Friday, November 03, 2017

Serious Sam 3: BFE and Borderlands 2

These two are _seriously_ old games, and I'm just gonna write some thoughts on them because I'm on holiday, and I got them last week. Us OSX players don't really get much choice, eh?

So first, Serious Sam. This game was a very different experience from the first game, and overall I probably won't want to play it again. The first Serious Sam is frikkin a bag of laughs and a simple, endless gorefest. I don't think it's _that_ fun playing solo, but in multiplayer it's amazing, especially with friends.

I didn't feel the same way in BFE. First the maps are a pain in the ass to navigate. I found them overly large, and I'm supposed to hunt down keys to open gates. That just threw off my pacing. Sure, we need some things to break up the endless waves of enemies, but I felt the "fetch quests" were just slowing down the game and I didn't feel any need for them. There were also some underground maps that were dark, and I could barely see anything at all. I'm wondering if there's a calibration problem on my screen as my friends were able to take down those chittering space monkeys in the dark with seemingly no problem. Gah.

And oh, those gates that stop you from progressing until you found a key? Seriously? As unfit as I am, I am certain I can climb over them. That totally breaks whatever little immersion I had of the game. I also didn't like that you had to press E to climb ladders. Like... what?

In any case, this is a game from 2011, and gaming has progressed tremendously since then. I'd hope Since I rarely spend time actually playing games these days. On the plus side, the frame rate is amazeballs even when entire regions are clustered with smoke/dust sprites. The SBC cannon brings back so many memories, and having them split apart a werebull down the middle is lol-tastic.


Borderlands 2 released a year later, is a serious eye opener. Now these days, while I don't actively play games, I do watch playthroughs on youtube. I'm personally more interested in how the story works, rather than wanting to actually play a game.

Now borderlands blew me away with how well developed and thought out the UI, controls and levels were. From my no-longer-a-gamer perspective, it is a game that's really well polished. I am still amazed when I can walk up to a tiny little object on the floor, and am able to read the text on it. Like... is this the mega-texturing thing I've read up from before? Totally, mind blown.

Story wise, I found it quite passe. Fetch quests all over the places, and there were some plotholes (how could Roland die?! He was a vault hunter too!!! And one shot KO? It wasn't even a headshot!!!) My first run through I tried to blaze through it without any side quests and found it nigh impossible for certain missions - my level was just too low, and was taking forever to do damage to enemies. After reading up some hints, I finally got around to doing quests, which both boosted my levels and gave me some equipment that was super useful against specific enemies/bosses.

The final boss I was a bit non-plussed - for a warrior supposedly able to destroy everything on the planet it's... actually quite small in stature. And the amusing part was taking it down with just a plain old pistol lol.  That said, if we ignore the story, in terms of gameplay the pacing was superb, and the bosses, I really enjoyed lots of the boss fights. Many pushed me in the corner, but I was still able to break out of it.

I've played 4 of the 6 classes in the game, and a few days ago I decided to just uninstall the game because I could not help myself wanting to play it. Definitely a game to play for sure.