Last Friday Stark and I decided to do some streaming, and by streaming I mean talking on Skype while we both drink and I play video games. The entire event turned from me experiencing a game that I literally just downloaded that night to hopefully play through for both Twitch fans, to be becoming too drunk too do anything that resembled that intention. After quickly jumping to a couple of other games we finally landed on Brutal Legend. We then proceeded to continue drinking and I forgot how the very basics of video game controls, such as movement and button prompts, work. I might be only slightly exaggerating but I am pretty sure I also lost most of my grasp of the English language at one point. Be warned, this is over four and a half hours and we get drunk.
So this is a little late due to various and stupid real life things, but none the less the game of the year podcast with Stark and I is up and ready for a good solid listening too! What we end up selecting for a favorite game is not something that either of us really expected to be talking about, but when you have a conversation and want to come to some kind of agreement then I guess the one game both of us played for an insane amount of time is the winner. We also have a ton of other game based talk, but we mainly try to stay within the confines of the GoTY award.
We ended up having some weird audio problems, but it was kind of sorted out by the end of the pod. Hope you all enjoy.
Over a decade ago the Thief and Deus Ex series went about changing the way that people looked at first person shooters. While some people look back and see these as a gold age of awesome that can’t be topped, it is also import to note that most games didn’t ever end up going down that path because the sequels always managed to be entirely less than the sum of their parts. It is good to know, now, that after all this time there is finally one game that is frankly better than those two after all this time.
Dishonored’s world is something of a Victorian Steam Punk’s wet dream. Everything seems to be built out of hundreds of moving parts, always seems like it is in precarious danger of breaking due to over use, and is powered by the obscure and forgotten fuel source: whale oil. Everything scattered through the environment, be it loose change to empty bottles, feels like it was set there with a purpose and not simply randomly generated as the player entered the zone. Without a doubt Dishonored’s greatest achievement ends up being its sense of place.
The game boasts that you can play through both lethal and non-lethally, but for most players it is going to be some kind of odd mixture of the two as there are times—namely after getting discovered—that it is difficult to keep playing without either returning to a previous save or simply slaughtering the one or two offending guards. The game will throw up the stats of how many people died in a level, how many bodies became discovered, and several others, but for most people this will probably only seem like another look at their actions as opposed to something to strive to min/max.
These two different play styles manage to lend themselves to the way that the game itself seems to be set up, mainly the entire sense of freedom that they strive for in the moment to moment play. Early in the game there is a check point that the player must get through, and the tutorial suggests two or three ways that they might want to go about doing that, the problem with all of this is that while the game might be suggesting a handful there are really countless ways to do it—even to the point that the entire thing can almost be ignored if the player wants.
Like the games that came before it Dishonored does a great job setting a mood, a place, and even the player freedom from the start of the game. Like most of those games before it there is really something that must played to fully experience, as there really isn’t any way to tell someone the twelve different tricks that you used dark magic to escape from an alerted guard. When it comes right down to it Dishonored is one of the few games that have come out, almost ever, that can wholeheartedly be blindly recommended to almost anyone with a system to play it on. For those without such a system they may want to look into investing in one.
You ever have one of those ideas, one that sounds great inside of your head and when you act on it you are just left there wondering what kind of a jerk your past self was? That is kind of what happened to Stark and I this week. We decided to go down the terrible and dirty road of playing product based games, like the Avoid the Noid game and ones entirely about Chester Cheetah. Recently I have been called out for not liking some of the games from people’s childhood, but I can promise you on this one that if any of you liked this game you fell victim to just being a really stupid kid. Don’t worry, we all liked Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles when it was on.
We also go off track and talk about Dishonored and X-Com and Mugen Souls and what have you, if you are interested in the latter half of the pod.
So this time Stark and I talk about the Sim City series, and basically how it is the largest waste of time in our young lives. If there was a game series that ate up more of our time I can’t think of one. In the tradition of most of our podcasts we don’t really talk about much for very long before getting distracted and simply talking about pretty much anything else that we can think of. At one point this devolves into a new game that I came up with, “Video Games or Jersey Shore,” which I think might be the worst thing that anyone has every thought of involving video games.