Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dungeon Keeper is Free...again

About 5 years ago when I started this blog I wrote an article about how adventure themed games were all the same.  You're always the good guy whacking away at waves of bad guys ad nauseum.  You never got to actually BE the one stirring up all the mahem.

What I'd forgotten about is a game that actually let you do just that and now it's available for free on Origin.

It's Dungeon Keeper.  A game that allows you to knock around all those goody 2 shoes hero types not to mention your own army of minions.

It's an RTS/God game meaning there's resources to mine, things to build and populations to manage.  The game launched in 1997 and spawned 2 sequels as well as community mods that elevated the franchise to a cult classic.

It was developed by Bullfrog who also did the popular Syndicate games.  As such the game continued the trend of game features and experience that were ahead of their time.

Now it's your turn.  If you fancy a bit of Classic PC gaming nostalgia and want to embrace your darker side the price has never been better.

Pick it up on Origin while you still can.

AND! look for an upcoming gameplay video on my companion YouTube channel.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Everything old is new to me... Splinter Cell

There's something to be said about the good old days.  What was good was good and what was bad we tend to forget in a cloud of nostalgia.  Who could blame us?  It's far easier to forgive quirky interfaces and bizarre controls compared to endless matchmaking lobbies, always on Internet edicts and the constant drumbeat of DLC.

Splinter Cell is one of those games that I've just discovered.  I don't remember how I came into possession of it, I just know it's been sitting in my Ubisoft Uplay client library for a few months.  

I haven't touched GTA 5 in a month and have only recently become interested in Path o fExile again and then only when playing with a friend.  So I was kind of in a game rut.  Looking to expand my horizons I deceded to take Ubisoft up on their 30th anniversary freebies which is how I ended up with Rainbow 6 Siege and The Crew.  

I've been playing a lot of Rainbow 6 lately.  The sneakiness of the gameplay appeals to me.  I'm more of a tactical FPS player than Battlefield or Call of Duty will allow.  So when I find a game that lets me indulge my devious machinations to eradicate the competition I'm going to spend some quality time with it.  Which I have but I was curious about the roots of this genre of FPS.  Luckily I had an opportunity to study the topic with an unassuming title languishing in my Uplay library.  The original Splinter Cell.

In a way, Rainbow 6 was the gateway drug to Splinter cell.  

Although reality needs to pop up here because the 2 games are literally from different generations.  Rainbow 6 came out around 2014, Splinter Cell 2002.  As such there's a bit of culture shock when you jump that far back in game history.

The graphics were good for their time but if we're honest not much better than Half Life.  The low resolution and screen control was wreaking havoc in Windows 10 for awhile but eventually settled down.  The control layout is bizarre and something I'm still working on but I can excuse all of that as artifacts of it's age.  

Let's be honest here.  When this game came out Windows XP was still brand new and most PC gamers were still on some version of Windows 9'ty something.

Nonetheless, this is a thinking game.  A puzzler with sniper scopes and surprise take-downs a mandatory ingredient.

This was the game that pretty much started them all.  The birth of the stealth shooter wrapped in intrigue and espionage. It's right out of a Tom Clancy novel, literally!  It's Clancy's namesake that's driven development of both the Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6 series for decades.  There's even books based on the games designed to fill in the backstory of this shadowy world of sneak.

So far it's a fun romp and for me a deferred right of passage.  Can anyone truly say they've played every type of FPS without playing Splinter Cell or Rainbow 6 at least once in their life?  

At least I can now say that I have...