Rand(Nerds); Episode 3

This Episode we discuss Farcry 3, Thomas was alone, that triple A mainstream game Farming Simulator 2013, Rain, Thief 4 and SteamOS. We also talk about the lack of world war two games, David Cameron upcoming appearance in games, Hatred of squares and Nick gets himself banned from Norfolk.

Hi everyone, we’ve made it to episode three and we’ve come in with a bumper long show. We’re still on our slightly worst audio setup so apologies to any audiophiles out there.

Notes

Get yourself a Tatau with Farcry 3

Support unique indie game with Thomas was alone

Start your own venture in agriculture with Farming Simulator 2013

For story’s about invisible children who may or may not be dreaming try Rain

AMD attempt to take our DirectX with Mantle

Values take on the console with SteamOS

See here Silent Hill 2 more unusual ending

Anything you think we should talk about? Weird news to blow Luke mind with? Or just want to ask us a question? You can email us here.

Follow us on twitter
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See you next month!

Cheers

Nick and Luke

 

Sir, You are being hunted Pumpkin update, new biome and robots

Well Halloween is just around the corner, and to celebrate the guys at Big Robot have release version 0.6 of ‘Sir, you are being hunted‘. There have been a few minor changes, such as the inventory and loot windows being switched round (loot on the left, inventory on the right) perhaps as a symptom of my psychological condition from playing too many game with loot systems, I  didn’t actually noticed till I read about the change in the patch notes. But i feel this is a good thing, sometimes the changes that you don’t notice are the best as it just make the game flow and feel better, even if you can’t put your finger on why, which is what happened to me. Another minor change, is when you hover your mouse over items in the inventory now, it tells you underneath if the are in anyway useful, for example, a piece of edible food will be marks as usable, a rifle as equitable, random junk like boots and skulls as… well junk and stuff you could eat but shouldn’t as dubious. this saves you the time of having to randomly try something in your inventory and see if you could use it.

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The new switched round layout that I failed to notice

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New item codes give you an idea if its worth taking any piece of loot

The next major update is the new industrial biome. it has a lot more buildings then the others, plus a central canal running through the map. This creates some interesting situations as you can only cross the canal at certain points, leaving you to hope the area is free from robots before moving, as the crossing seem to always be nice and exposed. My only feeling about this is, most of the biomes and just variation on the rural theme, rather then a new place. this wasn’t too noticeable before, but the industrial biome shows it up as basically being the rural theme with a few more building and walls being plonked down rather then being a whole new place to explore.

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The new industrial biome

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A canal separates the map creating some interesting situations

There are two new enemy types, the first one I encountered was the scarecrow. initially I approached up to just to see what it would do, i was a bit taken aback as it all seem to do was open its glowing red eyes and stare at me while making a moaning noise,. it would not even attack me when i got close. It was then I saw what must have been 8 or 9 robots making haste to my position, the blasted scarecrow has alerted them to my location. thinking i would sneak away, I turned my back on the scarecrow and moved into cover at the edge of the field. When I looked back to where the scarecrow had been, it was gone. I could still hear its moans, and they didn’t seem to be getting quieter, looking around my position I jumped out of my skin when I saw it was now a few feet behind me! each time I move it kept following me, but only when I was not looking. if you’ve ever seen any of  the Doctor Who episodes with the weeping angels in it, now imagine them in a game, that’s what you get with the scarecrow. The only way to avoid this is to either not alert it, or keep moving away while maintaining sight contact at all times. easier said then done with what seems like the whole map worth of hunters converging in on you.

 

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The scarecrow, look a bit creepy but not too bad

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How about now?

The other new enemy is the bog monster, my first thought when I saw it was the tneticle creature from Half-Life 1. it springs out of water briefly and the retreats back into it, before returning. From the promo video for this update I saw, it can also apparently move, but I’ve not seen that in the world I’m currently playing. initially, like the scarecrow it seemed to be pretty harmeless, tilll, for the sake of science, I decided to brave the water with it and approach it. It didn’t end well. Once I reloaded my save, I released what the purpose of both these new enemy’s were for. in previous versions of Sir the two great places to hide was the long grass in fields, or in the water. now both these enemys make both solutions less safe, but cleverly and importantly, do not make both solution impossible and prevent the game getting frustrating.

