Now That’s What I Call A Best 2008 Ever! November

Does this logo make any sense to US readers?

As our calendarial look-o-back rushes to catch up with the present day, we leap on it like angry wrestlers and pin it to November. “Tell us your November-based secrets!” we cry, as it fights to get free and hurtle into December. But we are strong, and soon it relents. Resigned to this temporary fate it looks up at us and speaks slowly and carefully. “Okay then, here are November.”

RPS ROADTRIP! We head off to Seattle to visit Auntie and Uncle Valve, and their newborn son, Left4Dead. We play the unliving hell out of it, then write a kerbillion words. (Ultro link for L4D here.)

Kieron: I kind of wish we went totally apeshit on this and started reviewing and critiquing everything that passed our eyes. Writing an exegesis on the Valve Toilets would have been splendid.

John: We totally said we would do that. Then jetlag arrived. And then Left4Dead. And then the Cheesecake Factory. Man, we should have reviewed the Cheesecake Factory. This was a superfuntime. And we got to see Obama win the election in an amazing underground bar called The Pink Door, where you went through a glowing pink door in a back alley. We should have reviewed that too.

Jim: It’s lucky that the game was good, otherwise we’d have been forced to torch the joint. As it happened we just ended up torching the tank, and that seemed like enough. The few really good games I’ve had of this in the past weeks (few because I’ve been playing all the other games, and Eve Online) have been amazing.

Alec: Why were we so tired when we were out there? Are we really that old? Also – I must post my photo of Kieron posing with that Democrats For Mcain placard he found.

While we’re there, we grab Erik Wolpaw and make him join in with one of our podcasts under threat of a dead arm.

John: Some would have tried to force out as much Valve gossip as they could. We got him to talk about Gauntlet. That’s the RPS Promise!

Kieron: I’m going to try and get more developers on the podcast in the new year. After buying a mic, of course. And I’ll get them drunk, so they are a little looser with their tongues too.

Jim: Listen to the strange metallic room bonging and gonging in the background. Valve are so rich they had everything made out of wrought iron, even the table.

Alec: I reckon special guests are the way to go with these – it gives a focus other than Wot We’ve Played and whether I bought crisps or nuts.

Tim Schafer reveals the design docs behind Grim Fandango. We stare at the pretties.

Kieron: I love this kind of stuff. The Planescape docs getting out in the wild is similarly joyous. Chatting to Spector last year about them donating a load of stuff to a library, hearing news of archaeologists-of-gaming going through Origin’s files and discovering lost treasures and the whole thing with the leaked Infocom hard-drive makes me glad that people are actually taking looking after the past seriously, in a way more than just, “Lets’ emulate an old game.” Now, if someone would actually write the much needed book on the rise and fall of the British games industry, we’ll be getting somewhere…

John: The Day of the Tentacle one please.

Jim: Not a bad glimpse into the creative process. One day soon you too might be clever enough to design a smoking, wise-cracking skeleton.

Alec: Grim Fandango remains one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen. Has anyone managed to mod it for high resolutions yet? Meantime, Double-Fine have also started up the Psychopedia, which is hosting a bunch of prototype stuff from Psychonauts. Wuv yoo, Schafer.

Just why didn’t Dead Space set the world on fire?

Kieron:Still haven’t played it, alas. I suspect the sequels may do the business, in a similar way that Prince of Persia took a while to get going commercially.

John: I might take a crack at this over the holidays. Along with 900 other games.

Jim: I played it! And I actually really liked it. There’s some really dodgy rail shooter and “dodge the asteroid!” bits, but the main fighting corridor stuff is great, and the final boss is just nasty.

Alec: I watched my housemate play it for a bit, but then decided to go do the washing up instead. Action games have to be particularly interesting to snare my snobbish attention these days. It’s like I’ve finally grown up or something.

Eve is going to get even bigger next Summer. And then rumours of an Eve FPS?

