Project Warlock – Shooty Newman McRetro

I’m here to play games and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of retro-themed non-linear FPS games. Oh wait, just found one. Hold the bubblegum! I’ve got some GAMING to do.

Project Warlock immediately impresses with a crunchy badass guitar riff, with tons of options on the main menu to make you feel like you’re about to order an explosive meal at the Mayhem Diner. The gameplay feels right at home with other 90s FPS games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D, but the graphics take some getting used to. Unlike other FPS that imitate this style in actual retro engines (like Ion Fury in Build), this game is made in the more modern engine Unity. It has a cel-shaded outline with more of a Minecraft or Dragon Quest feel. It took me a while to get used to, but it runs well and allows for some impressive lighting effects and colours that really pop like candy. Candy popcorn. Bubblegum you can swallow.

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Ion Fury – Cyberpunk 2095

The year is 2095 and Betamax Tapes are back in fashion. Cyber punks have gone rogue on the streets, somehow overthrowing the police, military, the CIA and all the world’s power structures by strafing left and right and looking intimidating. What else is back in fashion? Old school build-engine FPS games. Ion Fury takes all the nostalgia and design structure that make classic FPS so great, and unchains them with modern console technology. This allows for massive levels, more defined gunplay, accurate hitboxes, and significantly more objects on screen at once. Does all of this make the game more fun, however?

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Bulletstorm – Digital Bubblegum

It’s raining bullets, better grab my brella. Okay, now I’m ready to chew gum AND type into this nostalgic postbox. Can you believe people used keyboards to send messages in 2020? It was the first form of writing according to the credible historians of 2600. Ah yes, information has gotten much more accurate with media advancements.

Here goes… *publish*. I’ll set the date 600 years backwards and hope for the best. Pietriots.com? Yeah, that place is probably still going.

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Xbox and Motion Controls, Will Series X Leave Us Aimless?

If you’ve played any shooter on a Nintendo system in the last decade, it probably had gyro or pointer motion controls. Metroid Prime Trilogy, Splatoon, Zelda, and now Fortnite, Zombie Army Trilogy, Doom, Duke Nukem, Borderlands, and many other third party games are adopting it after the huge success of Splatoon 2, and general ease of use.

Even Sony have adopted this for 2 generations now, though you’d be forgiven for not noticing it. Much like their handheld legacy (just kidding), these features weren’t really used that much nor embraced. But the fact is, the Dual Shock has motion control and it’s used in a lot of big games like Gran Turismo Sport to steer. It’s not used nearly enough and it’s technically very primitive, but the option is there.

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Doom 64 – Point & Click & Rip & Tear

Another Doom game? You sure mate?

Commonly mistaken as a port of the original Doom, Doom 64 is an original game with its own unique level design, enemies and graphics engine. This is the “third” classic style Doom after 1 and 2, with its own game engine created specifically for the N64. It feels pretty much the same, except the difference with this is that it’s more of a remaster than a port. Doom 1 and 2 have stayed the same since the 90s, but this game has been given a huge upgrade with this Switch port. This is extremely crisp, high-res, widescreen N64 goodness in all its glory. It’s so nice to see games of this era without the blur and slowdown, and I give huge props to Nightdive Studios for bringing both this and Turok back to life on Switch. This game looks really good and plays well.

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Prey – Out of this World

Good morning. My name is Grubdog and this is my new place. I’ve been chosen to go into space and work at the Talos I Space Station. They’re doing some interesting things up there, but I’ve got some training to do before I’m ready. I feel so different since I got to this apartment, like I’ve become a brand new person. I can’t remember much about who I was before, but maybe that’s just the excitement overshadowing everything. Even walking around my room, there’s button prompts over objects like I know what they can do in advance. I can grab and throw this chair, but why would I want to do that? Chairs are for sitting on, but I guess life in space was going to be a bit less comfortable. I picked up a lot of objects and put them down just because I could.

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Turok – What A Time To Be Alive

I am Turok! This burnt campfire is my last memory of comfort. My next meal will be the taste of success. I’m not sleeping again until I save the universe.

HUT!

I launched away with a sprint. I don’t know any other speeds, only maximum thrust. My entire body tilted left as I changed direction using all my body weight and tilted my head to keep my speed around the next corner. I’m going to find all the parts of the Chronoscepter, before it gets into the wrong hands. I will slay anything in my way. I am Turok! I will record my adventures on stone tablets and send them to Pietriots, a trusted publication in the future!

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Homefront – The War On Gameplay

Homefront is THQ’s answer to a question nobody asked; why can’t we have more games about war? There isn’t enough violence in the world according to THQ, so they’ve made up a new scenario for this game. It takes place in 2027 and apparently Korea has been terrorising the world for 15 years because they’re Korea. The game starts off with 3 Korean soldiers attacking you and acting smug, before they push you down some stairs and lock you in a bus. There’s a “normal” dude you’ve never met waiting on the bus and he acts like you’re his homeboy. The bus gets going and you’re forced to look outside through the window, with a locked camera that makes sure you see all the brutality happening on the streets. Korean soldiers are hitting people for fun, explosions are going off, children are crying, slaves are being prodded in a line. Apparently this has been going on for a decade, but seemingly everything happens at once right as the bus goes by. Are we having fun yet?

