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You've heard about the growing multiplayer phenomenon Dayz haven't you? The one where you and your friends traverse the eastern European land of Chenaurus in a desperate search for fresh beans? Well, there are also zombies in Dayz! There are also zombies in Project Zomboid, a work-in-progress zombie survival simulator and the first product from developer The Indie Stone.
Im not really a big fan of zombies. I think that they are overused and don't really have much potential to them as a device. I wish we could use some other kind of freakishly horrible creatures to kill and survive, how about the cast of Jersey Shore? I mean, they're just as ugly and probably enjoy eating human flesh, the only difference is that these guys actually exist! ooooooooo scary. I do however praise the fact that The Indie Stone didn't decide to hop onto the generic modern zombie bandwagon and make their zombies Usain Bolt. The zombies I encountered during my first Impressions were slow, but that doesn't mean they weren't deadly. One subtle mistake and I might have a horde of 200 zombies on my ass.
Despite only recently purchasing the game, I had previously played Project Zomboid's free demo, and lets just say I became ever so slightly addicted to it. The atmosphere of this game strongly reminded me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Being almost completely alone in a hostile environment with no starting means to defeat your foes other than a good pair of legs and an opposite direction. As stated, the Devs main objective of this game is to have the most unique and remarkable adventure leading up to your player's inevitable demise. And as an avid player of Dwarf Fortress, im reminded that sometimes "It's fun to lose". I decided to re-familiarize myself with this game by playing the tutorial/story-mode. For an isometric game it does a good job of portraying drama to a degree. A caring husband desperately trying to care for his injured wife whilst hordes of the walking dead roam the outside is a great set-piece to learn the basics of the game, of course being me I seemed to fail almost immediately when I decided to shoot my wife in the face with a shotgun. Well now that the story-mode has failed, time for Sandbox!
Being the kind of guy who enjoys making things a touch more mentally retarded than is legally acceptable, I chose to create the most unlikely zombie-slaying hero imaginable, an Obese, claustrophobic, clumsy police officer who is a raging hypochondriac, think Paul Blart during a zombie apocalypse.
I began my adventure with a smile on my face and an uncertain trickle down my trousers. The apartment complex I had spawned in was poorly lit with many surrounding rooms but only one exit. I would of thought that the old-school isometric perspective would of helped improve my vision during my ventures in Project Zomboid, I was wrong... I was surrounded by an ever looming shadow which, with every turn appeared to close on on me in a dark, undying embrace. "Oh god the claustrophobia's taking effect!" I murmured to myself "I better search this building and get the hell out of here!" The bedrooms were helpful in providing basic supplies, I ripped the sheets from the bed and torn them apart to create makeshift bandages just in case my years of excessive eating catches up with me and I get mauled by a grumpy zombie. The kitchens provided much needed food which I took under the circumstance that just in case my lovable oaf got depressed and needed his favorite thing in the world to cheer up again. Yet, the single greatest room in the complex was by far the Bathrooms. Every crack and crevice of the urinal utopia was filled to the brim with DRUGS! "Hmm" I murmured a second time "I better keep these for later...just in case." My plan for the eventual moment I surrender my life and begin a last stand is to completely fill my unnaturally proportioned body with so many drugs that all of the zombies that take a bite from me will become so high that they don't want to be zombies anymore, or something odd like that. So, with an inventory filled with drugs I finnaly took my first steps into the outside world.
Despite being the middle of the day, the streets of Knox county are pretty dark, I could still see what was around me though, I wish I couldn't. Zombies, zombies everywhere... It seems that a horde at formed right outside my spawn zone and could easily smell the hulking mass that had stumbled into their presence, one hundred zombies were now shambling towards my position and without any weapons, I had to run. Although I was a great blob of a man, the zombies were unusually easy to avoid, you would think that they could if simply held on to one of my many rolls and let me run on the spot like a Scooby Doo character, alas they did not. A few minutes later I was safe. After a nice stroll down the road I bumped into another survivor. From the developer diaries I knew that it was possible to converse and form alliances with other survivors via an in-depth system which examines your mood and replies accordingly. It seems however that this particular individual had no interest in joining up with someone of the likes of me, as after first seeing me, he immediately ran straight in the direction of the horde I had a previous encounter with. Perhaps he thought I was a Boomer, that or he had stolen from my drug sack.
