I'm just a guy who grew up playing too many video games and listening to too much metal. Hoping to be a writer, actor or software programmer, whichever I suck at least.

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Renegade X

Game review

When you do get a coordinated team in a full server and all of the elements come together, Renegade X has some genuine Normandy Beach moments. Tanks pummel each other endlessly, kept alive by engineers frantically running through the shrapnel. The battle can turn just from one sniper taking out a tank's engineer, or an airstrike on the front line, or a stealth unit planting a nuke in your base while you're away. Every move you make during a pitched battle, whether attacking or defending, can make or break your entire team, and the tension of fending off a massive assault or taking part in an APC rush into enemy territory is enough to leave your hands shaking, and your fist pumping in the air when a plan actually comes together. Winning is an addictive experience that will have you coming back for the thrill of C4ing an enemy MCT, hijacking an abandoned flame tank or watching your ion cannon take out the Airstrip.

Renegade X deserves to be played more. To recreate a game lost to time is one thing, to actually improve upon it in almost every way is monumental. The endless vehicular stalemates that plagued C&C: Renegade are all but gone. The new weapons and abilities open the doors for new tactics even after years of flame rushes and harvy walking. This is by no means a perfect game, especially with some dull weapons and bizarre vehicle physics thrown into the mix, but it fully accomplishes what it sets out to do, and the result is a freeware game that feels more complete than many of the for-profit free-to-play games on the market today.



Mod review - 1 disagree

It's tough to narrow my thoughts on Misery 2.1 down to just 2000 characters when I've already spent over 20 hours playing it. Simply put, this is one of the most dramatic, comprehensible, and memorable mods I've ever seen for any game in any genre. The changes made to STALKER: Call of Pripyat aren't necessarily improvements aside from the graphics and AI upgrades. Rather, it's a complete re-interpretation of the base game, having more in common with Arma III than Call of Pripyat itself.

It actually took me a while to get into this mod. When I first launched it, I thought I had made a mistake. All of a sudden the tricks and tactics I had gained through my first playthrough of CoP were useless, and it seemed like I would never wrap my head around the daunting weapon and armor maintenance system or make sense of the new economy. Misery flips the table on STALKER veterans so quickly that we feel like we're just opening our eyes in Sidorovich's bunker again.

But oh, how patience is rewarded! Little by little Misery's new mechanics begin to make sense. Early deaths quickly teach you what you can't do while robust and surprisingly scientific in-game descriptions tell you what does what. You stop thinking about your overall mission and start prioritizing your survival by finding shelter, sustainable food, and income. Each piece of equipment you obtain opens up the zone for you a little more, creating a constant sense of progress with each little accomplishment. Before you know it, you're using a PDA backpack to set up your own private base in the wilderness, cooking your own meals and cleaning your handgun obsessively.

Misery's sense of progress and depth invites so much exploration that STALKER becomes an addictive experience. You play at night, the AM hours creeping closer and your eyes getting sore, yet you feel the impulse to go out for one more hike and see what you find. Then you come across a new gun, mutant or stash and just like that, entire weekends disappear.


New Vision

Mod review

It's one thing to find such an extensive texture mod. It's another to find one that replaces the textures with so much care and attention that none of the high-res images seem out of place even on a decade-old engine! This is a huge revamp of Deus Ex that warrants an entire playthrough of the game just to see things in a different light.


Fall From Heaven II

Mod review - 2 agree

I answered the Ljosalfar's call for aid in their war against the Sheaim with a gambit. There were only two ways to reach the Sheaim from my Hippus empire: through a narrow pass in the barbarian mountains or by sea to the Ljosalfar coast and north to the Sheaim highlands. So I took five galleons loaded with champions, horsemen, archers and mages and made landing in Ljosalfar territory.

As my army made way north to the Sheaim lands, Thessa of the Ljosalfar unexpectedly announced a truce with the Sheaim, pulling her and the armies of her two vassals out of the fight. My forces could no longer count on their support. But no matter, I could invade Sheaim by surprise. Sure enough, by the time my southern forces reached their first target city, there were hardly a few bowman to stop them. The city fell easily.

But I never expected the treason. Right after conquering this city, which lay just between the Sheaim and Ljosalfar lands, the Ljosalfar declared war on me, bringing their vassals the Svartalfar and Elohim along. Suddenly I found an army I could not afford to lose trapped in a city I could not keep in the shadow of four advancing armies. It looked as though I had no way out. So I made a deal with the devil...

I contacted Hyborum the Infernal, knowing the Infernals had no city of their own yet. I offered him the Sheaim city I had just captured for nothing in return. Not only would this put the Sheaim and traitorous Ljosalfar at the Infernal's doorstep, it would also transport my entire army out of harm's way and to the nearest friendly territory.

As luck would have it, that friendly territory turned out to be a small patch of land I own on the other side of a mountain range, deep in Svartalfar territory. Now my men must make a desperate march through enemy land to the Ljosalfar coast before the four armies can find them, or try to capture a city and hold as long as they can...

That's the kind of stuff that happens in this game! An epic fantasy theater for Civ IV!


Perfect Dark

Game review
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