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From here your safe

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From here, less so.

Sir is really shaping up to be something special, there are still a few bugs which break the immersion, like a boat to one of the other island being stranded in a lake, But overall its getting there. I’m hoping when they do the urban biome, they take the plunge and redo the procedural generation to make a proper full urban area, and we don’t end up with the rural setting with more houses. I’m also still waiting for my VTOL horse that they showed in the concept art at the beginning. Come on lads, give me my pony!

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Did you really need a dock that big?

 

 

 

Rand(Nerds); Episode 2

In this Episode we talk about Sir, you are being hunter, Watchdogs, Losing wives to FFXIV, reloading guns from 1998, a new style of film making and a Thundercats spin off.

We did it! we didn’t fade!

So here it is, our second podcast. Sorry for the poor quality of the audio, our pre-amp broke and we had to use a poorer substitute. Hopefully when you download this you’ll also have all the artwork showing, and hopefully it’ll all work through iTunes.

Notes

You can become the hunted by playing Sir, You are being hunted

Have a spouse that’s around too much? buy them a sub to FFXIV

Still can’t work out what Luke was talking about? have a look yourself at Hyperdimension Neptunia

Have a go at hacking Chicago

See one of Luke’s favorite remakes

Proof that Sony executives must be on something

Anything you think we should talk about? Weird news to blow Luke mind with? Or just want to ask us a question? You can email us here.

Follow us on twitter
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Join us on google+

Until next time guys

Cheers

Nick and Luke

Sir, You Are Being Hunted impressions after a month of play

I’ve been playing Sir, you are being hunted for a few weeks now, and so far have really enjoyed the tense atmosphere of the game. It has just been updated to version 0.5.4725, code name ‘Dead Haggis’, and brought with it quite a few new features. So I think it’s a good time to get some thoughts and feelings down.

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Sir main menu

For those who don’t know, sir is a stealth based game set on a series of procedurally generated islands. For each of these islands (except for the centre island, which is defaulted to rural) you chose a ‘biome’ basically a theme for how the terrain is laid out, at the moment the themes are the above mentioned rural (typical country side, with small towns, fields and winding little roads), fens (like rural, but a lot more open, presenting less cover to sneak from) and mountain (as the names suggest, very tall mountains, seems to be a lot less buildings).

ruralBiomeA typical scene from the rural biome

The goal is to collect 25 pieces of a device that have been scatted around the islands. During your time you also have to managed your ‘vitality’, which is basically hunger. Having a low vitality prevents you from healing and can lead to death. Vitality is constantly dropping, making you have to take a break from collecting fragments and start raiding villages for food and supplies every so often. I’ve never run out of vitality during the games I’ve played, although it has come close a few times and the mechanic adds a nice tension to the game.

The main adversary’s of the game are robots, the basic hunter, dressed in a manner of a stereotypical country gent from around the late 19th century, roam the island in packs of 2-5 (size depending on how many pieces you’ve collected). They are armed with shotguns, which will take you down quickly up close, and can cause you to bleed, which you need bandages to heal otherwise you’ll bleed out. As they roam the island, if they come across a fragment or building they will sometimes start guarding it. More then once I’ve come back to retrieve some goods I stashed ‘safely’ in a building to find it guarded and having to sneak past them.

Aiding the hunters, are balloonists, they float round the maps and look for you with a searchlight. If they find you, they’ll sound an alarm and alert other hunters to your location. Hunter also sometimes have hounds with them, these will attempted to pin you down and hold you still while the hunters come in for the kill. The final robot you’ll encounter is the squire, unlike the others he is non-hostile and patrols village, but if he catches you stealing he will then become aggressive.

The stealth system itself is very similar if you’ve played any of the thief series of games, you have a visibility meter, which shows how easy you are to see, if you well hidden enough a robot could walk within a few metres and you will not been seen, on the other hand, with a maxed out visualise you can be seen from very far away. It worth noting, that unless your under hard cover, the balloonist can see you no matter how low your meter reads.

