Surprised to see so much reaction to FUEL! I think it's one of those uncut diamonds. The fundamental stuff is great. The cars are good, the terrain is good, the handling is decent enough for a controller (it infamously doesn't like wheels), and even the graphics are quite nice considering the game is a few years old - the benefits of technologically-ancient consoles, I guess.
Is it recommended? Yes and no. There is a lot to enjoy here, but I think you have to like the open world aspect to get the most out of it. If you're mostly interested in racing on a sandy and rocky terrain and don't mind being restricted in where you can and cannot go, I'd have to say DiRT 2 is probably a better choice.
Edit; I remembered an article about somebody who drove around the world of FUEL for like a full day. By great coincidence, that somebody was RPS' own Jim Rossignol. It's a great read, and nice introduction to the world. The article can be found here.
Some more screenshots:
Rain and thunderstorms during a race. Even if they don't seem to change the handling that much, the weather effects definitely add to the atmosphere.
Northwards to the mountains; this forest has seen better days.
This narrow trail through the forest features, among other things, a steep cliff on its right.
The sun sets before the mountains are reached.
X3 - Albion Prelude: Following the JonFerCo plotline, I'm suddenly asked to capture a Xenon L (For those not familiar with the X franchise: the Xenon are a machine intelligence, originating from Earth, tasked to terraform the fuck out of everything ever. As is the usual sci-fi fare, they went out of control and are now attacking anything and everything. The "L" is a figher-class ship). Unfortunately, the only way to capture a L is by shooting it and hoping the AI gets disabled. Very grindy and dependent on luck, definately one of the more terrible missions.
Anyway, my M6 (Frigate-class ship) found its way in Xenon sector 346 somehow (I may have gotten mad at not capturing a L after a dozen attempts), hellbent on wrecking anything there. Unfortunately, a Xenon carrier (M1) was waiting for me. Boldy, my M6 engaged, while the M1 launched fighters and used its own guns to reduce me to a spacehulk. Still, pretty enough - I love ships with lots of turrets that autonomously perform tasks (Attack fighters, attack capitals, intercept missiles, etc):
Next is Human Revolution. Even now, I think there's still a hobo trying to chat up a wastebin:
The X games have always seemed quite interesting, so I picked up Terran Conflict during the Steam Christmas Sale. The UI seems quite impenetrable at times, and more than a little complicated; at times it seemed more complex than one of the Paradox wargames. I'm very curious to see what the next instalment, supposedly out later this year, will be like - as the UI is one of the things mentioned as being on the 'to be improved'-list.
One more from FUEL, three is a crowd!
You're making me long for FUEL. How arcade-y is it? I prefer my racing games to be acade-y.
I loved Batman AA but it barely was playable on my pc (it was smooth but you know that it is all it can pull off) so i have yet to play AC. Is it better or worse than AA? and is it as open as screens suggest?
a pic of BG:T created an ambush which resulted in almost two dozen of guards to be slaughtered by my party in a tiny corridor.
Arkham city if pretty much Arkham Asylum but with more villains, side missions, collectibles and it's more open world. It's a bit overwhelming to be thrown in to the city with so much to do and the pacing is a little weird at times but it's a great game.
Yea they're both great games really, and although I do kinda prefer the 1st game I think that preference pretty much boils down to the fact that I played it 1st. And the Scarecrow levels. And the more concentrated metroid-esque design. But the 2nd one has more shit to do for sure and better boss battles...
I always thought the X games were space flight sims but from that piccie it looks more of an EVElike.
What sort of game actually is it?
If it is an EVElike I wish I'd got it during the sale, since I've always wanted to a singleplayer equivalent to EVE.
As for X vs Eve Online - In Eve, combat is a bit distant. Set orbit, F1, shieldboost/armorrep/harden, whatever (Or rapefist or whatever the PL guys are doing these days). In X, youre in the thick of it if dogfighting, and if a ship has turrets, you can set each turret to focus on a specific task. But you can also let the AI do the combat and just carry on building an empire.
The other aspects are also present in both games: Trading (More intricate in Eve), mining (In X, you can either use a special module. Or just nuke the rock and collect the pebbles), building (Eve lets you build everything you want, provided you have the resources and blueprints, in X, you buy pre-fabricated items) and anything in between. Except multiplayer :)
Its NOT an easy game to get started with, but once it clicks, youll love it. Its definately not a sim (No micromanagement of shield status or engine perfomance etc), but you can manage or automate as much as you want to.
I was really asking about the control mechanics, i.e. direct piloting vs. issuing commands. From the sounds of it, though, it's more a strategy game with combat that you can get involved with by acting as captain of individual ships (as opposed to the pilot).
Sounds good. I'll have to pick it up some time
You can pilot ships directly (and dogfight in fighters) as well as give orders to individual ships, set up wingmen or make larger fleets, it's all pretty much up to you and how you want to play it.
@Lucasz - Arkham City is tied with Witcher 2 for being my favorite game of 2011. It is essentially a sandbox game where you can full explore the city between missions. There are also a load of sidequests, citizens to save etc. The missions themselves are about as open as those from Asylum but have bigger set pieces and better boss fights. Unfortunately, it is also more demanding on the hardware than Asylum.
Can't wait to see what the developers do next (fingers crossed a full sandbox in Gotham city).
Still, it's far less combat-focused than something like Freelancer or Evochron. You can quite happily avoid fighting entirely.