Game Diary 20130105


Have been playing some other games of recent also. First of all, been playing through Doom 64 again courtesy of the Doom 64 Ex port - I don't think my N64 is working any more. Started out as an attempt to find all the secrets I've missed on previous playthroughs (not many) and ended up making a rule for myself that I could only make at most one attempt on a map each day, which has been fun. Mostly a string of easy victories, with occasional interludes of particular maps that take me as much as half a week to beat. I do wish I had been taking notes as I played, as I had what I thought were worthwhile things to say about several of them, but I no longer recall the details. Maybe next time.

At the moment I am working through the penultimate map of the story, "No Escape". That one starts with a cyberdemon marching around an obstacle course of a courtyard, littered with nightmare imps and with mancubuses in high positions to keep you on your toes. There is a cage with another couple of cyberdemons (which I accidentally unlocked early on my last attempt) and true to its title the level only ends when they are both defeated.

A few weeks ago I bought a PS3 to act as a Blu-Ray player, since it can be frustrating trying to source DVDs that will play in Australia and Blu-Ray region locking is much more lenient. I didn't buy any games for it because I am mostly disinterested in Playstation games, but since my sister's boyfriend also has one, she has borrowed games from him whenever she is staying here, and consequently I have been occasionally playing Assassin's Creed.

Fun game, although I found the controls a bit difficult to adjust to. Definitely enjoy getting to clamber over everything and the combat can be fun if timed right. But it also feels like rather a simple sort of game. Despite all the running through and over cities you do, there is no interacting with doors of any kind - something is either an open passageway, or you can't get in there. The sneaking is also mostly a matter of blending with crowds rather than remaining unseen (admittedly I have a history of not being good with that), and weird decisions were made about what is considered suspicious or unsuspicious actions, mostly via use of the 'blend' button.

Riding a horse, for example, even slowly, will cause soldiers to attack you unless you are holding down 'blend'. Likewise, when you rescue a citizen from harassment by guards (by killing all the guards in the area), any guards who walk into the area where the bodies lie will immediately attack you unless you are holding down 'blend' (which means the player character lowers his head and raises his hands in a prayer posture), in which case they will leave you alone. In one case, a character is killed after the player character has interrogated in a cutscene; subsequent to this I got a bit lost in the city and walked back into that alley behind a guard, who upon spotting the body immediately turned around and attacked me. Now, while 'I' had killed the guy, this guard had no way of knowing that, so it felt weird to be attacked in the street for it.

Death animations for characters who have been killed can be quite disturbing, with writhing and gurgling for a while after they have been stabbed. I've been considering quitting the game on account of this graphic violence; the more closely gameplay resembles murdering humans, the less comfortable I am with it. The appeal of a game like this for me is more in the puzzle aspects, environment and skill mastery, and the story. Decision on that still pending, but I expect I will keep playing. Still want to see what happens next, etc.