So that’s a brief overview of the game, so what have they changed? Well there is a new inventory system. In previous versions you had items assigned to the number keys, these were hard coded and not be changed. Now you can assign items to the keys 1-7. At the moment you can only have items that can be ‘used’ i.e. guns and other devices, you can’t place food items in the slots to give you an quick way to eat without having to go into the inventory, which is a minor annoyance, but not big one.

new-inventoryThe new inventory, notice the additional slots to assign items to

I’ve just created a new world, but have only been able to get a hour or so of play on it at the moment, but have some across a few of the new items. The first one I discovered was the torch, in this new versions night is a lot darker (but does add a bonus to make you harder to see) and the torch really helps you find your way and see what you are doing. It also unsurprisingly makes you very easy to spot.

torchOffIts gets dark a night!

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Torches make it easier to see, but also make you easy to spot!

I then got to try out one of the new distraction devices. In previous versions you only had rocks or bottles, which you could throw to distract robots. I found them not very effective as they tended to not travel far enough, and robots didn’t investigate them for very long mean you didn’t have a lot of time to snatch the piece. You now have some better options.

I came across a piece being guarded by two robots, a short distance away I placed a toy train on the ground I had picked up from a village earlier. I had a few seconds to circle round to the other side of the fragment before the train horn sounded, the robots rushed over to investigate it allowing me time to pick up the pieces and make my getaway.

The games currently in alpha, so I’m not going to be too critical of it as it can change on a weekly basis. But I do have some thoughts, some of the things I would like to see, such as more types of enemies and biomes I know are in the pipeline to be implemented. I would like to see a biome representing a modern rural area. With perhaps an area of farm buildings to hide in, and more regimented field with some different crop types like wheat in them, more modern’s road and larger villages. Perhaps some farm vehicles to hide behind and round.

I do have some other issues, in game there are will-o’-wisp that lead you to the pieces, however I often find myself standing around a waiting for them to appear to lead me to the next piece, and sometimes you don’t see them for quite a while wasting vitality, You can also end up with several moving in different directions make them hard to track. A scanner device has been introduced to make finding pieces easier, but I’ve not come across it yet so don’t know yet how helpful it is.

Other then that, I’ve no real problems. If you like stealth games, then this is worth a look, it still in alpha so theirs plenty more stuff to look forward to. It given me many hours of enjoyment so far and I can recommend it.

Classic Game – Rainbow Six 3: Gold Edition

Hi All

As mentioned on our podcast, Rainbow Six 3: Gold Edition is now on Steam for a mere £4.99, this includes both Raven Shield and Athena Sword And I just wanted to reiterate and give you a few reasons why you should buy it.

The original Rainbow Six holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first PC games I brought (My very first PC game was MechWarrior 2, I got it for £9.99 from the bargain bin at PC World). I remember playing Rainbow Six more as a puzzle game then action, I loved the thrill of planning all my assaults to make sure everyone came out healthy and all the objectives where completed. Our PC at the time could not handle it properly, and even with the resolution turned down to 640×480 it would run at about 2fps.

I still completed it.

I loved it that much i put up with the pain of watching the world go by as a slide show with graphics so low it looked like in had been animated in MS Paint, I loved the realism, reading all about the weapons and the joy of a seeing the mission completed screen was about as high as 12 year old me could get.

So, yeah, I kinda liked it.

I brought all the expansions to both it and its squeal, Rouge Spear, and lost many hours of my life to them, Rouge Spear was my first entry into online game, preforming terrorist hunts mission with friends online, it introduce me to a world I didn’t know existed until then. So you can imagine my excitement when I learn’t Raven Shield was in development, I was at college at the time, and every day, during my lessons, I had the Raven Shield website open, I would check it every ten minutes, just to see if anything had been updated, I would spend hours trawling over every new set of screen shots, trying to make out details for the one and only game i cared about. And then came the release day, I remember waiting outside GAME to buy my copy, and rushing back home to get it installed.