Kieron: An Eve FPS should be asteroids, but in first person, and with you having to collect the bits of rock after you blow it up. For eight years.

John: I suggest a co-op shooter in which you get to fire once every fifteen days, and then argue over whether that was the right decision.

Jim: See how they’ve never actually played Eve? Le sigh.

Alec: Amazes me it’s taken this long for CCP to expand their empire. They’ve got such a captive, absurdly passionate audience for their spaceshippery.

Comics meet games. Shake hands. Sit down to chat.

Kieron: This really wasn’t me pitching for work. And it features the second most embarrassing mis-word-write of the year when I said “Parse” rather than “Essay”. The first being in the big symposium thing when I used “tautology” where it clearly wasn’t one. Being a pseud is hard sometimes, especially when you’re not all that bright.

John: Kieron was totally pitching for work. Anyone want a game script written?

Alec: Or a film script? Or something about robots and cats?

Jim: Comics need a new graphics engine.

A post about piracy receives fewer than 60 comments. RPS faints.

Kieron: We’re going to need a new page-impression cow soon. Mark my words.

John: Nah, there’s plenty-a milk in this old girl.

Alec: Dear The Internet: PLEASE stop mailing us about that Tweakguides piracy article. We’ve already posted about it. Kisses, RPS.

Apparently there was something about World of Goo and piracy?

Kieron: God, this got messy. I’d take it as another opportunity to note that the second set of figures, if anything, lean low, since the main missing influences on it will be positive ones (i.e. People not logging into the Tower of Goo factory thing. And what sort of idiot logs into one on a pirated game?)

John: I’ll take the opportunity to point out that World of Goo is currently the #2 selling PC game on, and echo Kyle’s remark that this makes the argument even more interesting!

Jim: Fortunately, beneath it all, World Of Goo was great. I hope you bought. Yes, you, Steve.

Alec: I pirated it nine million times, because nothing gets me off quite like destroying small businesses.

Mad man somehow gets to level 80 on launch day of Lich King.

Kieron: You know that bit in the Simpsons where comicbook guy is staring at a nuclear explosion or something and just says – in a single burst – I’vewastedmylife? That. Exactly that.

John: I wonder if he had fun. I guess if he did, good for him. But I’m tempted to doubt it.

Jim: That man is actually faster than other humans, like The Flash.

Alec: I’m sure a lot of people said ‘gratz’ to him and it all seemed worth it. Did rather seem he was missing out on everything that makes Lich King so suprisingly super-fun, though.

Alec goes to a pretend wedding. Gets weirded out.

Kieron: Better than John, who gets weirded out by real weddings. One day I’ll write about my first online funeral… problem being is finding a way to do it without being exploitative, y’know? From the other end of the online experience, I want Jim to write about his Kingpin funeral one, for a different sort of thing.

John: My rule: leave weddings before the dancing begins. I’m a better person for it.

Jim: World Of Warcraft is the new Las Vegas.

Alec: I still want to go to a proper WoW wedding sometime. Please invite me if you’re having one – I promise I’m too gentlemanly to lech over the bridesmaids or throw up in the punch.

John secretly has a crush on Left 4 Dead’s Witch.

John: I really loved being scared by the Witch. This is something you opt into, like a horror movie. People who boast, “Well, she didn’t scare me at all!” just sound like giant twits to me. Oh, well done, you lessened the impact and fun you had. Have a prize.

Kieron: I think my favourite comment on the RPS threads this year was someone noting that Kate Bush confused him. She’s like the Witch, but hot. Truth.

Jim: Hot witches are hot.

Alec: A scowling photo of skinny, long-haired friend of mine was tagged as ‘don’t startle the witch’ on Facebook. She was instantly offended by the witch comment, and I feel bad that I can’t begin to explain the joke to her. At the same time, it’s funnier because she doesn’t understand it. Giggle.

RPS trolls Eurogamer’s interview with Chet Faliszek. LOLs abound.

