February monthly report
This was a little better month than last as I had more time to play this month. I played two amazing games and 100% them, with Spec Ops: The Line being a really exceptional little game. I have to thank Wintermute for picking those two for my PoP challenge :)
Not really sure how the next month is gonna look like when it comes to games. I’m soon gonna play “A Story about my uncle” and after that, not sure.
Anyways good luck to everybody with their backlog and have a great month!
Oh boi, I did not expected this to be so good.
A 2012 TPP shooter with an ok gameplay that tells the story about horrors of war better than any game I played or even better than some movies I saw (tho I obviously haven’t played all games or watched all war movies :P)
Set in deserted Dubai city that is almost entirely covered in sand after massive sand-storms and abandoned by rest of the world, you are a leader of 3-man Delta Force squad sent in to investigate and search for survivors after a short radio signal makes it through the storm from the commander of US Army battalion that despite orders stayed in the city to try help and evacuate civilians left there. After arriving you find out that there are still people alive in Dubai and 33rd battalion is still alive and they are at war with local insurgents. After trying to contact 33rd things go south really fast among all the distrust and lack of communication and you find yourself fighting against battalion you were supposed to find and save.
It’s pretty clear, if you read that one, that in some way Spec Ops: The Line was inspired by Joseph Konrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, one of the key characters is even named John Konrad, as to make it a little obvious. You will see some fucked up action, you won’t entirely know what is going on and who to trust until very end, you will make choices that may make you uncomfortable, and only adding fuel to fire, even if that choice seemed good and reasonable in the beginning. And all of it in a video game form and done really, really well. This is what makes this game special. At one point game mocks the player and other video games (and other media) perception of being hero through mass killings and doing pretty much horrible stuff. Of course it’s probably not the first one to do so and not the last. Your character over time develops a PTSD disorder and you start hearing and seeing stuff. It also leaves a mark on your squad mates. One of your comrades who throws jokes at beginning and tries to keep mood light quickly turns into a different person over time, for example.
OST – there’s none! Every piece of music you hear is some other artist’s/band piece. There’s Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, Nine inch Nails and some others I don’t know. And every piece used fits perfectly into the actual stuff that happens on screen.
Gameplay is perhaps the weakest part of the game, but it’s still ok on it’s own. You will mostly gun down opponents from behind the cover and occasionally throwing a grenade or flash. There’s a variety of weapons and most of them have some kind of alternative fire or modification. Each gun handles a little bit differently and has different stats. M4A1 is solid overall and you can attach silencer to it. AK47 has a huge recoil and you can switch between burst fire or full auto. SCAR does good dmg and handles well and has grenade launcher attached. Sometimes you’ll be given an option to pick up an RPG or grenade launcher. I played on “Suicidal mission” difficulty (Hard) and I liked it for most part, enemies aren’t that bullet spongy and headshots still one-kill them, so if you’re good enough it’s pretty easy to fight them back. But you die pretty quickly too if get caught outside cover or flanked. There’s some variety between enemies but for most part you just fight soldiers with AR and smg’s. Shotguners will try to get close. Sometimes they’ll throw a grenade at you and if it lands close you gotta run to other cover. Only twice in a game you’ll be attacked by a soldier with a knife who rushes you and will one shot kill you with a knife. Occasionally a big, armored in bomb suit, guy will show up with an M249 SAW or AA-12 auto shotgun and it takes few grenades or a lot of ammo to kill him and he will slowly come to you. Snipers pop up too and they can almost one shot you on Hard difficulty.
Sometimes the enemies won’t die straight out but instead lay on ground bleeding out or slowly crawling out. They will die and you can finish them or execute them. Executions are brutal, but rewarding as they give you extra ammo and sometimes grenades. This is a really weird choice imo as for most game you will be finishing US soldiers that are supposed to be your allies and giving extra ammo encourages executions. You can of course let them die slowly or finish with a bullet, but you don’t get any ammo for that and it can be scarce at times.
