17 December 2012
Gaming Genres: FPS
Story Genres: War, Horror, Historical, Fantasy
Graphical Styles: 3D, Realism, High Resolution
Pricing Model: Pay $
Developer(s): The Farm 51
Publisher(s): 1C Company
Initial Release Date: Feb 19, 2010
Website(s): Homepage, Publishers Page, Steam, GamersGate
NecroVisioN: Lost Company is the prequel to original horror FPS shooter, taking place before the NecroVisioN story begins. It contains a bunch of unique levels, characters, weapons and gameplay elements as well as new main hero that presents the original game story from opposite perspective. Player is now one of WWI German troops that discovers the evil forces unleashed by the war, starts to fight against them and leads soldiers of all nations gathered on the front through the massive battles against the zombies and demons and finally he becomes a first Necromancer that will fight against Simon Bukner in NecroVisioN.
More of NecroVision but not nearly as good. It is really short, has a confusing story, mostly boring missions, and a horrible progression.
29 October 2012
Gaming Genres: Action-Adventure, Platformer, Physics, Sandbox
Story Genres: Comedic, Fantasy
Graphical Styles: 3D, Cartoon, High Resolution, Punk
Pricing Model: Pay $
Developer(s): Ice-Pick Lodge
Publisher(s): Viva Media, bitComposer Games
Initial Release Date: April 21, 2011
Website(s): Homepage, Facebook, Steam, Amazon, GamersGate
The Gods haven’t looked too kindly on humanity and Earth, as we know it, has been reduced to a group of island archipelagos, populated by Buddies – pint-sized creatures, unbound by gravity’s forces and free to float and frolic at their own whim and leisure.
The Gods have given the Buddies ree reign over these colorful islands for their own willy-nilly, topsy turvy pleasure. But, there is a way to stop them. FUN is the secret ingredient that will ground the Buddies and return gravity to Earth.
As one of Earth’s last human survivors, it’s up to you to dish out a healthy dose of amusement to restore order on Earth.
Do you have what it takes to outwit the Buddies and win back the favor of the Gods?
Packed with unique and innovative physics-driven gameplay that offers multiple solutions to each mission; not to mention an unlimited sandbox mode! Explore a wide variety landscapes and locations including flying islands, large underwater environments, and numerous interiors. Changing seasons offer a dynamic effect on gameplay. Loads of different parts & components that can be assembled to create crazy yet functional vehicles.
Cargo is probably the best build your own vehicle game yet created, and yet you just have to shake your head at some of the design choices.
Take the story as a simple example of this, Ice-lodge weaves a beautiful vibrant world. And all the dialogue and characters are amazing, and the individual story arcs make sense But the overarching storyline just does not really make much sense, why am I doing this, what have I even accomplished?
This is very much how the gameplay turned out. They created this great vehicle creation feature (including land, water surface, underwater, and flying), with surprisingly good physics, and yet the world is tiny, and the challenges never require any specific designs. So you have to ask yourself, why was so much emphasis put on creating your own vehicles, when you never need anything beyond the generic, the game world only takes like 30 seconds to fly straight across, and there are absolutely no real environmental obstacles that make even the most ungainly vehicles problematic.
There are also so many features that are simply never used. You have an entire underwater world that you explore for the entirety of a single quest, after that it is still there but there is no reason to go there, and this a place as big as the entire surface world. And right off the bat you are introduced to some scrap collecting mechanic, used to respawn the all important buddies; They mention this is a huge amount of the opening plot and a big deal is made of it. But it turns out you only use it like three times. I was expecting the game to be built around it, I was expecting specific parts for the vehicles to help you gather this scrap from floating islands and the bottom of the ocean. No, you can use it but it is not necessary or a good idea, and there is a very limited supply of scrap because it all has to be carried by hand, which is not only slow but impossible past the one tiny island that the whirlpool is on. You are also introduced to many money (FUN) making techniques at the beginning of the game: kicking buddies, making them dance, and driving them around. But you simply cannot make any significant amount of many dancing or kicking buddies; Other than the first 10 minutes of the game that you are without a vehicle, you should never use these techniques.
The game also relies far to much on money. To buy vehicle parts, you need money, to progress the plot, you need money. Most of the game is won by simply spending money, and it is just way to easy and repetitive to get. Other that a few specific challenges you buy plot progression.
But not all is bad, it is enjoyable to create and travel, and the world and character in it are fantastic. Everything is well done, just none of the pieces are fit together in any semblance of a logical pattern.
Play: Should Play
11 October 2012
Gaming Genres: Graphic Adventure
Story Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Graphical Styles: 3D, Realism, High Resolution
Pricing Model: Pay $
Developer(s): Neebla Games
Publisher(s): Neebla Games
Initial Release Date: September 12, 2012
Website(s): Homepage, Soundtrack
This game is a puzzle game like Myst in realtime 3D. You'll discover five mysterious islands and you’ll try to resolve their strange mechanisms.
A 3D adventure game that is primarily a Myst-like; That, most of all, tries to copy the Myst aesthetic. The game seems to have started life in August of 2012 and was released September of that same year, only a little over a month latter. With the development of this game comes Neebla Games, who seems willing to continue development of adventure game titles. For awhile The Five Cores was one of the early games on Steam Greenlight, and was probably the most interesting looking games on that service; And even though it did not work out, this served as its only real advertising, and the way in which I found the game.
Like I previously mentioned the development of The Five Cores was extremely rapid, and even if much of the game was developed before this one month period I am surprised it was finished in such a short timeframe; The environmental graphics themselves look like they should take many multiplies of that development time. Regardless of exactly how long was taken to develop the game, its less than polished nature does show. It contains a few bugs, for example, it is possible to fall off the edges of the paths in certain locations, when you run around you tend to get stuck, and there is one major puzzle (to shunt power to an important device) that you do not even have to complete. Also, I am rather perplexed about the addition of physics in the form of barrels, they kept getting in my way and rolling around, it would of been a lot better to not include them.
Its main problem is that is does not only copy Myst's style but moreso it copies its specifics, sometimes even ones that do not make sense in the context. There is a letter at the beginning of the game that explains the general situation, exactly like in Myst; But here it makes no sense because it is addressed to you, and you are a complete stranger, who has just randomly arrived on this deserted island. Also, nothing else is ever revealed storywise; That letter is the complete sum total of what we learn about the history of this place. And while many of the places you see look heavily inspired by Myst, its story is so strange and never explained, which is quite the opposite to Myst.
What the game does get right is exploration and experimentation. The game, just like Myst, is all about exploring this world you have stumbled upon; And while it does not do as good a job as Myst in this regard, the landscape is still very exotic and beautiful. In particular, I am talking about its lack of story, the islands and locations do not have any reason to be there and seem to only exist to hold the puzzle of that particular place. One thing it does do well, perhaps even better than Myst in some situations, is the experimental type puzzle solutions. Like Myst, The Five Cores uses challenge through obfuscation; The puzzles and the devices are alien and unexplained, making much trial, error, and experimentation a necessity. These puzzles are completely logic based, with not a single inventory item to be found in the entire game.
The most important aspect of The Five Cores, and the reason to play it, is the alien and beautiful scenery. I would say that it does not quite live up to the still screenshots, but is still very nice in person. One thing done very well is the light bloom, and it really varies the views at all locations. It is nice, but lacks not quite as astounding as I was hoping for.
The Five Cores is a good 3D adventure, and a rather interesting first effort by Neebla Games. It has nice graphics, interesting puzzles, but a rather shallow story. But for its budget price (for an adventure game), it is definitely something worth looking into for anyone interested in.