pc gaming

Shadowrun Returns!

shadowrun returns dystopian cyber punk rpg seattle blade runner

I just caught wind of the gamer funded classic cyber punk rpg: Shadowrun Returns. This 2012 project is a modern cyberpunk remake of the original game with a new spin and a ton more content. This project has also relied entirely on the funding of fans and supporters of the game and genre. Shadowrun is a dystopian cyber punk pen and paper rpg (also on the SNES and SEGA GENESIS) where you and your friends play the roles of shadowrunners: hired scabs who do the dirty work of the ever competitive and monopolizing corporations that strive to control your world. Fusing magical fantasy and high tech, Shadowrun allows the players to assume the physical forms of humans, orks, trolls, elves, or dwarves but in a darker neo-noir futuristic environment. Shadowrun allows you to be basically whoever you want. Weather you envision yourself as a brutish Orc bouncer, or a highly intelligent hacker stealing information for credits, Shadowrun has everything for fans of sci-fi. I originally got my taste of the Shadowrun universe back when renting video games in a store was still popular. The games noir storyline, sinister-city vibe, futuristic world and characters drew me in like a moth to flame, and i was obsessed. Apparently they have been working tirelessly to meet a deadline project kickstart date of April 29th 2012, setting up goals and planning to create a genuinely enjoyable, modern (yet true to the original games style) experience.

shadowrun_snes_intro

I am very excited to see the progression of this fantastic way to get behind a project and gladly we are starting to see a lot more of this happening lately. Fans of certain creative property becoming not only benefactors/consumers but also stakeholders in the projects they would like to see created. This gives the consumer a real sense of influence in the product they would like made, because without the funding of larger video game companies, it would be rare to see a great project like this see fruition. I can only hope in the future we see more grass roots creative projects backed by fans because then we will actually get the games WE want made, instead of getting another generic first person shooter that sucks chewbacca’s dick.

You can donate directly on the site and each donation you give comes along with a certain reward level attached to it. Long story short the creators of shadowrun want to make the shadowrun game they’ve always wanted to make (and that the fans wants!), and with your help, they can.

highly excited for this, check out the trailer!

You can also check out their blog here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns

DONATE NOW!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I have been obsessed with this game since its release back in August 2011. It was praised by basically every possible gaming website and I love it for its challenge, fun factor, thought-provoking story, social commentary, and emotional attachment to the ideas and characters. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a science fiction first person shooter role-playing game. Like the games predecessors, it’s setting takes place in a neo-renaissance styled Detroit, where political and ethical concerns involving human augmentations and cybernetic enhancement have brought about social unrest, prejudice, conspiracies, and power plays for control. Deus Ex falls into the cyber-punk genre, which usually involve futuristic societies and cities and political conspiracies where corporate influence has more power than government. The main theme of Deus Ex: Human Revolution deals with the trans-humanism movement, and like the mythological story of Icarus, who with wings made of feathers and wax, flew too close to the sun only to fall to his death, the game carries an overarching message of humanity’s reach exceeding its grasp.

You play as Adam Jensen, an ex swat team member, now working as head of security for Detroit’s largest bio-tech company, Sarif Industries. Adam’s past is revealed through hacking computers, reading emails, and interactions with other characters in the game. As it is told,  Adam was once a member of the Detroit police department swat team, but was put in a violent situation and disobeyed a direct order involving a threatening augmented child. His disobedience of this order caused one of his friends to follow through, and to live his life with the guilt that decision cost him. This guilt follows Adam as well. Shortly after leaving the Detroit PD, Adam begins his time working for Sarif Industries, whose facility is attacked by terrorists. Adam is brought to the point of death, and to save his life, undergoes surgeries with revolutionary cybernetic augmentations. Upon his return after the attack, he finds himself immersed in the politics of the augmentation movement and a much larger conspiracy. Adam then begins his journey for the truth and to hunt down his attackers. As the game progresses, you find out a lot more about the importance of Adam Jensen and how he is a pawn in a much larger chess game then he could have ever imagined.

 The game puts Jensen in many different environments. One situation calls for him to investigate Sarif’s largest bio tech competitor Ty Yong Medical, whose believed to be the cause of the attack in order to capitalize on the augmentation market, and destroy Sarif Industries….but the rabbit hole goes much deeper than Ty Yong Medical and Jensen finds himself continuing his search.