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Hey U – Give Me Real Controls

The Wii Remote & Nunchuk was last generation’s innovation in violence – still strong today, still better than the competition. This was the method of controlling the last true console Resident Evil experience the world would know: The Umbrella Chronicles.

For the previous console cycle, there’s a seldom-stated lesson Capcom briefly learned (see RE4:Wii) then immediately forgot (see their “HD” games): if you’re pretending to KILL in a video game, do it properly. It’s just a shame we don’t have to pretend anymore: modern games, such as Capcom’s premiere action series, have gotten so smart that they play themselves (step aside Super Guide). The games don’t hesitate to handle much of the excitement on their own, and work hard to convince us that quick-button-context-flashback-retrospection-cutscene was an artistic achievement (“Best QTE of 2012,” is there such a thing?). Opponents of violent gaming love to point out how video games “teach kids how to kill”, but I know that’s rubbish cuz most games suck at that, especially as more games suck at being games. It’s supposed to be like watching a movie, right? Why not an effing GAME? Thru these last couple generations of analog masturbation, popular shooters have more or less surpassed “REALISTIC EVERYTHING” – nevermind the gameplay. And in a (not really) fun twist, “more realism” cheerfully graduated to “more Hollywood”; new gameplay became movies that look like gameplay. “Wow, it’s like playing a game,” – thanks, my confidence in the new generation is at an all-time high.

Before proceeding, I want to be clear that the major ideas in the blocks of text below don’t necessarily apply to every genre or gameplay mechanic. Many of our favorites are derived from things like tennis, team sports, board games, gambling, mazes, vehicles, boxing puppets, and Donkey Kong – there’s no reason to mess with certain core elements. However, TANGIBLE VIRTUAL VIOLENCE has a raw, engrossing quality that the majority of the Industry has not been interested in embracing for some time; fluid human movements seek the spillage of human fluid, yet they insist gamers don’t like movement and just seek Mountain Dew. Trapped in the game industry’s electronic erection contest, the prestigious computing “arms race”, we continue enduring their fake war: fake gameplay and fake value. Cash and companies continue to perish in the high-priced struggle to show violence; rarely do we see genuine imagination towards playing violence. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can still search for decency. Aim off-screen and raise your real arms to rediscover what’s in front of you: the gameplay in your hands.

/wii joke

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Killzone 2 – Generic Fun

Killzone 2 is EXACTLY what you think it is. A military themed futuristic shooter with amazing graphics, a flashy campaign mode and a few classy dick jokes. I know, it’s 2012. At Pietriots we game according to our budgets and we take our time, because games are fun. Despite being an old predictable shooter, I felt the need to write about it because I was having a good time. The gameplay is quite impressive and the battlefields really feel alive, it was all going gre-

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I wish the TAKEDOWN kickstarter failed

With the successes of Double Fine’s unnamed adventure game and Wasteland 2Kickstarter is the current darling of the independent gaming community and ‘crowdsourcing’ the hot new buzzword being thrown around by insufferable energetic web 2.0 conmen. Kickstarter hasn’t always been a success though, my favourite unfunded project being the criminals who developed Tony Hawk Ride failing to fund some marble madness clone they wanted to inflict on us. If only the same could be said about smug upstart Serellan’s lame sounding tactical shooter TAKEDOWN.

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Conduit 2 – One Man, Three Balls

Conduit 2 demands your attention. It’s a first person shooter with incredible controls, great graphics, good humour, addictive gameplay, a wealthy amount of options and customisation, and a whole lot of style. It’s a fairly short game, but it’s full blown entertainment from start to finish, and makes no compromises or excuses for it. Michael Ford is here to kick ass and take names, and he’s all out of names. Life’s too short for formality – there’s no time for “the” anymore – this is simply Conduit 2, and it’s time to shoot bad guys.

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Geist Videos – Revisiting The Mature

About a month before suffering my Professional Engineer Exams at the end of October, I fired up Geist for the Nintendo SHEETKYUUB (actually, my Wii system) in an effort to update my aging, neglected GC video library. This recording session was the FIRST and ONLY time I played ANY “dual analog” shooter this entire generation (2006-2011). This experience was HORRIBLE. I kept tarding-out into walls like classic Resident Evil controls, and the screen was stiff and jerky while the camera dragged ass. And the enemies were kind enough to shoot me with 20-30 rifle rounds without killing me, sympathetic to your inability to be a real threat (impotence) given the limitations of the “traditional” input method.

From what I hear, today’s shooty games treat customers like children more than ever; probably because it’s the most appropriate thing to do.

Why do people keep playing like this after 10 years? (and keep paying for it?)  Why are games still made this way? What’s wrong with this industry?

Luckily, the game’s first-person adventure (FPA) principles are still intact and meaningful after all these years.

Does anyone remember the former upcoming next-generation “possession mechanic” zombie action-strategy title, Possession? Nope, nobody.

Congrats, n-Space – despite the cruel passage of time, your masterpiece is still unrivaled.

View/Download:
Geist, 7 videos (DivX)