John: This is proof that both Chet and Tom Bramwell are good sports. Also it’s proof that RPS is prepared to resort to guerilla tactics to get attention. Be warned, gaming sites. We will infiltrate.

Kieron: My favourite bit in a podcast this year was where a sleep-deprived Walker and a hungover me discussed how I’d imagined Chet would be a tiny bald guy and he’s actually an enormous nordic warrior who could crush us like twigs. And he could. And he will.

As is traditional for these posts, here’s your monthly MMO closure announcement. This time, Tabula Rasa.

Kieron: I liked my time with this one. A bit of a shame. I’m planning on going back in January, when it goes free for a couple of weeks. We should all go and have an apocalypse party or something.

John: I never got past the not-really-aiming thing. Which is perhaps petty, but it bugged me. It made the whole world feel oddly false. That, and getting killed by some giant floaty thing in one shot over and over when on a given mission path. That didn’t help.

Alec: Lasted a week before the cowardice at TR’s heart turned me off it. Genuinely fascinated to see its end days, though. There’s a lot of interesting ways it could resolve its human refugee setup.

Compulsive gaming is declared not an addiction by the man who spent years shouting about how it was. Oddness.

Kieron: Denial.

John: Anger.


Jim: Itching?

Anne Diamond takes a break from hating games to hawk her website promoting one.

John: Despite being assured by Ben Goldacre that the doc involved in this, Nigel Denby, was a good sort, I was enormously disappointed that he chose to ignore my email asking for more information and details over what controls would be used in the testing. The whole thing seems ridiculous, but no doubt canny marketing by PopCap.

Jim: I don’t believe in Anne Diamond, she’s a story made up to scare lefty children.

Alec: I swear Diamond was a figure of genuine respect, tolerance and niceness when I was younger. Was I just naive, or has she been twisted into this uninformed evil form over the last couple of decades?

You can get an RPS t-shirt! GET ONE.

Kieron: As in, more than one person, get one.

John: You really think you’ll be able to be seen in public without 2009’s must-have accessory?

Alec: An Angry Blog recently accused us of constantly hawking stuff like this. Yeah, that one t-shirt post we did was absolutely outta control. Sorry, readers!

GTA IV hires some heavies to guard its doors.

John: It’s like they’re a teacher who’s saying, “Unless whoever did the piracy owns up, we’re going to punish the entire class.” But a teacher who has lost his mind, and whose punishments become increasingly insane.

Kieron: The number of propriety game-things trying to run on my machine is just getting stupid now.

Jim: God, this was crappy. On a brighter note: it’s fucking ace on PC. If you can get it running.

Alec: Again, I’d love to have seen the decision-making process for this. I’ll just bet there’s some Rockstar programmers who are absolutely mortified by what happened, and at the same time some bellowing red-faced bureaucrat who can’t believe the game still got pirated in vast quantities.

Notable releases

Sacred 2

Kieron: Tom Chick likes it and John Walker doesn’t. That’s all I know.

John: John Walker is correct. Well, it’s not a case of not liking it. It was very, very average, with some enormous bugs. Something that really stuck in my craw was the real-world gags within. They build this HUGE world, have all these stories about heroes and mysterious futuristic devices and so on, and then have gravestones with Portal gags written on them. Or references to the flaws of the genre. Or comments about the development team. It made the whole thing feel cheap and tacky.

Jim: Is nothing sacred? oh.

Alec: I’m going to give this a go. I’ve heard bad things, but I’m hungry for ambitious fantasy gubbins after King’s Bounty. And if it is bad, well – then I get to say so.

Call of Duty: World At War

Kieron: Having spent the last half of this year buried in books about WW2, I felt an odd sympathy with this return to all things Khaki. Co-op was a predictable addition, but not an unwelcome one. And I think that while it may have lacked the inspiration of CoD4, Treyarch have shown they can make a decent CoD game. So well done them.

Jim: The multiplayer mode is excellent.