     My favorite aspects of the game-play experience involve the freedom of choice and it’s effect on the outcome of the story. You can choose to play D-EX, as an action game and run into rooms guns blazing, or you can choose a stealthy approach. Taking enemies down silently (or violently) is challenging, and using your augmentations intelligently is important in order to get around security drones and cameras. At times, these stealthy situation may make you sweat with nervousness. Whichever style you choose, both grant the player an enjoyable and engaging experience that doesn’t feel tailored to one or the other.

     I feel that Edios captured the classic feel of past Deus Ex games but added a much-needed modern spin on the franchise. The story is phenomenal and is reminiscent of conspiracy/espionage style Tom Clancy writings. The cut scenes get to the point and are not long-winded like in the more recent Metal Gear Solid games. The action and gun play is  realistic and customizable with weapon mods. The player becomes Adam Jensen by creating a world they can interact with. You can blind fire from behind walls, toss different grenades, throw boxes, read newspapers, read e-books, hack computers (addictive as hell), and augment you body to make Adam more than human. The augments you can obtain include, cloaking system (invisiability), Icarus landing system ( fall from any height w/o taking damage + attack), various take downs, x-ray vision, the typhoon (military grade weaponry which is totally bad ass), hacking, and tons of other augments to make it easier and more effective for you to accomplish tasks. I love the character designs in the game and how supporters of the  augmentation movement dress in futuristic ” late medieval” garb, while neutral or those opposed fashion themselves in more contemporary swag.

     I think the most important thing you can walk away with after playing this game is not only the realistic nature of the argument that the story presents; that of trans-humanism and potential future problems as a result, but also that of the power play that lies beneath the surface of our society (control of information as power).  Through the game Adam is one step behind the conspirators who, through utilizing many different control mediums, attempt to shift popular belief about the augmentation movement. Weather it is large corporations fighting for control of their product market, the media spinning stories in favor of a higher agenda (which makes for an entertaining read while in the Picus facility), or the Illuminati pulling the strings, Deus ex shows us a reflection of our own society.

     Will people live in fear of those with mechanical augmentations? Will humanity destroy itself by continuing to playing God? Is humanity ready for the singularity that awaits us in the future? With the exponential progression of technology, these are questions that we may be asking ourselves very soon. Deus Ex: Human Revolution forces the player to become a free-thinker and puts each of us on our own quest for the truth.

Text Diarrhea or Rage Review

This is my first blog post ever and i know that the average blogger spends most of their time rambling about things they can’t stand and for those of you willing to listen, this post will be no different! For the last few months i have been teeming in anticipation for a certain post apocalyptic shooter by the name of RAGE. Fans of the genre and tons of ad campaigns have been running promoting the hell out of this game. It was even featured in an episode of one of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad. Being a massive fan of ID software’s pixelated blood splattered goodness, it was only natural that i was drawn to their new game. ID is responsible for such titles as DOOM (my childhood), Wolfenstein, and Quake, I (like many others), was extremely pleased to finally hear of this new release.

The story behind RAGE puts the player as a survivor of a project to save humanity after global destruction. Those lucky enough were launched into space and kept in stasis until finally their “Arks” crash landed back on earth to kick start civilization again only to find the world in disarray, and most of their people held captive or exterminated by “the authority”. No this isn’t True Blood. This game was apparently in development for about 6 years which is a lifetime in the video game world and to it’s credit does sport some of the most impressive graphics i have personally seen on the xbox360. The textures and sheer design of the world as well as the character models are fantastic. Sadly, the beauty of the game was the only thing keeping this sinking ship afloat. A lack of good story telling ability and at times obnoxious enemy AI really prevent this game from reaching greatness. The game does capture realistic combat, (except when shooting enemies in each limb they continue to run full speed at you) but overall gameplay never really evokes a positive response from the player, completion of missions also lack excitement and never really feel like you are accomplishing anything. The missions to me felt like tireless work with little reward for the player.

The creators also incorporated wasteland racing into the game, which was a little overbearing for me. In other post apocalyptic games you are forced to walk from town to town, but in Rage you drive everywhere, which can take away from the larger experience of the world around you. After experiencing this first hand in RAGE i am happy that games like Fallout have not incorporated this option into their style. Borderlands does incorporate driving into the game but leaves a lot more room for open world exploration on foot. Rage is NOT an open world game, in fact i’d consider DOOM more open worldly. The game does feature multi-player racing and co-op missions, but after beating the single player and being left with an abrupt/short lived,

RAGE Xbox 360

3 minute ending, one finds them self robbed of time spent playing and cheated out of $60. If you haven’t picked this one up yet, maybe a year from now you can pick it up on gamefly. Or don’t.

rating: 5/10