Category: Gaming

I Have An Addiction

gta4

I’ve been a closet addict for a little while now, and I just can’t hide it any longer. Yes, it’s true, I’m addicted to GTA4.

I’ve tried to stay away from the game, I really have. But it just keeps sucking me in.

After a full day (and most of an evening) working on websites, niche markets, and projects for other people, I like to unwind with a book, a movie or a bit of gaming, usually in that order of priority. I’m a rabid reader, I always have a few books going at once, and a massive movie buff, I don’t anyone who knows more about movies than I do. But since Grand Theft Auto IV came out both of those pastimes have been getting overlooked.

I just love the game. Most people (mostly those who haven’t played it or any other game in the series), can’t seem to get past the violence in the game. While it’s true there’s a lot of shooting, beating up, or running over people, it does the game a diservice to focus on only that aspect.

This is really a hugely multi layered beast. The world that Rockstar has created with Liberty City is unlike anything I’ve experienced in a game before. While some elements have been present in previous entries in the GTA franchise, things have really been ramped up a notch.

The storyline is one of the most well developed I’ve ever come across in a game (and better than most Hollywood movies these days too). I’m really enjoying being taken along for the ride, and the main character Niko Bellic has really grown on me.

Some of the side characters have been a lot of fun too. There’s a guy called Brucie who is without a doubt the funniest character to have ever been in a game. I’ve found myself repeatedly going to see Brucie (or just calling him) simply so I can have a laugh.

The interactions you have with people on the street are a highlight too. Bumping into people on the street, or stealing their cars by pulling them out, gets a wide variety of reactions. Some run screaming, some call out hollow threats, and some actually chase you and fight back. It’s all incredibly well done.

But now, here’s the reason I even wrote this post. The radio stations. The highlight of this game for me, by far, are the radio stations. I’m finding myself jumping into a car and then immediately tuning to my fave station. Players of the game won’t be surprised to hear that I’m a fan of Laslow on the Integrity station. So politically incorrect, but oh so funny. On top of that, sometimes you just come across a gem of a track that you haven’t heard for ages. I actually drove around the other night singing along to ‘I wanna be your dog’. I was on my way to a mission, a song started, and I just kept driving around until it was over. Sad but true.

There is just so much built into this game. See past the cartoon violence and look deeper. This game is a masterpiece. But not a masterpiece for kids, any parent that lets their children play this game needs their head read. The swearing, the violence, and the generally adult nature make the case for R ratings for video games a no brainer. But if you look at this game from the view of adult entertainment, it’s really a magnificent achievement.

Gaming Nerd Alert!

Okay, I admit it. I’m a game head and have been for many years, nothing to be ashamed of. Back in the day I was addicted to a little game by the name of Team Fortress. I was sniper extraordinaire (still am if you find yourself on the Counterstrike: Source servers). I was and still am a total Half Life and Half Life 2 addict.

Well, Team Fortress 2 is finally starting to reveal itself, and here’s the trailer in all of it’s cell-shaded glory. Damn this looks cool!

 

Wiiiiiiiii ?

Seth’s Blog: Nintendo forgot to read my post

This has just staggered me so much I’m speechless, so I’ll instead quote the words of the always articulate Seth Godin…

I’m sure there are ten good reasons to choose this name. I can’t think of one of them.

What the hell were Nintendo thinking? Go to google and type in nintendo, revolution, and wii. You’ll very quickly get the overwhelming feeling that no-one likes this name. Tragic.

Is next gen finally coming?

IGN: Indiana Jones: Whipping the Industry Forward?

I remember watching those tech demos of Half Life 2 and salivating with the possibilities of what the phsyics engine could do. I was quite simply awestruck. This is like that moment all over again. Please go and read the article, what I read was nothing short of astounding and really raises the bar of what will be possible in the gaming industry is years to come.

With its upcoming Indiana Jones title, LucasArts may be onto something. Utilizing a run-time animation technology called euphoria, the game is poised to push the limits of what was previously possible. The company that developed the technology, NaturalMotion, has been working for years to hone euphoria to accurately replicate real-world physics such as strength, weight, and momentum with in-game character models. Whereas before, all animations had to be pre-programmed, euphoria allows for reactions and behaviors to occur in real-time — allowing models to react realistically to whatever situation might arise.