Alec: Decent wasn’t enough – and it was only just decent at that. There’s a crippling lack of ambition to it, and the grenade spam-death in singleplayer is the kind of thing a blind weasel could have told Treyarch to ditch. Co-op and zombie modes were a hoot, however.

Tomb Raider Underworld

John: Definitely one of my games of 2008. Absolutely beautiful design, some of the best level design I’ve ever seen. And banishing bosses completely was a marvellous and brave decision that deserves trumpeting from the rooftops. It’s a shame the story was so utterly awful, and despite the introduction of a stun gun for those not willing to murder a puma/grumpy guard, the combat was still superfluous. But it was the best Tomb Raider so far.

Kieron: My girlfriend is about to start playing this. I’ll interrogate her afterwards, or perhaps just watch. I could have a series of columns called “Staring At My Girlfriend”. That won’t be creepy, at all.


Kieron: Not all games with Minotaurs in them are awesome.


Kieron:It’s a bit of a shame about… well, everything that’s a bit of a shame about it. 32 multiplayer in a GTA race is just obscenely hilarious, and driving around the city with Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse blaring was magical. My personal worst thing? Forget the frame rate, the security, everything else – it’s that my saved games don’t work. That means I need to play the opening ten hours for the fourth time (360, 360 again, PC review code and now PC retail) to get back deep into it. Gahk!

John: I played it through on 360 and loved it. And I’ve never even liked a GTA game before. (Realised they’re brilliant, played them for many hours, but never liked them.) But I’ve yet to brave the PC version.

Jim: See above. Loved it, still playing it through (for the second time).

Alec: I prefer Saints Row 2. I am such a renegade, me.

Kieron:You’re not a renegade. You’re a heretic. It’s not on the PC yet, you bast.

Mosby’s Confederacy

Kieron: Another one I want to go back to – I tried after writing those impressions, but it crashed when it started for some reason and I’ve never wandered back. Pah!


  1. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    A splendid month! Any chance of a European deal with those t-shirts? They look awesome, but due to “financial difficulties” and the “current climate” there’s no way I can import one.

  2. Tei says:

    I think the next Max Brooks “Zombie Surviva Guide” book will be really sort. I will be 1 page with the text “Survivors bunker in a closet, spam mele”.

  3. Kua says:

    Tabula Rasa has gone free a little early. And I have no reservations in boasting that I called it.

  4. turban_man says:

    Not much to do with november, but the L4D steam forum pointed me to this cool 4kb game: link to

  5. Pags says:

    November: Left4Dead month.

    That is all that needs to be said.

  6. The Hammer says:

    I bought my brother Dead Space for Christmas, today. I think he’ll dig it.

  7. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, Dead Space is good. It feels consoley, but in a good way – the third person, slightly cumbersome controls actually work to further the tension a bit.

  8. James says:

    If anyone is interested Gamestation seems to have 50% Tomb Raider: Underworld this week. However, the one in Swindon had sold out. (They also seemed miffed by my student discount card and Gedit loyalty card, I don’t know if its a case of Ednburgh making things up or Swindon being a backwater)

  9. roBurky says:

    “You can get an RPS t-shirt! GET ONE.”

    And maybe sometime next year they’ll actually get around to delivering them.

  10. Downloads_Plz says:

    So will December’s edition essentially be a recap of this years recaps? And will such a thing somehow cause the universe to implode?

  11. Cargo Cult says:

    Also, RPS bought me beer. Hooray!

    (Thanks again!)

  12. Jim Rossignol says:

    See, not all our money funds evil plots.

  13. Hobbes says:

    “Kieron: I could have a series of columns called “Staring At My Girlfriend”. That won’t be creepy, at all.”

    At least not as creepy as someone else writing a series called “Staring at your girlfriend”

  14. Xercies says:

    Yeah L4D didn’t do well with their demo, scared a customer away in the form of me since I still don’t know whether i will like it or not. Not spending £30 to find out.

