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I'm just as cynical as you are, my friend. But, again, like you, I'm also waiting for the seventh and well-deserved Splinter Cell that we've been waiting for a long time.
Good, I'm glad I'm not the only one - I'm still hanging onto the statement Ubisoft made a year or so back that "every beloved property and franchise" of there's was being worked on in some degree or fashion. Even if we don't get a sequel, I'd at least like to see the old, original games get a remaster, or hell, even a port to newer consoles. Something is better than nothing, I miss this series.
The Deluge, it's a tricky one. I like these niche games too. Not every game needs to be all "crash bang wallop". I enjoy the likes of Mudrunner, Train Sim World , and the Farming Simulator games from Giant Software, for being different.
I'm going to review the game based on three main criteria: gameplay, narrative, aesthetic.
Blood Stone is a third-person shooter, so the gameplay is mostly about gunfire. There are occasional breaks for stealth segments, computer hacking, Parkour-style foot chases and car chases, but gunplay is the bread and butter of the game. The gunfire is good and smooth, but I feel it lacks depth, so it grows a bit monotonous as the game goes along. It's basically just about taking cover and firing, rinse and repeat. (Everything or Nothing, which is in my opinion the pinnacle of Bond gaming, made this very same core mechanic much more interesting with the gadgets, rappeling and the Bond focus mode, with its creative and clever means of dispatching enemies.) Blood Stone's stealth segments are an enjoyable break, and it's fun to disarm and knock out unsuspecting guards in various ways, but the computer hacking, while a decent diversion at first, eventually becomes a little boring, and the footchases, while pleasant to experience and watch, are little more than glorified quick-time events that require limited skill. I would've preferred something less shallow to replace the key pressing during the hacking sequences, and some more dynamic chases, which provided more freedom of movement and which didn't tell you exactly what to do. The car chases are exciting and fairly exhilarating-- no complaints there. To sum it all up, the gameplay is good, but not great.
Narratively, Blood Stone feels like the post-QoS, pre-Sf film that never happened. Concordantly with the Craig film era, there is an attempt at realism, and there is more drama here than there might've been in, say, a Brosnan Bond game, but like in CR and QoS, the psychoanalysis of 007 is never more than moderate, and unlike in Sf, the game generally emphasizes plot and espionage over drama (certainly, part of that has to do with the fact this is game, and plot and espionage help the game move along to the next level, while drama doesn't). Blood Stone has a pretty good plot involving the kidnapping of British government biodefense contractors by criminals looking to obtain bioweapons, and the story includes a couple of good-to-great surprises along the way. The Bond girl, Nicole Hunter, is a charismatic and resourceful socialite working for MI6, and has some amusing banter with Bond, which contrasts her easygoing attitude with Bond's more serious and intense personality (in fact, he's a little too serious in this game for my taste). Anyway, Nicole makes a very positive impression, though I don't know why Bond and her never kiss! Colonel Ping is a very interesting semi-ally for Bond, though his appearance is quite brief. On the negative side, most of the villains in this game remain fairly anonymous, something which is encouraged by the structure of the story, which involves Bond going from one bad guy to the next, with only brief encounters with each of them. A twist at the end doesn't change this fact. So, good plot but the villains are lacking. We're a long way here from Nikolai Diavolo (and his statue-- what a great touch of megalomania!).
Overall, this game looks great. The locations --which include Athens, Istanbul and Monte Carlo-- are gorgeous to look at, with Monte Carlo being especially pleasing to the eye, more so considering it feels so alive with all the gamblers in the casino (the Monte Carlo level is probably my favorite in the game). The vista of the aquarium is also gorgeous and makes for a great backdrop to Colonel Ping's exposition. The Siberian facility is obviously more drab than other locations, but its visual contrast is welcome. There is a dark beauty to Thailand, with the neon signs standing out against the greys of the buildings. The jungle is also quite immersive (the sight of the kidnapped men held at gunpoint, with Bond sneaking behind them, is magnificently cinematic!). The music score by Richard Jacques sounds appropriate for the game. It features no shortage of Bond-like brass but is also elegant in the quiet moments. It's somewhat reminiscent of David Arnold's work. One significant complaint about the game: no gunbarrel! I can't understand why it wasn't included.
Blood Stone is a good game. Clearly not on the level of the best the Rare/EA era had to offer, but fun to play and especially enjoyable from a cinematic standpoint, even with its narrative shortcomings. More so for a Bond fan.
Back to your room, Major, no more video games for you until having seen one of those films!
But yes, that's exactly what The Wages of Fear is, only the lumber is swapped with nitroglycerine. Speaking of these two, I really do need to see Sorcerer finally so I can compare the two. I love Scheider and his work.
I bet this makes for quite the nerve-wracking, tense game, then.
Sorcerer is a "colder", more emotionally distant film than Wages. In four great segments, we get to see the circumstances that led to the arrival of the protagonists in the middle of nowhere, but throughout the story, their thoughts and feelings remain more bottled up than in Wages. But it is an impactful film in its own way. The ending should prove especially interesting. It works in a different way.
It can be. Some maps have dirt trails that are just about wide enough to get a mini copper along, and you have to drive a truck. There are always other routes, but they may have worse hazzards such as a deep river or marshland. The major unique feature of the game, is how the game treats mud. Mud isn't a solid terrain, it visibly shifts beneath the tyres.