Overall sound design is excellent. Voice actors did a great job and weapons sound really great and everything else too.
I really enjoyed this one and it’s a game I won’t forget quickly. It’s disturbing, mature and fair on hard difficulty. It makes me a little sad to see that the devs of this one decided to work on F2P multiplayer games, their next one in works right now is an MMO FPS, ugh :(
Another great game played and completed this month :) I was quite hyped about this one back in 2012 but didn’t had any spare cash to get it. Viktor Antonov who designed the look of Combine architecture in Half-life 2 was also responsible for some of the design in this game and it shows. The little cars on rails in Dishonored look like a miniature Combine APC from HL2. Walls and guard towers are strikingly similar to those in HL2 as well.
Dishonored for those few that don’t know is an FPS that can be played in full stealth through the whole without killing anyone, or played as a shooter with a pistol in one hand and a sword in other and going on rampage every mission.
Story is set in a fictional empire where you are Corvo, Lord Protector of the Empress and the day you return from a mission to meet the Empress, she gets assassinated in front of your eyes and her daughter and only heir is kidnapped. You are falsely accused of murdering her by Royal Spymaster and High Overseer and thus thrown in prison and sentenced to death. Not everyone believes you did tho and soon you escape the prison with the help from conspirators that want to overthrow Royal Spymaster, now called Lord Regent, and return the throne to the rightful heir.
Through the whole game you work in conspiracy to overthrow Lord Regent and his wealthy supporters and lieutenants, whether you straight out murder them or dispose them in some other way is up to you :)
There’s one more party involved in all of this and it’s the Outsider, a more or less a godly figure that leaves his mark on your hand and gives you access to some of his powers. At start you are given Blink, which is basically a short range teleport. To unlock more or upgrade powers you need to find Runes which are scattered on each mission. There are active and passive powers available. Most useful I found are upgraded blink and a passive that let’s you jump much higher, opening a lot of paths. You can also posses small animals or people, summon a swarm of rats or get adrenaline up each time you kill and gaining a short time bloodlust with gruesome finishers. There are also bone charms which give you small, passive boosts, like more health or mana, faster sword swinging, less damage taken from falls etc.
But if you like you can completely ignore those super-natural powers or combine them with technology and just use your sword and different tools – grenades, mines, pistol, crossbow. You can upgrade all of them as well or unlock new variants via blueprints that you can find on missions.
Level design is excellent, every level offers multiple ways to enter the building or get close to the target. There are moments in the game where you are thrown into a linear path but it doesn’t happen often. I really have no bad things to say here.
Combat is ok but it’s not recommended you get in a fight with a lot of enemies, it’s pretty easy to die if you get swarmed and attacked both from melee and range at the same time. If you time a block with your sword your enemy will stagger and you can kill them with a finisher. Killing enemies in stealth also guarantees a cool looking finisher.
I should probably mention that there’s a plague spreading through the city that is carried by rats and your playstyle will affect it, and it’s represented by “Chaos” level. The more people you kill directly or indirectly, the more rats and infected people (weepers) will show up. Or so does the game tells you at one point. I finished the game second time on pacifist and there was maybe one camp where instead of weepers I had normal healthy people. There was maybe less rats in areas? But your Chaos does determine the ending and how characters treat you in the end.
Soundtrack is ok, fits the game but the only track that is outstanding is the “Drunken Whaler” song which is only in trailer and you can hear some guards whistling theme of that track :D
First DLC released for Dishonored and the least fun from all three, DCT offers 10 challenges with two difficulty settings. All challenges are pretty short and straight forward e.g. here’s a house, steal as much stuff as you can and get bonus points for staying undetected. Another example, run from point A to B as fast as you can.
I’ll keep it short, most of them are ok but really get boring after you do them once, there’s very little point in replaying them unless you REALLY care about leaderboards or want to get achievements. The most fun I had is where you are stuck on a party in a mansion and you have to get clues that randomly spawn each challenge and find who you have to kill. There’s a dozen or so characters, wearing either blue or red clothes, headwear or not and being different class (guard, aristocrat, servant). Each clue tells you a little more until you get four of them and you know who it is. Try your luck with no clues or just couple – kill wrong person, you fail and challenge is over. Kill the right one and you get bonus points for luck.