    GTA4 was absolutely horrible, I’m glad it got pirated.

  15. Hypocee says:

    Valve’s handling of the demo lost a L4D sale from me too, though I’m not angry as that sentence usually implies. Just on the basis of the hype and Valve’s name I was defaulting to pull the trigger after a couple of campaigns, but I didn’t have time to play the week the demo existed (visiting relatives). I was shocked on the weekend when I went to play the demo and found that it had turned into a preload of the game should I choose to buy my first full-price multiplay-only title sight unseen. That’s not what I spent 6GB of bandwidth for, guys. Waiting several weeks for Valve to fix their ridiculous error and rerelease the demo gave me time to remember that I don’t like either console matchmaking systems or foul-mouthed fourteen-year-olds and regularly getting four/eight people together for hours is a greater fantasy than an actual Z-virus apocalypse with free big guns.

    I’ve said it before, but I think not here – that whole release seems very un-Valve to me. On balance I’m glad their uncharacteristic bungling saved me from buying a (great) game I can’t play, but I’m simply unable to comprehend the reasoning behind the choices they made in constructing and releasing the demo.

  16. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    Hoo yeah I forgot about the free RPS beer – thanks for that! It makes up for me not being able to afford your t-shirts! Hurrah!

  17. subedii says:

    Hypocee: Call the demo what it was: An open Beta.

    They did the exact same thing for TF2, only they called it what it was. The only difference is that in this instance they made it available for the public to play this time, not just the pre-orders.

    With regards to the matchmaking, sorry but your complaints are pretty much invalid on a number of grounds. The matchmaking works now, and if you’re not interested in playing with random people (like me), it’s ridiculously easy to set up games with people on your friends list, or even just people from a group you’re part of (like say, the RPS group).

    The nature of the game is the same as TF2, in that even a small section can be played indefinitely, and can easily expanded on with additional levels as well. You say this is uncharacteristically unlike Valve, but Valve do not have any demo’s available for any of their other multiplayer shooters either. What they do is the occasional free-weekend promotion, usually when there’s been a significant update.

  18. Gap Gen says:

    I didn’t buy L4D as I’m not sure about spending £30 on a multiplayer-only experience (hell, I got Orange Box for £30), and as people say, the “demo” ran out. So, ho hum. I have other games to play as it is.

  19. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Tim Schafer reveals the design docs behind Grim Fandango.

    … then Lucasarts promptly swooped in and stopped all the fun, pausing on their way out the door to steal a Curly Wurly from a small child and kick a puppy. Possibly. Tim doesn’t give any reasoning for the removal of the doc, other than hinting at the legal issues, so he might’ve just removed it when he realised it legally wasn’t his to give away (what with ‘This is copyright of Lucasarts’ effectively stamped on every page). Regardless, the document has since been re-hosted elsewhere.

    I prefer Saints Row 2. I am such a renegade, me.

    I’ve seen this sentiment repeated elsewhere. Many times. Mainly by those silly people who didn’t find GTA4 to be as awesome as it quite clearly is. Still, they’ve piqued my interest in SR2 in spite of the hateful lowest common denominator marketing campaign THQ ran before its console release.

  20. Hypocee says:

    Subedii: Hmm, touche. All your facts are right and my mental picture of Valve’s past releases was mistaken. I had also simply never had a single thought about Steam groups; I’m not much for social networking nonsense, and I never connected them with actual gaming functions. You’ve given me food for thought.

  21. Funky Badger says:

    Puffin Man: GTAIV is ht biggest step-forward in game-writing this year – for breadth and quality of characterisation only The Wire surpasses it. SR2 on t’other hand is ridiculously good silly fun to play. and the co-op is seamlessly doubleplus fun. (People not enjoying pimp-canes, top-hats and ninjas are missing out on a lot of this so-called gaming lark)

  22. Mister Yuck says:

    GTA had a stereotype for a lead. Not even an interesting one. And I got really sick of it shouting “THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS SOME DOWNSIDES” at me hundreds of times. It was a shame, the presentation was ambitious, probably the most ambitious in any game I’ve played, but it was presenting cliched shit.

