Archive for the ‘Guest Writers’ Category

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Halo 3: ODST Review

October 3, 2009

Halo_3-odst-logo

Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: First Person Shooter
Players: 1 – 4 (ODST), 1 – 16 (Halo 3)
Release Date: 22nd September 2009

Before reading the rest of this review, first consider one thing. Are you a fan of Halo? If not then its probably best you avoid this package as ODST seems, much like some nice bits in Halo 3, a nod to fans and long time followers of the series most likely in anticipation of a (hopefully) totally overhauled Halo experience next year with Halo Reach. Until then, for fans at least, this package should be providing a lot of love especially for those who haven’t followed Halo 3’s multiplayer and its flow of consistently great DLC. At £35 or less this equates to good value for money. Provided you’re a fan.

So what makes this Halo, in a way, return to roots so compelling? That whilst it is a return to the more difficult and traditional design of the first Halo its also so startlingly fresh, in no small part thanks to the fresh perspective. In Halo 3: ODST, unsurprisingly, you play as an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, who get their name from dropping from a space ship in orbit to a planets surface in HEV pod’s, the SAS of the Halo world if you will and one step down from the almighty Spartan’s. As the slightly weaker ODST the game plays out tenser, as you cautiously have to take care of yourself in your primary role as the Rookie. After an introductory scroll explaining the situation in the covenant-human war and a brief cut-scene introducing the rest of your squad (lead by Buck voiced by none other than Nathan Fillion), aboard a frigate in low orbit over earth during the events half way through Halo 2, your soon dropped into the boots of the faceless and voiceless Rookie (though some personality shines through later in the game) then quickly loaded into your pod. Fired from the frigate in an impressive drop sequence that all goes wrong, viewing the Prophet of Regret’s carrier enter slipspace (events from Halo 2) from the window of your drop pod until hit the by the shockwave of the carrier spinning you round and sending you unconscious.

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Top 10 moments in Thief

May 12, 2009

The Thief series were hugely influential and critically acclaimed games of freedom, set in a giant steam punk Victorian inspired gothic world in a metropolis merely known as “The city”. It was with such unique elements that both Looking Glass and Ion Storm managed to craft fine experiences drawing from every genre to produce varied missions and ideas. As such it’s hard to judge moments that were generally experienced by every user but even with its focus on choice, the game always contains moments of awe, humour and sheer horror, in every form. Warning Spoilers ahead!

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The First Mission (Thief Dark Project)

There a definitive sense of awe in the first mission of The Dark Project, after that brief tutorial, when you step into the shoes of your master thief with the sole task of robbing Lord Baffords mansion for a precious sceptre. That’s it. That’s all you’re told, left out in the dark streets patrolled by guards, with multiple entrances into the building. Do you simply take the main entrance by force with your sword, or find a way into the sewers? Perhaps that guard has the key to the well? How will you distract him? It was entirely your decision and from as early as the first mission you were given freedom to handle your mission however you wished and whilst it wasn’t the best moment in the series, it was the moment of inspiration when the foundations for the rest were put in place and one of the most influential and intelligent games of all time got underway.

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