What We’re Playing – February 26
The weekend is upon us and it’s time to play some videogames. Here are a few games we’ve been playing away from the office this week.
The Darkness II
The successes of The Darkness II find some fragment of that Starbreeze DNA lingering in its bloodstream. It’s in the moments when you’re not shooting that stands out as most important, while inevitably the action-filled portions also dabble in the familiar overtones of light vs darkness. But it’s the moments of character development, ones where you’re wandering around talking to people, or otherwise listening in, that come out as most impactful. These are the best times and while they also find Mike Patton’s scraggly darkness voiceovers muted, they make the following action all the more meaningful. And for that, The Darkness II is better off.
It’s startling how quickly I can slip out of my comfort zone when I’ve had one too many glasses of stupid juice. Inhibitions and gentlemanly reserve are traditionally the pride of every Englishman worth his salt and I feel I may have let the side down somewhat last Friday night. I have no shame in admitting it – SingStar and too many Blue Lagoons was an exceptional way to fend off the biting British winter.
I can’t remember much of what happened, and I pray to the Gods no video evidence exists of my atrocious vocal performance, but I do recall having more fun with a videogame and a group of friends than I’d had in a long time. SingStar is about as far into the depths of casual gaming as you can go, but we must remember that these games are utterly unassuming in their quest to entertain; besides, how many times can you here 13 key changes and a coughing fit halfway though Elton Johns ‘Rocket Man’?
You may or may not know this, but some company, an id Software, they released a game last fall; you can now buy it for $20 new. I’ve dumped about 5 hours into RAGE so far and I still can’t seem to understand what the point is. Using id’s fancy idTech 5 engine the game is absolutely beautiful, save for the glaring texture pop-in, but as accurate and believable as their wasteland is, it’s all a bit soulless and completely unfocused. RAGE seems to want to be a jack of all trades, dabbling in buggy racing, poking its head into salvaging and engineering, and also delivering the solid shooter experience id is known for. The thing is, there’s no real impetus to any of it. I’ve played five hours and I couldn’t begin to tell you who I am, what my purpose is, or why I should be helping any of these post-apocalyptic twits.
What’s on your agenda?