    Also, there was a fundamental disconnect between my character whining about how depressed killing people makes him feel during every cut scene, and me enjoying recklessly killing people every time I got control back.

  23. BooleanBob says:

    I’m sorry, but arbitrary character assassination (literally!) does not equate to strong writing. I was happy enough to commit to a reasonably compelling, and occassionally engrossing, story in GTA IV; a story propped up by a cast of characters in equal part believeable and likeable – but the way they handled the final three missions took huge liberties with the narrative and liberties in a way that was completely unnecessary – and all so that they could cheaply manipulate the player’s emotions and draw some the story into some superfluous moral context – check it out, the player can’t save everyone! Wooooooooaaah, deep, man! The Pathos! The Pathos!

    So comparisons to The Wire are perhaps a little premature. But even that is just a decent contemporary novel masquerading as a televisual masterpiece.

  24. BooleanBob says:

    narrative and… something. I can’t remember what I wanted to say, but it wasn’t that. This site could really use some kind of edit function for comments?

  25. Schmung says:

    I hate, hate hated the chick you’re meant to be in love with in GTA IV. Finished it and I barely touched it since. Saints Row 2 is the best kind of incredibly juvenile entertainment and I find myself jumping back in periodically to cause some mayhem or polish off a side mission.

  26. Saflo says:

    GTA is also incredibly juvenile entertainment; it just doesn’t seem to realize it.

  27. Pags says:

    @Funky Badger: GTA4’s writing is a looooooong way short of The Wire’s, but one comparison that can be drawn between the two is how similar the two are visually; it’s especially noticeable in some of the more rundown neighbourhoods and the docks. I always get the urge to play GTA4 after watching The Wire just to experience those areas myself.

  28. MetalCircus says:

    I was thinking of getting Saints Row 2, having just completed 1. Is it any good chaps? Also, I have to admit to being utterly blown away by GTA4… never understood the criticisms about it personally :(

  29. Funky Badger says:

    When I say breadth of writing I don’t just mean the main story-arc or missions, but everything else. So many layers. The first 10 hours – or so – bare comparison to anything but The Wire (nothing in gaming’s come close). And the Roman Wedding ending broke me up, best ending to a game ever.

    (Also didn’t realise the backlash against Thew Wire had started already… it is a televisual masterpiece, just cause it’s based on a novel-structure doesn’t change that)

  30. Jochen Scheisse says:

    @Saflo: I think it does realize it. If you look at the development of the GTA series, where at the start you stole cars from the Killer Clown faction to blow up the Heavy Metal faction, they now make you fight gang wars in a believable environment. And where Vice City’s plot was rather obviously stolen from Scarface and the like (and San Andreas was Blacksploitationtation), they now try to be serious, to expand the medium. I could really imagine that’ll ruin the series in the end, but from what I heard of my friends owning GTA4, they seem to have done a nice job on that.

  31. Funky Badger says:

    MC: SR2 is great fun – the missions are a lot more fogiving than in the first game – i.e. mid-mission checkpoints and no repeated long dries…

  32. BooleanBob says:

    I’m not sure my sole opinion constitutes A or The Backlash – still, whatever helps you dismiss it, I suppose…

    That the wire stood head and shoulders above any other cop show on TV had more to do with the quality of the contemporary TV cop shows than anything else. Similarly that it stands head and shoulders above any other serialised, prime time drama says more about that sort of TV than anything else. I don’t want to denigrate the wire (or invoke a backlash against it, for that matter) but the original treatment, which was a novel, would have failed utterly to turn any heads in the world of modern fiction because in terms of “breadth and quality of characterisation” it would fail to compete with what was already on offer.