So, yeah, I really liked it.

Anyway, Enough gushing, as I’m guessing you’ve got better things to do then let me ramble on about how much I loved this game, so lets get into why this game is so different, and why it like nothing you can get today. Rainbow Six: Raven Shield (as it was originally know, the 3 was added later) was released in 2003, set in the futuristic year of 2005, it was about a group of neo-fascist trying to start a new movement by causing a economic depression in south America. Yes, the story was about a bit out there, but then that’s what all Rainbow Six game have always been like.

The game itself is split into two parts, the Planning and Action Phase. In many way the planning phase was the main part of the game, in it, you select operatives and divide them up between three teams (Red,Green and Gold), you would choose their equipment, not just weapons, but you could give them special gear such as breaching charges to blow doors, or heartbeat sensors to look through walls. Once you’ve got the teams set up, you’d start planning the assault.

You would be given a map of the area to attack, areas would be marked where you could deploy your teams, where any objective like hostage are, and extraction zones to get them back out. You would place way points for each team, making them a route through the map, hopefully in such a way they would clear and coverage at the right points. In order to ensure proper timing of assaults on key areas, you could set go codes. During the mission, teams would stop at these points and wait for you to give the signal, thus ensuring areas were attacked at the right time. You could also give them special instructions such as: sniping at a certain area, throwing flashbangs before moving, and other actions.

The action phase is where your best laid plans would be carried out. You could take control over any of the teams (and switch between them in game) and guide them through the way points you’ve placed. Hoping you did your planning correctly. And if you didn’t want take part directly, you could view the game as a observer, and watch your teams carry out your orders. Inevitability, your first plan would likely fail, half your team would be killed/hostages shot/bomb set off etc. And you would have to go back to the planning screen to adjust way points, team configurations, equipment or scrap the whole lot and start again. This would mean you may well spend hours in the planning for some of the missions, the actual action phase? about 5 minutes. because of this, it’s better to think of the game as a puzzler, and less of an action game, with the goal being creating the best plan keeping your whole team alive whilst completing the objectives.

The AI of the game was overall pretty good, it did do some weird things, for example, getting stuck in doorways, sometimes terrorist would shoot at your team, and they would just stand their and let themselves be killed, which was especially annoying when it happens towards the end of a tense mission. But otherwise it was pretty good, terrorist would try and run away from grenades, investigate noises and sometime surrender, unfortunately, they didn’t understand the concept of cover and would just stand a shot at you.

So why have i picked Rainbow Six 3? well in my mind, this was the last of the ‘proper’ Rainbow Six  games. Later ones dropped the planning phase and turned into generic cover based shooter, featuring your single team working it way through a fairly liner level from one end to another. In my opinion they ripped out the soul of the games and become less realistic and more action orientated. The world needs another Rainbow like game, if you know of any, please post in the comments.

Hopefully the above ramblings have made you appreciate, and want to give the game a try, £4.99 will give you hours of entertainment, and you wont be disappointed.

Thanks for reading

Nick

Reviewing System Explained

Hi All

As we’re now going to start doing reviews, it worth explaining how our reviewing rating system will work. The whole point of the system is not to give a definitive score, it to give a guideline on what we think about the games we’re playing. The rating is simply an insight into our opinion on them. The guide below will explain what the rating means.

Uninstall

A game not worth playing, and does not deserve to grace your hard drive with a single single byte of data. This is reserved for the worst of the worst, the games where we wounder how the developers sleep at night knowingly they released this monstrosity into the world.

Install – Minimum

A game which may provide some minimal entertainment. The game will probably find a cult following, but overall is pretty bad. perhaps worth picking up if found in a bargin bin

Install – Recommended

An excellent game, that just misses out of true greatness. Fans of the genre should definitely pick up this game and it is an excellent addition to their collection.

Install – Complete

Buy it! Buy it now! This is an excellent game and should grace everyone’s hard-drive, even if you not a normal fan of the genre. You will not be disappointed with the game.

Hopefully this post explains and makes its clear to understand how our system works, you be seeing these ratings in all of our future reviews.

