The annual Christmas rush has breathed new life into the PC gaming community this
fall. Most of the anticipated titles to be released are of the immensely popular
first person genre. This genre, started by the immortal Wolfenstein 3D, has
delivered some of the most immersive single player gaming to date, as well as the
birth of the multiplayer gaming community which in the future will dominate the
gaming industry. This month the latest developers are standing on the shoulders
of champions to release the newest wares which will push the first person genre
to new heights. Two of these newest creations stand out above the rest, both of
them unique in thier own ways and both of them bringing new creativity to life.
These two games are: Sin from Ritual Entertainment (www.ritual.com), and the long
awaited Halflife from Sierra.
I have been playing the demo version of Sin for the past few months. The
interactivity of the single player game is excellent. Sin is very reminiscent of
one of the greatest PC games ever released "Duke Nukem 3D". I could not help
thinking of Duke whenever Blade gave a one-liner after finishing off a bad guy.
Sin is one of the very few first-person games to feature realistic
environments and textures such as towns, streets, and buildings instead of
futuristic ones. I have a lot more fun busting into a nudie bar and shooting up
the bar than walking into some futuristic alien spaceship.
Not only is the single-player game fun but I have spent hours upon hours
playing the multiplayer deathmatches online. This is where Sin definitely excels.
Sin uses the Quake II game engine which delivers fast and furious internet
gameplay. So far four "official" multiplayer levels have been released for the
demo version. One of these levels scales all of the objects in a realistic
environment up in size so that you appear to be miniature. This level is one of
the most creative and flawlessly executed works of genius I have ever encountered
in a game. The enjoyment that I got out of the four levels that have been
released for the demo is enough to make me restless for the release of the full
The full version will include:
- Two new characters to play as in
multiplayer levels (people have started making their own skins already)
full compliment of single player missions
- All new multiplayer levels added to the favorites that were in the demo.
Frag ya online sometime!
I recently was lucky enough to receive something that many gamers would kill
for right now. I was able to get my hands on the OEM version of the long awaited
and anticipated game Half Life by Sierra.
Half Life achieves nothing short of greatness. The game begins with an
"interactive introduction", which is a unique idea in itself. In Half Life you
play as a research scientist in a top secret underground research facility. The
beginning introduction is actually of 'you' taking the tram to work in the
morning. In the background you here the business of the day broadcast over the
loudspeaker in your train car. As your surroundings pass by you can actually move
around the train and look around. Finally your car arrives at its destination and
you are told to wait for the security guard to open the doors.
This was the shocker for me. When the security guard greeted me as he opened
the doors his mouth moved as he talked and he gestured as well! Although this may
not seem like much to most people, that one small feature of realism draws the
player into the game more than any other first-person shooter has done thus far.
One of Half Life's most interesting new features is the interaction that you
can have with computer controlled neutral characters in the game (mostly security
guards and scientists). You can be walking down a corridor and encounter a
security guard who is trying to fight off a creature with his pistol, you can
choose to help him or ignore him (monster usually kills him). If you choose to
help him you can ask him to follow you around and help you out. If he sees a
monster he will take shots at it, helping you out very much.
Half Life is definitely a game to play with the lights turned off and the
sound turned up. Creatures jump from around corners and even crash through walls
and doors to reach you. It looks like the first person genre has reached another
stage in its evolution with this game, preorder this one as soon as you can because
this one looks like a game of the year!