  33. Timofee says:

    re: L4D, to those who were put off by the stupid approach to the demo all I can say is take the risk and buy the game, its stupendously fantastic. And you can forget worries about replayability, for all that’s been said about the director, it can’t be stressed enough how well it works to mix up the games – thankfully I’d preordered so got to play the demo solidly up to release and even those 1.5 levels were entertaining right up to release

    Plus you get to kill Zombies in an FPS that isn’t some awful link to mod. Nuff said.

    The one bad thing I can say about it is the farcical implementation of game finding. Why the hell I can’t assemble my friends together in a lobby and then choose to join my own bloody server is beyond me. Indeed Valve’s approach to the game joining functionality is a question I’d love you RPS loons to put to Valve.

    Now I just want someone to make an Aliens mod for it. Mmmm just the thought of me and my Pulse Rifle trying to survive against hordes of Aliens makes me happy.

    Oh and: if you’re not playing on Expert you’re not a real man.

  34. Rei Onryou says:

    I could have a series of columns called “Staring At My Girlfriend”. That won’t be creepy, at all.

    Be sure to have some alcohol to ensure a good read.

  35. Funky Badger says:

    BooleanBob: Homicide, Simon’s book that formed the basis of The Wire actually won bunches of awards. Anyhoo, we agree TW’s head & shoulders above anything else on TV, you seem to be saying that the glass is half-empty, I’m going for half-full.

  36. The_B says:

    “Kieron: I could have a series of columns called “Staring At My Girlfriend”. That won’t be creepy, at all.”

    At least not as creepy as someone else writing a series called “Staring at your girlfriend”

    I think that’s Jamie McKelvie’s initial design document for Phonogram Series 3, isn’t it?

  37. MrDeVil_909 says:

    I really enjoyed Sacred 2 until about 10 hours in when performance went for a ball of shit. The game is fun and delightfully goofy, in a year full of fraught games it was refreshing.

  38. Mr.President says:

    I used to be all “meh” about Dead Space at first, but I find myself enjoying it more and more as I progress further. The game has its flaws, but it captures what was good about “Alien” and “Event Horizon” perfectly.

  39. UnholySmoke says:

    GTA IV and L4D were the biggies, no question. Assorted thoughts:

    Funnily enough, I can get over the security nonsense and general broken bits, but the performance drives me up the wall. The first game that my current machine hasn’t been able to deal with, and it runs like a dog. Don’t talk to me about multithreading, optimisation or resolution, just get your game running at a decent frame rate before I spend my readies on it.

    An admission: I have started using the full health and armour cheat during tough missions. I just don’t have the time or volition to play through a mission, die ten seconds from the end, and begin again not from the start, but from ten minutes before the start. So sorry, but no shame here, I just want to finish the game without tearing my own throat out.

    L4D reminds me of AudioSurf. Dead simple, different for every user every time they play it, low production values but so beautifully simple and well-pitched that it could never be anything but a smash. Ditto Portal. Valve rule.

  40. BooleanBob says:

    FB: That you’re willing to stretch for some kind of common ground in the middle of our raging internet argument has helped me to believe in the spirit of Christmas all over again. I’m sending a thousand paupers to buy a thousand prize turkeys as we speak.

    Actually, I’d never considered that. Scrooge atones for his past sins and completes his spiritual salvation by way of material purchase? Was Dickens was a tool of the Corporate Conspiracy or what?

  41. nabeel says:

    I like the discussion (or lack lackthereof) of Legendary. Noone was talking about it when it was being marketed, and noone’s talking about it now.


  42. El Stevo says:

    Actually, I haven’t bought it yet, Jim. I was going to at one point, but it wasn’t out on Steam in Europe yet, so I just played the demo. I understand that it is now out on Steam, so I promise I will buy it as soon as I get back from my parents’ house.


  43. marcin says:

    Hah! That Valve interview explained so much about the HL/HL2 sound effects! Those fake sounding FX are basically what the Valve studios sound like on a daily basis!
    Guys: fire whoever does your interior design, because his/her interior design is somehow hax!