Not a DLC worth picking if this is the only one you don’t own, unless you plan to 100% Dishonored then you sadly need it.
Oh and one more thing, if you want your highscores to be uploaded to leaderboards, make sure you undo any tweaks or fixes you did in .ini files. I tweaked graphics a little and a game didn’t uploaded my scores lol. So even though I did all of them on both difficulties, the only proof I have is few screenshots I took :S
In The Knife of Dunwall (TKoD) you play as one of the key characters from the base game, Daud. The DLC starts shortly after you escape as Corvo in base game.
This DLC is mostly just more Dishonored. There are only 3 missions and on first and second you have to infiltrate and get rid of someone, as usual you have to option to kill them or spare them and remove from power by some other means. The levels are as always really well designed, giving you option to approach it in different ways and enter the area of interest via different entries and ways.
The last mission is slightly different as your base is being attacked by Overseers and you have to reclaim it, but even then you can do it without killing anyone and avoiding all the attackers.
Daud also doesn’t have access to “Possession” or “Rat Swarm” power, but he has some unique new powers, like ability to summon one of his assassin’s to fight along side him and a passive that boost’s his assassin’s powers. His blink also stops time if he doesn’t move (even in air!), making it really easy blink between unaware enemies or doing sick moves and climbs. It’s also a really cool aspect that people marked by the Outsider have either different powers or they have their own twists (like Daud’s blink). I know from trailers that Emily also has some unique powers in Dishonored 2.
Overall it’s a decent DLC, but maybe because I jumped into it straight after finishing base game I didn’t enjoyed as much as Dishonored? Still, if you somehow still don’t own it or wonder if GOTY version is worth it, it is and I can recommend this one :)
A continuation of Daud story, this one picks where TKoD left off. This one is a little longer and introduces some new enemies, new kind of bone charms and a power that wasn’t available to Corvo, but was often used against you in base game by the assassin group.
TBW offers again 3 missions with the second one being so long that I think it took me more to finish it longer than other two combined, which made me a little bored at times, as there was some downtime during that. I also felt like this time the levels were a little more closed than in previous DLC and base game, with perhaps the last mission being the exception and giving you some options to enter the building.
This DLC introduces corrupted bone charms, which give better benefits than normal one’s but also give you some kind of debuff. For example, the one I wore stopped mana regeneration after using blink and other low mana cost powers and I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT! I thought they just removed the mana regeneration in TBW to make mana elixirs more useful, but nope, it was my own stupidity and made this DLC a little harder. I had to be waaaay more careful with using my abilities and made game a bit more challenging. Don’t make the same mistake :D I can’t even remember what benefit I got from that corrupted bone charm.
New enemies are undead hounds and the witches. Hounds act the same, but to truly kill them you have to break their skull after downing them. Witches, are just different assassin’s that fight for Daud. They blink around, sometimes coming at you with a sword and every now throwing a fireball from what I remember. Frankly I didn’t had a chance to fight them in open except the first time you meet as I did the last mission in full stealth, killing them from distance with headshots, so yeah, not a lot to say about them.
Story is a bit more interesting in this DLC as it actually shows that Daud helped saved Empire too, not just Corvo and as the Outsider says, no one will ever truly know his story. People will only and forever know his as the master assassin and neither Emily nor Corvo will know what he did for the Empire.
The final boss is kinda a mess. You get to fight a lot of false copies of the enemy, get pushed a lot and set on fire. It’s the only time in both DLC’s where ability to summon one of your assassin’s is really helpful as he helps to take attention of some enemies. But once you figure out what to do, it’s a really simple fight.
Overall a good DLC with some improvements and additions but also some downgrades (less open level design & slightly disappointing finale). Still, recommended if you liked base game and/or TKoD! :)