Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Brain Left... - Unturned Miniview

   Welcome to a new occasional article type I call the "miniview"! These will sometimes pop up between my normal reviews for games that seem like they're going somewhere. These are a lot shorter and won't be rated or scored. If the game sounds interesting, make sure to check it out!

   Unturned is a survival sandbox game created by a guy named Nelson Sexton and is available on Steam. The zombie apocalypse has happened, and you are the sole survivor. You and maybe a few of your friends. And perhaps over 50,000 other people.

   But don't lose hope! The zombies currently aren't all that dangerous. You can kill them with your bare hands if you want to. The real objective is simply to survive. Unturned is basically a little Don't Starve, a little Minecraft, and a little DayZ mixed together. You have to manage your nutrition and sickness levels by looting while looking at blocky graphics, dealing with an inane crafting system and occasionally driving a car.

   The game does support multiplayer, but doesn't have an in-game server browser. Instead, you look up servers on the Steam discussions board for the game and then connect manually. Before jumping into multiplayer, though, you might want to do some reading. Check out tips and guides, because there is very little direction given, and the game can get pretty deep if you have the patience. Fancy guns and big houses can be yours if you can only figure out how to make them.

   Unturned seems to be in good hands. The single developer updates very often and the future of the game looks brighter than the games it took inspiration from.

   If you're interested in a survival game that doesn't demand your money, except for an optional Gold subscription, then this might be the game for you. You can't dig underground, but you also don't have to deal with creepers. Just be careful around your "friends", okay?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Seventh Thought - Matchmaking

   I really wonder why matchmaking has become so popular in games that don't need them. It's good for MOBAs since it would be difficult to set the game up in a way where people could join and leave a match whenever they wanted. It's alright for console games, too, since console players probably don't want to be bothered with searching through a lobby list with a gamepad.

   But then we get to games like Nosgoth and GunZ 2. Why do these games have matchmaking? These games wouldn't break if someone left and another person entered in their place. They are also exclusive to PC. What's the point of this?

   Some people may wonder why I think this is a problem. It's a problem because the presence of matchmaking automatically creates one problem and contributes to another.
   The problem it creates is the often-raged "bad matchmaking". You're level 1, you get matched against level 50s. You're level 50, you get matched against level 1s. This problem is always explained away as being caused by a small community and will improve as soon as the game gets more people.
   Which is the problem it contributes to. Aside from people joining the game and getting hazed by players far above them, there's also the lack of custom rooms meaning you can't just jump right in. No more instant access, you just click a big Play button and then proceed to not Play. Not everyone is willing to stand for this, and the smaller the community is the bigger the problem is.

   Some people may like clicking a button and then alt-tabbing to do something else while the game takes 5+ minutes to find and load a match, but I prefer to actually play my games.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Most Goth - Nosgoth Preview

   (Note: At the time of writing this article, Nosgoth has a very small population. Therefore, I couldn't play Siege mode because I couldn't find a match for it. Here's a Youtube video, courtesy of onrpg, showing Siege mode along with general Nosgoth gameplay.)

   Nosgoth is a third-person action shooter game developed by Psyonix, published by Square Enix, available on Steam, and currently in Closed Beta. It has everything you could expect from a multiplayer spin-off of the Legacy of Kain franchise, and is every bit as serious.

   You are placed on one side of a war between humans and vampires for control of the land. Shoot down the vampires with cunning and teamwork, or crush the humans with brute strength and superpowers. You're going to have to learn how to do both, because you switch sides at half-time. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to ruthlessly rip out a human's jugular directly after swearing to wipe the land of bloodsuckers? Try not to think about it too hard.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Zombies Monsters Robots - ZMR Review

   Zombies Monsters Robots (ZMR) is a third-person shooter developed by Yingpei Games and published by En Masse Entertainment for it's North American release. Currently in Open Beta.

   Following the commands of an overenthusiastic commander, you and your elite team of mercenaries fight against various entities for fun and money. As the name implies, you will be fighting various zombies, monsters, and perhaps even a few robots.

   The gameplay is very heavily PvE-based and plays similarly to a game series called Gears of War. You control a character from an over-the-shoulder perspective and can squash against walls and barriers for cover. Once there, you can blindfire from behind the wall at the expense of accuracy. There are also PvP modes if you get tired of shooting AI. More on that later. First...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Should I Write Shorter Reviews?

  This is an honest question. My reviews are different than what you would normally read for a given game since they tend to be extremely detailed. But is it that necessary? Could I still bring up all of the relevant information on the pros and cons in less words?

   Probably not, and I don't plan to shorten most of my reviews. But I do want to post more often. I'm thinking of writing shorter, "mini" reviews for some games. Good idea or bad idea?