It was night-time now, my hunger had been satisfied with some packets of crisps I had found after a raid on a local corner-shop and I was extremely tired, the situation was pretty similar on Project Zomboid as well. By a mere stroke of luck I had stumbled across the former residence of our two tutorial protagonists. By the looks of it, the home had only recently been abandoned, they even forgot to take their tutorial messages with them! There was some fresh soup in the cupboards. Even some pretty effective weapons were located in the shed, like a baseball bat and hammer. This all seemed rather suspicious, As if some unknown entity had placed these very items to prepare me for what is to come. Like that great horde of the undead shambling towards me was somehow trying to kill me... hmm.
The Great Shambling horde of the undead was indeed trying to kill me, kill me very much indeed. By the time I had ran up the stairs, the door had already been broken down. I decided that this was the moment, the moment I make use of all of those drugs I had carefully stored in my inventory ever since the start of my adventure. I had decided to hide in the bathroom while I administer the drugs, Everything from beta-blockers to sleeping pills were now making their way around my system and I was ready for battle. With nailed baseball bat In hand I cleaved my way through the hundred-so undead, my round form rolling and tumbling like a great big bowling ball. However, despite the raw amount of awesomeness that was coming from me, the zombies were too powerful. In a matter of seconds they had swarmed all over me, clawing and biting any section of flesh they could find. I had died....
There is no denying that Project Zomboid is looking very promising. And the very fact that it has already been accepted to Steam Greenlight, even in alpha! is mind-blowing in its own right, I predict that Project Zomboid is going to be a monumental success, try it out, you won't be disappointed. The Team have gone through great hardships to develop this game.
- Great Premise
- Fun Game-play
- Fantastic Atmosphere
- Kind, welcoming online community
- The game world needs to be much brighter during the day.
- More dangerous zombies
- After final release the addition of some form of multiplayer mode would only benefit the game.
Next time, I will be giving a spotlight for "The Sundering: Rise of the Witch King" a truly fantastic modification for Medieval II: Total War, feel free to post comments suggesting future First Impressions or general criticism. Thanks for Reading.
A widely loved and highly anticipated mod is in need of assistance from the community! Please help the team retain their long years of hard work, they deserve a chance.
From their official petition (please sign it :P):
MERP is a Lord of the Rings total conversion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim made, non for profit, by volunteers in their spare time. The current version of the mod has been running since 2008, and since then has grown substantially and the team has quickly become one of the largest and most ambitious teams in modding.
As of 2012 the team ported the mod to the newest Elder Scrolls game from its predecessor, Oblivion. Since the move the team has built up a huge following due to its quality and ambition. This rise in popularity has also drawn the eyes of Warner Bros. who currently hold the rights to The Lord of the Rings in gaming, who then issued the MERPteam a cease and desist letter.
We now need you, our fans and other gamers, to help make Warner regret sending that letter by showing them just how many people are behind this mod.
To be honest with you, there really arent any words in the English language which sum up my positive opinion of Nehrim: At Fates Edge. So, in order to retain my proffessionalism i've decided to create an entirely new word which I shall now use to describe this mod... Fumbloristic.
"But Extradaemon" you may say "Surely a modification created by Germans could never hope to match up to the level of amazingness that was Oblivion in the first place, could it?" And to that question I would merely say "you are correct my good sir. Nehrim doesn't match up to Oblivion, it sails right ahead of it and leaves Cyrodill battered and broken in the dirt."
