Saturday 21 April 2012

Episode 31

The Roguelike Radio team weren't able to get a roguelike developer to interview this week*. So they got a Rogue developer to interview instead...

* One 7DRL doesn't count for the purposes of this joke.

Saturday 7 April 2012


While we're on a science fiction theme, I've started playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution and, hmmm...

Somewhere in me is a large, thoughtful article about how playing semi-sand box, RPG-lite, side quest focused collect-a-thons one after the other is destroying my ability to enjoy games. I don't want to be a vacuum cleaner who is ordered around from place to place with a GameFAQs article in one hand and the  threat of 'consequences' in a game I can never lose (except by making poorly informed choices in the skill tree). Instead I'll refer you to recent articles by Richard Terrell (part 1, part 2) and Keith Burgun (at Gamasutra), both of whom get too tangled up in the definition problem of what a game is, but whose basic thesis I agree with. Today is not that day.

Instead, I'll talk about the sixty seconds of fun I had in the prologue. This is the first cover based shooter I've played which uses hiding behind cover as the central mechanic (Red Faction: Guerilla doesn't have enough waist high walls to count). It took me a while to grok the mechanic, which primarily came down to getting the key bindings right, which for me is remapping F to jump, space bar to take cover, right-click to aim. But when I did, there was this amazing fluid joyous room-clearing experience I want to repeat. (Perhaps by not ever using that sentence again in the wrong context).

Can you suggest a PC cover based shooter that doesn't have everyone telling me I'm an asshole afterwards?


You may remember an article I wrote, No Aliens Allowed, where I complained about the state of near future non-apocalyptic video games. I mentioned Dystopia and Shattered Horizons as being two games that have what I want in my science fiction, and Red Faction: Guerilla as the closest possible contender for a third. Conveniently these form a triad of Earth, Moon and Mars - inconveniently, Red Faction: Guerilla is too much GTA in space, and not enough actual consequences of terraforming Mars.

I've since found a worthy Martian replacement: Waking Mars, which gets exactly the feeling of exploring another planet in a way games like VVVVVV and Fuel merely hint at. Ironically, it features aliens; luckily, none of them involve humanoids with attachments on their forehead.

(Moving out to the asteroids, I should really pick Eufloria or Galcon, but ambient, strategy-less strategy games don't seem to do it for me. So instead I'm nominating Angry Birds Space).