Monday, June 2, 2014

Falling over and over

Over the weekend Chance and I had a short but completely unironic conversation about how Wolfenstein ended. Let that sink in for a second - we spoke seriously about the plot of a Wolfenstein game. It is a wonder that there is plot at all, and marvelous that it was good enough to be open to different interpretations. The game isn't quite old enough for me to spoil yet, but I will say that I like my heroes tragic and dead when their destiny has been fulfilled. I was not disappointed.

Wolfenstein avoided one of the first person shooter's oldest foes, jumping accurately, for most of the game by either not using it all or making it easy enough that I couldn't screw it up. Then I had to jump into a helicopter. The first time I landed and then skidded out the opposite side because the other door was open. The next ten times I either hit my head on the top of the opening and fell or came up short.

Did I mention that for some bizarre reason the loading time between deaths was three or four time longer than anywhere else? Every time I fell I was treated to about ninety seconds of waiting before dying again. Eventually I made the jump, finished the turret section, only to have to jump out of the helicopter. I lined up my jump, took my time, backed up to get a running start...

...and fell out of the open door behind me. I died more times to that jump than I did to anything else in the game. It went from funny to infuriating and back to funny in the space of ten minutes. Neither that nor the gratuitous sex scenes I complained about last week manage to sour the game. They were just two little nits to pick in what otherwise is easily the best shooter to come out on either of the new consoles.

...

Watch_Dogs is just GTA with magic technology. I hate GTA, yet I am still playing Watch_Dogs. The reason is simple: unlike GTA the cars handle well enough to actually do the precision driving the game is asking for. There are 'fixer' missions that are nothing more than driving from point A to point B and they are enjoyable because the cars are fun to drive. Amazing what a little attention to detail can do.

Speaking of details, Chicago in Watch_Dogs honestly looks like Chicago. I was just there about a month ago and it is almost eerie. Landmarks are all too close together and just slightly off (to avoid paying licensing fees) but pulling up to Millenium Park and seeing the giant shiny bean, now called the infinity sculpture, was just weird.

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