he has a lady hostage and he walks in with his gun out and starts to unzip his pants, do you take his bribe to turn the other cheek and walk away or do you protect this "lady" and stop something evil from happening...? What would you do? They are generally quite interesting and I would like to see all the outcomes sometime...

Another thing I want to return to is the hostages, I want to try and resolve all of these senarios and see what other weapons that are unlocked as a result. But often when I was trying to sort these out, I would only just kneecap the leader and he would crawl away and shoot one of my hostages, Its a bit ennoying... But I think it comes down to who you target first, I think if you take out a leader of the group the rest of the men on his squad will fall back and become easier targets... I'll have to keep this in mind for next time!

For me, it's a good game to return to, even though the gun fights get very samey, especially towards the end of the game but inspite of this I enjoyed the game as a whole. If you were a fan of the first one and have not yet played this then I strongly recommend this! But trophy hunters beware - you have to put a lot of work in to get some of those!!!

In the works... Bulletstorm:

I'm not sure how to describe this one, it's linear as fuck and reminds me a lot of Wild 9 on the PSOne. You have guns, you have a weapon called "The Leash" and you are encoraged to kill you advesariesin a creative fashion, these kills are referred to as "skill shots" and there is a lot of them to achieve during the game - each weapon having it's own set which earn you skill points. These skill points can then be used to upgrade your weapons and buy ammunition... From a glance its another standard shooter, overseen by the people that brought you the Gears of War series...

What I have been watching...

The Wire - Series 1

"Where's that Prick McNulty!?"

This show, before I got around to watching it was hyped so much, In podcast, my friends, I had heard a lot of things about it and as a result had a lot to live up to in my eyes and as good as it turned out to be, I don't think it was "that good".

I won't lie to you, it has a very weak few opening episodes, if you will, a slow start and this weak and slow start almost put me off the whole series. But I am the type who is afflicted with trying to see things through to the end.And I have to say I am glad I did. Around episode 4 it started to pick up and get good, actually this episode was quite funny as well, It had McNulty and his partner (who's name escapes me examining a previous crime scene which involved a lot of use of the 'F' word. But what I found most interesting, even over the whole story was how the drug dealers in the show managed their trade in the towers. In this show it went in to a lot of detail, showing you a good overview of the hierarchy of the drug trade and the techniques they use at their level. There was also good examples of how the younger kids in the projects looked up to the head dealers and how this respect was used to influence the impressionable youths do crimnal acts, the kids being urged in to "stepping up".

The story it'self is quite interesting, there are a lot of strong characters backed up by the actors doing a good job of portraying them. There are instances of police corruption, at both high level and foot soldier level, police brutality - sometimes actually justified! And some very colourful characterslittered around the projects, the ones that stood out for me in particular were Omar, the homosexual ganster, Bubbles, the junkie police snitch, D'Angelo's girlfriend form Orlando's club and last but not least - the project kids on the couch as well...

This show overall is quite good and is definitly worth a look, despite being critcally acclaimed and well hyped up, I did not think it was better than Mad Men however. That not withstanding, it is quite interesting all round and has memorable characters. If you are a fan of detailed semi detaild police dramas that focus on not just the police side but on the criminal side as well and less on the crime scene invstigation side, then this is for you. But be warned - it does have a very slow start.

I'm going to leave it at that for part 1, in part 2 I will write about some trips to the cinema, a bunch of Vin Diesil movies I watched and games I finished months ago but never typed up the blogs... And of course games I am playing currently!

Thanks for reading!

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