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Review: Wolfenstein: The New Order

Wolfenstein cover

In a recent podcast (#18 in fact) I talked about the previous Wolfenstein – made by Raven Software, iD Software and a team called Endrant Software – as a game of no-frills shooting. Co-contributor Dylan responded by calling it a breath of fresh air in contrast to all of the other First Person Shooters which insisted on draping their experiences with bells and whistles.

I didn’t really agree with him at the time. I had enjoyed my excursions with 2009′s Wolfenstein but not enough to be able to recommend it to anyone. However, with Wolfenstein: The New Order I think I get what he means.

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Spotlight: Over 9000 Zombies!

It’s a while since I’ve written a Spotlight piece, but then I guess it’s a while since I came across a suitable specimen. Not to denigrate the delightful digital entertainment that’s been penetrating my eyes and brain for the past few months, of course.

Well, Starscream, on with the ceremony! Over 9000 Zombies is developed by one Loren Lemcke; his first game so far as a cursory act of googling can attest. It’s an independent title, for all the cachet that “independent” still carries in these days of indie distributors (publishers by another name, shurely), Greenlight and Early Access on Steam, and various other mechanisms by which small games can become involved with big business (or, well, medium business). Still, it’s a game made by one man.

Over 9000 Zombies is a twin stick shooter with a bit of a twist, and it’s not that it features a shitload of zombies. It does have that, but so too do hundreds of other non-descript games on XBLIG or any other rubbish tip of video games. No, Over 9000 Zombie’s twist is… base-building!

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Will No Man’s Sky offer more than facile tourism?

No Man's Sky featured

Like much of the internet’s gaming population, the hype monkey has been tickling me with the teaser trailers released for Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky. It’s no secret that I’m rather a fan of space adventure or science fictional games of many stripes, and so this is to be expected.

And yet. And yet. I need to get this monkey off my back.

To do so let’s roll back to 2008 – no, in fact, let’s roll back to 2005, to the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. Will Wright takes to the stage and for the next thirty-five minutes captivates his audience talking about the title he is currently working on: Spore. I wasn’t there, but I imagine the audience were on the edge of their seats. I was, thousands of miles away, sat in a friend’s bedroom and listening to Wright talk through the prototype via YouTube (which was new then – a fact I can barely believe today).

On release in 2008 Spore proved… divisive. If nothing else it suffered a degree of Molynitis, a condition that affects some high-profile game designers and producers. The promise of that talk and that prototype video was raw and untamed, and the process of converting something visionary into a product fit for mass market often involves a lot of compromise.

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Let’s Move to Deadsville: an interview with Sarah Northway

Sarah Northway is one half of Northway Games and is the developer behind the Rebuild strategy games. We’ve written about the first and second iterations before: they were really rather good. The third installment, Gangs of Deadsville, is also shaping up to be something special.

Together with husband Colin (of Incredipede fame), Sarah travels around the world, moving from place to place to escape a crime she didn’t commit… er, to live in amazingly cool places while working on independently-developed games. Whilst we were exchanging emails the Northways were in British Columbia, moving from the mountains of Nelson to the coast near Vancouver. It’s an enviable lifestyle.

To celebrate the beta release of Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville, I caught up with Sarah to ask a few questions about the game, its development, and the means by which developers can get their games into players’ hands early. Read on, my little zedlings.

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24 Hour Le Mans challenge pt.2

[Not yet read the first part of the challenge? Best correct that, son.]

Monday June 16, 19:10
I found my problem with the hard tires. It’s not the tires themselves, but how I accelerate after getting out of curves; I have to be a little more gentle on the pedal than with other tires. Once I figured that out, I started catching up. Got into the lead in lap 112; now, by the end of lap 121, I’m 3 minutes ahead of the second position. A good chunk of that lead was built up while running low on fuel, light as a feather. Or maybe the guy behind me took a pit stop at some point. Yeah, that might have been it.

I wish I could have done 2 laps in that way, but I got the ”low fuel” warning a little too uncomfortably early during lap 120, so I didn’t want to push my luck and go for 2 laps like I did previously. It’s safe to do so if you get low on fuel near the end of a lap; that way you can complete the following two (going to the pits in the last of the two) without problem.

I’m going to give those hard tires another try.

AI-DOUCHE01 has lost the lead

PLAYER 1 has taken the lead

Monday June 16, 20:13
It’s real hard keeping the lead when your nemesis is lighter than you, but with my ultimate mastery of the hard tires I still have a solid minute and 20 seconds ahead of him. I even beat my own lap record on lap 124 with a belly full of fuel and a time of 3 minutes, 41 seconds and 78 milliseconds.

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24 Hour Le Mans challenge pt.1

I needed to do this. I had to get it over and done with once and for all.

What better time than NOW, minutes after the end of the 2014 Le Mans?

What is this, you ask? It is playing Test Drive Le Mans on the Dreamcast for 24 hours straight for the first time, whilst simultaneously publishing the log (with hourly-ish status updates once the race begins) here on AR.

I acquired a copy of the game a year or two ago for a ridiculously insignificant amount of CAN$. When I saw it I couldn’t pass up the chance to grab this gem; I have always wanted to race for 24 hours… for Le Mans. And since I may not actually pull that off in real life any time EVER, what could beat dusting off my Dreamcast and putting it to the test of running for at least 24 hours?

Sure, some might suggest doing Le Mans in Gran Tourismo 6 on the PS3′, but I don’t own that nor do I own a PS3. So DREAMCAST DELIGHT IT IS!

I’ll start from the moment I got the ”inspiration” of finally going ahead with this personal challenge, right through to the time I finish/am forced to retire (I sure hope that doesn’t happen, but since I haven’t played the game for more than a lap or two since I got it, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE).

NOTE: All times are UTC – 5 hours.

Saturday June 14, 09:21
What’s this? Le Mans is THIS weekend?

Had it not been for Top Gear’s facebook link to their live coverage I would have missed it entirely, because what can I say, I suck this much with any sports. Including those I like. Not that I’m a fan of Mans, or racing. I just have a fascination with cars and racing. But Le Mans holds a special place in my heart. IT’S COMPLICATED.

Ah, but it looks like I’ll be missing all of it since I gotta sleep before I go work again tonight! On the bright side… this has given me  the drive to pull off a Le Mans race on the Dreamcast. I shall do this whenever I wake up Sunday.

Sunday June 15, 08:54
Finally, made it home from my weekend of graveyard shifts only to catch the last 5 minutes and 9 seconds of the 2014 Le Mans… and two Audi R18 e-tron quattros make it in first and second position for LMP1! I’m quite happy about that. I’ve been a fan of Audi since my discovery of the R10 a few years ago. What a masterpiece that machine is.

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