Posts Tagged ‘Monolith’

Why F.E.A.R.’s AI is still the best in first-person shooters

The shadows on the wall tell me they’re coming. Two of them, both with assault rifles swinging idly at their hips. If I’m quick enough, I’m sure I can take them both out in one go. I peek out of cover as they round the corner, and let my stake gun sing, pinning the first enemy to the wall with 10mm steel projectiles. But at the sound of gunfire the other one legs it back the way he came, hunkers down in cover, and yells for reinforcements down his radio.

This five-second episode tells you a lot about the attention to detail in F.E.A.R., a 12-year-old game with AI that puts many modern-day shooters to shame. Its army of clone soldiers feel smarter than any enemy I’ve faced in an FPS since, and remain razor-sharp to this day. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-earth: Shadow Of War trailer shows the new Nemesis system

There’s a moment in the 16 minutes of footage of Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] below where the clipped voice-over refers to the “RPG systems” as player finds some new armour. It seems odd to me to think of that as the RPG system though when the rest of the game greatly expands the original’s Nemesis system and is about relationships forming dynamically between procedurally created characters. That sounds more like roleplay, to me. Watch it below, it’s cool.

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Middle-earth: Shadow of War announced [update]

Update: Following a little leak, Middle-earth: Shadow of War [official site] is now officially announced. It’s coming on August 22nd and yup, it sounds like more of the same but with an expanded Nemesis system. Check out the announcement trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Shogo: Mobile Armor Division

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Monolith released Blood in 1997. It instantly became one of my favourite games, the hammy mixture of gore, horror-comedy and Build engine destructibility the perfect cocktail for my teenage mindset. A year later, the studio released another FPS game that I didn’t look forward to nearly as much due to its anime mech theme, which appealed a whole less than Evil Dead fan fiction had. It turned to be a fine game though, going by the name Shogo: Mobile Armor Division.

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Face-Breaking News: Condemned’s Possible Indie Future

BIFF!

What if publishers and rightsholders were more willing to experiment with unused or squandered series, taking chances on handing them to new developers? Square Enix have thought about opening some older Eidos series to third-party developers through their weird crowdfunding Collective thing, I know folks have agitated for Sega to stop making horrible Sonic games and give someone not-awful a chance, and now the chap who owns first-person puncher Condemned is musing about handing the homeless-hammering simulator over to an indie team.

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Shadow of More-dor: Playing With Permadeath In The DLC

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor came out last year to widespread appeal. Sure, the combat’s just a gorier, hyper deadly version of what we’ve already seen in the Batman Arkham games. Yeah, open world icon assassination was clearly lifted from Assassin’s Creed. But this time those icons were orcs, with actual memories and personalities, balanced on a power structure which the player was free to tinker with.

It’s great, but by the end of the game, messing with those systems felt unnecessary. You were powerful enough to just wade into the fortresses and kill your targets willy-nilly. What’s held my attention instead are the extra modes added since launch (one free, the rest paid-for DLC), which allow you to play the game as something approximating a roguelike. The free ‘Test of Defiance’ is the only mode that actually limits you to a single death, but it also doesn’t randomize the enemies or require you to gather intel on them.. Instead, I’m playing the ‘Test of the Wild’, which tasks you with ‘killing all 5 Warchiefs plus all 20 Captains’. I’m only giving myself one life, and to make things more interesting I’ll only use runes which I find as I play, ignoring the haul I gathered while playing the main game. Bring it on, hordes of Sauron.

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