I had heard a lot of praise about Nehrim, I had heard that it was Original, Dramatic, Immersive and pretty freaking amazing. And I must say, It was. The beginning dungeon of Nehrim isn't your typical Elder scrolls Tutorial. That grim moment when I first lit my torch only to see a horrific troll creature charging at me must of been one of the most frightening moments in any elder scrolls game ever! Thank the gods a lovable ally was there to save me during my time of need. The German voice acting really didn't bother me as much as I had imagined before playing Nehrim. Being unable to speak the language, It brought about a sense of unfamiliarity about the world and the characters that inhabit it. Similar to the unfamiliarity of setting foot in Morrowind for the first time in the Elder Scrolls 3. Carrying on with the Dungeon, the environments were astonishingly well made. Collapsing walls and bridges really gave the feeling of age and desolation to the dark mining complex, every step I made was one with doubt and care as I desperately wished that the creaky wooden floorboards beneath me didn't collapse to reveal a horde of the hideous creatures which had previously made my acquaintance. Mine carts still sailed through the tunnels as if their former operators were still alive, it was creepy stuff, yet SureAI managed to pull it off perfectly. After entering a doorway into another chamber my character was frozen in position whilst Cerebro, my witty German companion who had saved my life earlier scouted ahead, the whole time I was silently whispering "Please dont die, please dont die, please dont di- godammit!". He had died...
I had started up Nehrim: at fates edge with some level of depression after seeing EA continue to not go bankrupt after another series of bad games. Nehrim however wouldn't allow me to be distracted, nehrim demanded the entirety of my attention, so to punish me for my lack of which A large hideous black demon, the one whom had prevously killed my best friend Cerebro only a few seconds earlier, was running straight at me and with one fell sweep of its great claws, had ripped my face off... Well that certainly did the trick!
Luckilly I had quicksaved right before the death of my dear friend. And only watching it a second time was I able to comprehend what I had felt. Do you remember that moment when you first saw Gandalf fall into the Great Chasm of Moria at the end of the first Lord of the Rings film? Devastating wasn't it? Didn't it just make you want to get on your knees and cry? Maybe that was just me. Well thats how I felt after the death of dear Cerebro. I had only known him for 2 minutes, and he mostly followed me around. But in a way he was MY Gandalf. He was my light in the dark, and he was now gone.
After a few hours of running away from the beast on my trail I had discovered a journal detailing exactly how to kill the creature (Thats conveniant!). What had been suggested from past experience was realised when I discovered that the only way to fight the creature would be to light the torches scattered around its lair in order to blind it, this would give me the opportunity to finnaly kill it. This was a step-up from the traditional Oblivion boss formula of hitting something really hard until it stops moving. It was a welcome change, I really did feel a sense of accomplishment when the creature was lying dead at my feet. Cerebro had been avenged, and I was free. Being Nehrim however, I wasn't allowed to walk away so easily, the next segment of the dungeon saw me traversing a claustrophbic cavern which had been devastated by the thick roots of the trees and foliage above, I had to combat a large variety of supremely well made adversaries during my dungeon crawl, the most notable being the zombies which hit with the same power and force as the Euro star. Pain is the best way to sum those guys up, yet all the heartbreak was worth it.As I was finnaly free... a second time.
The exit of the cave complex led to a seemingly peaceful mine. The miners allowed me to get a job working with them there until the palisade over the road out of the mine was lifted. One quest in the mine involved me blocking rat tunnels with one of different sized rocks. This is a good example of a puzzle that you just wouldn't see in vanilla Oblivion. Another example, as strange as it is involved lifting the road block with, you guessed it. Cheese! Sheogorath would be proud. Once I had finnaly left the shackles of the starting town I was welcomed to a glorious mountain environment which strongly reminded me of Skyrim in both scale and magnificence. It seems that the development team of Nehrim really didn't hold back in terms of detail, whilst trekking along the countryside I saw a variety of new foliage, creatures and (hold your gasps) Chickens! Due to the open back story of the player character in Oblivion, there wasn't much room for quests which heavily focused on the player's back story. Nehrim however, included many quests which delved into the origins of the player character, my highlight of which being when I entered the smoking ruins of my old hometown and underwent a flashback where I experienced first-hand the killing of my family and neighbors. Its dark stuff, but i was fine, I've played Amnesia after all.
=To Summarize =
I feel like I had left much of Nehrim unexplored after finishing my first impression's of the Mod. During one of my many ventures in this world I had come across a huge wooden gate in the middle of a forest which suspiciously warned me of a cruel and agonizing demise if I ever happened to cross that point, needless to say I decided to walk in the other direction, yet a little part of me has always wanted to travel through those mysterious doors and no-doubt have an adventure I will never truly forget. One thing is for sure though, im not going to stop playing Nehrim anytime soon. And if you dont have oblivion, I highly recommend that you buy it just for this mod, its worth it. I'm giving Nehrim a 10/10 for a fantastic setting, memorable environments and all round fun game play. I'd gladly pay £30 for a game of the same quality as Nehrim. It truly is Fumbloristic.