"Come on, where's that penny I dropped... oh, an assassin!" :))
I imagine it doesn't take that long to fix something like that but in video game development time is always short. I would've considered including as is.
I bought Sorcerer restored version last year on Bluray amazing film, I must Confess I have never seen Wages of fear though I'll look out for it, I keep meaning to watch it.
Looks like one of those films that can't be placed into just one category. In that way, it reminds me of The Ninth Configuration. I'll have to look into which of my sources I can get a copy of The Sorcerer from.
The Raven: Remastered
Part 9 of my stream. The Raven has struck again, there's been an explosion at the Museum.
The sequel to the puzzle classic was finished in the early nineties, but problems with the distributor kept it from being released until 2015, when it finally came out with few changes, except for those made to ensure compatibility with modern systems. I bought the game from Steam back in 2015 (in a still-available bundle with the original game) but only got to level 127 out of 200. Recently I picked it up once again, but decided to replay the levels I had already beaten and then keep going until the end.
Like its predecessor, CC2 is a tile-based puzzle game. The goal in each level is to get to the exit tile before the time runs out. Often, this requires one to pick up a number of computer chips scattered throughout the level, while dealing with a number of hazards and obstacles, such as deadly creatures that roam the place, blocks that must be pushed out of the way or used to create bridges (without getting them stuck in the wrong place), water, ice, fire, bombs, teleporters and a variety of buttons that control several mechanisms in different ways. Items can also be picked up to deal with those obstacles (flippers for swimming, ice skates for ice, etc.). CC2 introduces several new tiles, among which the most notable might be logic gates (AND, OR, NAND, etc.). The new items include teleporters than can be picked up and bombs that can be controlled by the player. Yet another interesting mechanic involves stopwatches scattered through the levels, which stop or start the level timer, or add more time to it, which can prove vital for making it to the exit on time.
All these tiles and objects serve as the basis for some truly varied gameplay scenarios. Some levels are a smorgasbord of small, relatively simple puzzles that are based on familiar tropes. Others are all about performing a single but demanding task repeatedly, without failing. Others still are about figuring out how to achieve what at first seems to be impossible, but which proves feasible if one gets creative and exploits the mechanics of the different tiles, items and creatures. Some of the most satisfying levels are of this type. (One especially amusing level makes a point of presenting the player with a large amount of interlocked puzzles to be solved, when in fact the exit, tucked away in a corner, is accessible without dealing with them at all, instead requiring a different procedure.) There are also levels which are not about puzzles, but are more "action-oriented", and mainly require dexterity in avoiding creatures.
In the original game, one played as Chip. In this sequel, some levels are also played as Melinda, Chip's friend. She behaves differently from him on certain types of tiles, such as dirt and ice. Adding this new character to the game also increases the variety of puzzle situations it can offer. Some levels are played with both characters, who need to cooperate to get to the exit. Other levels are played with only one character, but requiring him/her to transform into the other character by means of a special tile.
The game is overall terrific: clever, creative, demanding and varied. I would complain, however, that a number of elements introduced in the game, such as tent canopies and hooks for blocks, are barely used (or not at all) after their introduction. Even so, fan-made levels might rectify the situation (or already have!). The difficulty curve is uneven, but that's alright, as not every level has to be harder than the last one. Easier levels offer a breath and a change of pace after hard ones. Having said, looking at the entire game, the difficulty generally increases from the beginning to the end, which is appropriate. It's worth pointing out that this game has a significant number of short and small levels, certainly more than its predecessor (though it also has 200 levels, as opposed to the 149 of the original).
The first game was first released for the Atari Lynx. A later Windows re-release included different graphics, sounds and music. The sequel was originally released with its graphics and sounds resembling the Lynx version. A recent patch now allows the player to choose between the look and sounds of the Lynx or Windows versions. Having played the Windows version of the original, now I have the option to feel right at home with the sequel. The music in the "Windows version" of CC2 is the same as in the Windows version of the first game: just two alternating themes. They're catchy, but I can certainly understand them growing repetitive for most people (by now I'm used to them). The "Lynx version" features a variety of piano pieces by Scott Joplin. Most pleasing to the ear.
Trailer for CC2 (showcasing the "Lynx version"):
Continuing my first time playthrough / stream.
I already have this on PC though its now available for free on XBOX LIVE GOLD, a good excuse to replay the game from the start
Psst... PC version... Battlefront total conversion mod... tons of extra maps and units...
Cool... is that exclusive to the Steam purchase of the game
Nope, just look it up on ModDB, you'll find all the instructions and files you need there. Follow them carefully. I didn't and had the files stored in the wrong place for about a year before I figured out my mistake.
I tried to install from disk Battlefront II on my PC last night (not played the game for years, last time was on Windows 8.1), I am having trouble getting the game to work on Windows 10, quite a few of my older PC games won't work, though there will likely be a work around though did not have time to do it.
Cheers I will check ModDB when I get the game running
I finished the original last week and now im on to Bioshock 2. For some reason I am enjoying it much more than the first. I'm immersed in the story and the layout weapons and graphics seem much cleaner than the first. Plus you get the power drill. The hacking system is much improved. I highly disliked the arrange the water flow patterns.
I have always liked games when you fight giant ants, It came from the desert was a favourite of mine on the Amiga