Saturday, September 29, 2018

RetroDEX: My experience with "Killzone 2" & "Killzone 3"

I had no interest in Killzone on the Playstation 2; I only played it, because I had the sequels and I needed context for the series. The game was underwhelming, but ultimately kept me entertained enough. It was still forgettable and it seemed like a rough "first draft" of a series still in its infancy.

I was sure the next two games would be infinitely better. The consensus was that Killzone 2, in particular, was one of the best games on the Playstation 3 and with Sony's backing, developer Guerilla Games would have spent a lot more resources on the series past that original attempt.

I rushed through both Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 and I've had diametrically opposed experiences with the two games.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A word (or several) of warning about "Defiance 2050"

The open-beta for Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds' MMORPG/Shooter, started in June 22, with the game launching officially on July 6, 2018. I jumped in, played a little and I have a few thoughts that I think I should share.

Full disclosure: I'm a major fan of the Defiance IP. Defiance started out as a game by MMORPG maker Trion Worlds. They got into a deal with the SyFy network to produce a TV show based on the game. The game and the TV show would cross-over with references to events taking place across both media and connected storylines. The deal fell through, but the show ran for three seasons (2013-2016, it was cancelled for budgetary reasons) and the game survives to this day with a small, but dedicated fanbase.

The original Defiance game (much like the show) is a title I whole-heartidly recommend. It's a persistent online shooter with MMORPG elements, Destiny and Anthem years before either of these games were even conceived. It has a low skill ceiling, but it's challenging at the appropriate moments, it has decent-enough gunplay and tons of content backed by interesting lore (the TV show helps in this regard).

Defiance 2050 is a "relaunch" of the original game. This means that it's not a sequel or a reboot, it's literally the exact same game, with somewhat higher-fidelity textures and effects and several gameplay tweaks (particularly in regards to leveling and character progression). This isn't a terrible thing in and of itself, but Defiance 2050 is the laziest, most obscene cash-grab I've seen since the last time Todd Howard tried to sell me Skyrim for the umpteenth time.

Friday, May 18, 2018

RetroDEX: "Killzone" (2004) should have been more

Whenever I go back and play Playstation 2 games I missed the first time around, I view them as little oddities; most of them don't play like the PC games I'm so accustomed to and those that do are still outdated in terms of mechanics and core design. It's a process I usually go through for "encyclopedic" reasons, so to speak. I get in, play a couple of hours to get a sense of what the game is about and then lose interest and switch to a different game.

There are the games I already love (e.g. Metal Gear Solid 2 & 3) and will see through to the end, of course, but there are other exceptions as well. When I purchased the PS2 Classics version of Killzone on the Playstation 3, I knew I'd stick with it. Part of that was because I intended to go through the entire series for the first time and I needed context. Primarily, however, I've been trying to get into console shooters, seeing how the genre flourished on those platforms in the last fifteen years and there's a lot to see.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Altered Carbon" should have been a videogame

Off-the-cuff rant on how much better Netflix's tech noir "Altered Carbon" would have been, if it tried to tell its story and communicate its themes and subtext through gameplay instead.