(Stay tuned for next week where I give my first impressions and Analysis for Project Zomboid, also if you would like an FIA of the Beta for the new game from Paradox Interactive "War of the Roses" be sure to click the link below and sign up for the beta using this link, help would be appreciated)
To be honest with you. I am a sucker for anything Warhammer. I find it to be one of the most underrated universes ever. Although I've never played one of the traditional tabletop games myself, ive always had a collection of space wolves on my desk since I was a child (although I DO prefer the Raven Guard :P). So, imagine my reaction when I discovered a mod that converted regular good old Dawn of War to be more in-tune to the Codex. Coincidentally, this mod is called...Codex (who would have guessed it!).
Although far from completion this mod has already proved to be a gem of the DoW modding community, I downloaded this mod as hastily as I could in order to try for myself the new dawn of war. Because of my rare condition which results in me suddenly become really bad at all strategy games in multiplayer I decided to jump into a singleplayer skirmish game instead. Because of my amateur knowledge of Warhammer I was unfamiliar with many of the new factions which were included with this mod. Because of this I decided to setup the game in this fashion in order to see the new factions in action:
Me = Lost and the Damned
CPU1 = Adeptus Mechanicus
CPU2 = Grey Knights
CPU3 = Space Wolves
CPU4 = Dark Angels
CPU5 = Blood Angels
CPU6 = Chaos Daemons
CPU7 = Orcs
It turns out that the faction that I had chosen was a traitor renegade faction of the Imperial Guard, They were to the Guard what Chaos was to the Space marines, mean as Hell. The map the game was played on was a simple 4v4 snow map with each faction spawning on a large, easily defendable hill. A frontline was made in the dead center of the map. I primarily fought the Orcs in the south with some support from the grey knights whilst the rest of my team however decided that it was better to combine their forces and strike the north together.
I had a fantastic time testing out all of the new units included in this mod, It even appeared that the one default faction in my battle (the orks) had new units as well (a quick trip to the army painter revealed that a host of new and old units had been added and revamped in this "Mod"). During the battle it appeared that none of us could achieve a proper advance past the frontline. I normally use 4v4 battles to test the overall balance in games such as these, I was pleased with how the codex mod managed to do this... so far.
However I noticed something when planning out my next strategic maneuver on the minimap. A huge red blob (larger then any I had seen in the game before) was steamrolling its way from the north directly towards the frontline of my personally special ally, the Space Wolves. In a panic, I quickly jumped my camera over to the battlefield to witness an entire army of chaos daemons, led by a creature I can only describe as a Dragon on top of a Tank. The army easily obliterated both the main army and the base of the spacewolves with little effort. It then proceeded to head south towards the bases of my grey knight and orc allies. They both succumbed to the same fate just as easily as the Wolves.
It was only me remaining. I had to rely on my layers of defensive lines in order to hold back the chaos horde and its allies until I could decide upon a proper strategy to push them back and win the battle single-handedly. My turrets and infantry/tank battalions did a fairly decent job of holding back the unrelenting tide of daemons. However, it was to no avail. My armies and land were in ruins. And I had lost the battle.
=To Summarize =
I had a fantastic amount of fun playing the Codex mod. The armies of new units proved both a challenge and a pleasure to fight with and the greater emphasis on staying with the codex proved to bring on greater immersion than the original Dawn of War. However, That little encounter with the Daemons of Chaos made me question the overall unit/faction balance. The mod is still in production however so I am expecting such issues to be fixed and more units (for the Dark Eldar for example) to be added. Im giving this mod a 9/10, don't be surprised though if I ramp it up to 10 during its final release.
Also I want Raven Guard!
(Stay tuned for next week where I give my first impressions and Analysis of Nehrim: At fates edge, also if you would like an FIA (as I shall now call it :P) of the Beta for "War of the Roses" be sure to click the link below)