Thursday, April 26, 2012


Anyone remember S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?


Of course you do, especially if you are a fan of semi post-apocalyptic shooters with RPG elements that take place in the area surrounding the worst nuclear disaster of our time. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has a very specific but dedicated fan base, and even the buggy mess of Clear Sky, a game I tried several time to play without success, did not temper our desire for a true sequel. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 has been in the works for a while with screen shots sneaking out here and there, but there was no real new until it was officially canceled, or frozen, whatever that means, earlier this week.

This of course sucks, but, news has come out today that maybe, just maybe, Bethesda now owns the license. It does seem a bit redundant to me, as they already have a similar, if less dark franchise that fits into the same mental space in Fallout, but then I thought about a new S.T.A.L.K.E.R. running on the Fallout New Vegas engine and got excited. As long as Bethesda can maintain the the correct mood, less gallows humor and more just gallows, I am all aboard them getting a shot at it. It doesn't hurt that Bethesda will give the game a console release, something that had no chance of happening otherwise. The original S.T.A.L.K.E.R. tham is now hard at work on a massively multiplayer something or other that will not be nearly as tolerant of their general bugginess, so I hope they all can find new jobs.

All rumors, of course, but fun ones.


Forty hours into Amalur and it shows now signs of slowing down. Every new area is filled with side quests, and even though I am hopelessly over leveled and the items I receive are immediately sold for coin I still feel compelled to complete them. Once I hit the level cap I might start skipping them, as they will move from limited benefit to actual wastes of time, but that is still eight levels away.

A few levels ago I gained the ability to fire a spread of arrows instead of just one, and that had lead to the very effective tactic of a quick juggle hit with my daggers followed by a close range, shotgun like volley of enchanted arrows that killed most things in a rep or two. I still have a difficult time with crowd control, but when I finally do know someone done they usually do not get up again. All the abilities that are left in the thief/assassin tree are useless, but I need to keep dumping  into them to unlock the top level assassin destiny. I have certainly leveled myself into a corner, but at least I can respec every single point for a fee.

That should't be a problem. My wallet is currently filled with around 1.2 million gold coins.

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