The 350-plus-change megabyte demo of Collapse came out last week, but we haven't blogged about it until now due to a minor problem. It's in Russian. And since it's in Russian, we didn't have a clue of what it was and linking to "a demo with some stuff in it" is frowned upon by the fraternity. So, with a little investigative journalism, I decided to install it and see if I could make any sense of it. What sort of game is it about? Well, you don't need to find out the way I found out - that is, by pressing random buttons - you can follow me beneath the cut.
As you start the game you're presented by some menus in foreign. The top option doesnt click, so I went for the second one. Which started the game. I found myself watching some bloke in dreads, slowly waking up in the middle of a ruined building, clearly somewhat hungover.
Bar the dreads, this is all very familiar.
Our hero manages to crawl to his feet, only to be interrupted by a menu of instructions for the controls. I hope it isn't anything too complicated.
Thankfully, while much is heathen gibberish, the international language of WSAD and Space scream clear. It's a game which involves moving around. RPS can exclusively reveal (in the non-Russian speaking world) that Collapse features moving around. We speculate it also includes jumping by pressing space.
A quick move around and jump confirms these facts. Hurrah! Immediately, with the large man, the gun and the third-person perspective, it reminds me a little of gears and war. I'm trying to work out if there's a way I can take cover in a fancy way when I'm attacked by enemies. At which point, I discover that right-click is indeed the expected aim button. This is easy!
Anyway, the game's set in some manner of post-apocalyptic landscape which is mostly brown. Speaking of which, has anyone played Fallout 3 yet?
I shoot quite a few more people when another instruction thing appears. It seems to be trying to explain combos at me. At which point, men approach wielding swords. Shooting them seems unfair, so I try and work out how to switch weapons. By clicking Q or the 1-2-3 buttons, it seems (Oh - and press E to pick stuff up). I proceed to beat the living shit out of people.
I also discover, much like Oblivion's special attack select, by holding down a different direction while mashing the left-mouse button, I set off different strings of combos. Which makes me do somewhat fancy animations. Which reminds me of the Witcher a little bit. Yes. It tries to teach me other stuff - like by pressing enter you bring up a series of menus which really make not a lick of sense. I hope there isn't an adventure element I'm completely overlooking. I also discover that only the blokes with swords take multiple hits (and appear to block), meaning than if you get close to normal blokes with guns, you can slice them up effortlessly. I do that a lot, and take a load of damage. I don't really care, as there's really a lot of blood that flies everywhere. Much like Gears of War.
(I still can't work out if there's a fancy cover system I'm missing. I suspect not. I try crouching instead)
Anyway, I slice open loads of people - switching to the sword to do so - before a big bloke runs up to me and kills me. Man! I probably should have tried playing it seriously. The bast.
I have to presume the large text is saying something like "Your Mum Is Having Sex With Men Who Are Not Your Father For Money" or similar.
I try to work out if there's any multiplayer or similar, but I accidentally just quit the game and decide I probably should just write up these impressions.
Anyway - seems a solid enough action game with a splash of blood. Gears of War is the obvious main influence (minus a little bicep-size and desaturation), but the heavier stress on close combat brings to mind Too Human. And the sword-fighting looks a little like the Witcher too, but obviously as a pure action game. Doesn't seem high art, and is a trifle derivative, but it's a solid enough action game. I suspect Jim will like it, because it's in Russian, and he's crazy for anything Russian. Like Tetris. And Vodka. And Tolstoy.
(Actually, I don't know what he makes of Tolstoy. I like him! What Russian authors do you like, Readers?)
EDIT: And, yeah, since it was set in Kiev, I really should have guessed it was another in the trend of Ukrainian developers making games in the Ukraine. All fixed.