Cheers all

Nick and Luke

Dishonoured: The Brigmore Witches – Review

Well. I completed Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches last week, And I a thought it would be good to post some of my feelings about the game. Before we begin, Just a warning, there will be some very minor spoilers in the post. If you want to experience the game fresh, stop reading now.

First up, it’s a better the Blade of Dunwall. The levels overall (with the exception of the first) feel bigger. The last level of Blade was a real disappointment, it felt confusing and linear compared to the first two, but I can happily report that Brigmore does not have this issue. Incidentally, it would be worth getting Blade if you don’t already own it, as you can import your save from the previous DLC, including all your upgrades and cash. The only problem I had with this, was that I finished Blade with the low Chaos ending. When I tried to import the save into Brigmore, the game said I had ended with Blade with high chaos. I can only assume the Blade bases it’s ending on your actions in the first two levels of the DLC, but Brigmore bases it’s import on your actions for all three levels. This means that if you, like me, decided on the last level to just take everyone down and have some fun, you’re going to have to be more careful in Brigmore. One thing I can say, even with a high chaos import, it is still possible to get the low chaos ending.

The games gives you three levels. The first takes you back to Coldridge, the prison where Corvo was incarcerated, and sees you mounting a prison rescue. This is the smallest of the levels in the DLC, and perhaps the one with the smallest amount of scope, but it still a good level overall. Interestingly, there is no assassination to do in this level, instead you are breaking someone out, this is a nice brake from the rest of the game.

Level two, takes you to a once wealthy part of the city that has fallen on hard times due to the plague. It is now the battle grounds between two gangs, you can either avoid them, or after getting so far through the main story quest they will become friendly to you.  this is by the far the best level of the DLC, not least because it fool you with its size, once you think you’ve completed it, you still got another large part of the level to do. This brings me onto my biggest criticism of the game, I’ll be quite vague, to prevent spoiling. You are given a choice, which cant be bypassed, as it part of the main quest line. The choice at first seem a morale one, and their is quite clearly a good and bad way to complete this, however, taking the morally right side will cause consequences that will result in a high chaos rating. there is no way to counter this, despite the situation being set up in such a way it sounds as if you could avert it. So if you want to be a low chaos player, you’ve got to stick with the morally wrong option.

This bring us onto the final level, infiltrating a manor. You start in the grounds, have to scout out the area, before finding your own way in. If you every played the Thief series of games, you can easily see the influence on the design, especially at the end. I can’t say too much without spoiling the game, but i will say its a fitting final level for both DLC pack, and after finishing it, i Imminently wanted to play it again!

Weapon wise, you get all the toys from the Blade, their are some useful upgrades. The one that stands out is the upgrade for the chokedust, this make enemy’s forget they’ve been chasing you and return back to the normal routes (assuming they don’t see you). This very useful for when you find yourself in a situration of being attacked by multiple guards, and has turned chokeduct from being pepper you throw in someone face into something useful.

Character wise, Daud characterisation is excellent, I felt I knew a lot about him just from his simple comments he makes, he sounds like someone you could a have some smalltalk with in a pub over a pint (although I probably wound not leave my drink alone with him) I get the feeling he cares about his assassins, and is prepared to have some banter with them. Early on, he overhears two of his assassins discussing turning him in, his response is a simple ‘I promise I’ll come quietly’. This says all i need to know about Daud, despite the threat to his leadership, he simply turns the situation into a joke. I get the feeling that Daud is world weary, the assassination of the empress has been a big strain for him, and hes looking for redemption before moving on. There is one final moment for Daud, a picture of him performing an action that is both symbolic, and is his way of atonement for his actions. I cant say what it is without spoiling it, but if you play and get the low chaos ending you’ll know what I mean.

So, should you buy The Brigmore Witches? Well in my view it depends, if you have all the previous DLC, then yes, get it, you wont be disappointed. if you don’t own Blade of Dunwall, Buy it and play that first. if you don’t own Dishonored at all, I would wait, I would not be surprise if we don’t see a game of the year edition out for Christmas. Overall, i would recommend buying this game.

Our Rating:

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