Friday, November 14, 2008

The 4 year itch

Big mama has landed - WotlK has finally been released. But if you're reading this, I'm assuming you're not playing it, since you'd be busy doing a lot of 'content' and/or grinding.

If you're like me, you can't really be bothered logging into WAR either, because it frankly seems like a bit too much effort to bother trying to create some fun for yourself there. So, you're cruising the net hoping for mention of some saving grace to come and rescue you from the incredible wasteland of "Meh" that is MMO land.

Well, that saving grace is not here. Sorry to get your hopes up.

In the meantime however, you should content yourself with games that are decidedly UN-MMO-like, so that when the savior does arrive, you are suitably non burnt out so that you can enjoy it. This means that you should dabble in games that are quick and fun, offer something different to what you've played before, and are easy to find others to mess around with if you like that sort of thing.

Towards this end, I gave Iron Grip: Warlord a try after reading an encouraging review.

Basically, the game is an FPS that features the human controlled players battling to defend against an ever growing swarm of NPC's that are attempting to take over a city. Yes, yes, I know, I'm a big RPG nerd too and I usually don't play FPS's either. However, this one features a neat money system for killing the enemy NPC's, which enables you to place various structures like an RTS, or buy various upgrades for yourself like an RPG. The gameplay is very guerrilla warfare, and very strategical. I can't aim for peanuts in an FPS usually, however I still often top score the games since I use my head when I play. Also, aiming is really not an issue because the game is entirely co-op PvE... there are no enemy players on the other team, just NPC's. So you don't have to worry so much about lag and bunny hopping.

The game is super fast paced and has zero story. You can play it in single player, but it's a whole hell of a lot of fun with other people. There are a slew of difficulty levels to choose from, with the game being extremely difficult on the harder ones, which really promotes team work.

Downside is that there is ZERO story, at all, so don't say I didn't warn you.... but then again you're looking for quick clean fun, not a bunch of boring text and cut scenes to wade through right? Also, the graphics are hardly cutting edge for an FPS. Crimson tried it after I told him to, and his response was something along the lines of "lulwot... when is last time u play fps noob??". However, Crimson is somewhat of a graphics whore, and I am not, and I can ensure you the gameplay is very fun :)

The download is only 400 Mb, and FULLY playable ONLINE for ZERO dollars (you only get to play on one map). I payed $25 since I was having a good old time, and got access to the other maps which are neat. I decided to justify this expenditure by cancelling my WAR subscription, since, well, I've had more fun playing Iron Grip than in a month of playing WAR.

You can get the game here.


Crimson Starfire said...

Alright... since you did a post on it, i'll give it another go tonight. Twist my arm...

WARNING: The graphics really do bum compared to other FPSs out there.

Tesh said...

I've had fun with Atlantica Online. I'd be playing it if I wasn't headed for bed. Puzzle Pirates is great for some intelligent casual gaming, too. Then again, I'm the sort that loved Puzzle Quest, so I do have a puzzle bent.

Elementalistly said...

You are singing my song. My moratorium is still in place.
I played Fable 2 til my fingers bled (and with an announcement next week for something...maybe some DLC love, I will go back to Albion)
And as well, The Witcher now has me enthralled thanks to the new Enhanced edition content and mechanics..that will keep me 40+ hours..

Basically when I am ready to go back to MMO land, I will be fresh, and I will be trying some fresh stuff.

Thanks to Blizzards ineptitude, I will never return to them thanks to a billing fiasco/nightmare ripoff.
So, I am free of that crack!

Having fun and breathing freely again.


Anonymous said...

Agreed 100%. I'm puzzled by the "either or" mentality of many gamers who decry WoW or WAR or whatever the flavor of the hour might be, picking sides like they have some stake in a battle. How about neither? How about not giving developers $15 a month to churn out the same tired old pablum again and again? That's the only way they'll listen.

No one is forcing us to play MMORPGs. I'd hope that any gamer critical of the state of MMORPGs right now votes with their consumer dollar and abstains rather than picking the lesser of two evils out of boredom.

Unless they're hit in the pocket, they're just gonna keep churning out the same crud.

mbp said... have caught my interest. I like to always have on FPS on the go in the background as a kind of testosterone burn-off. I'll give it a go.

Melf_Himself said...

Let me know what you think mbp

(P.S. the single player version pretty much sucks because the AI bots don't help enough)

@ crismon... the graphics really aren't that bad, I've heard several people comment on how good they are for a budget game. Maybe you need to upgrade your rig? (joking.... try turning the settings up ;p)

mbp said...

I played the single player game for an hour or so yesterday. Its all a bit confusing at first - I stuck mainly in fps mode because I haven't figured out rtsmode yet :( I wasn't doing too bad actually. I have found that by standing on one of the bridges armed with machine gun and bazooka I can fight off the incoming hordes and slowly push down the blue morale bar. I reckon I just need to get a bit better at killing the "officer" quickly stop them regenerating. I still haven't figured out where to get extra ammo from yet though. The only way I can replenish my ammo is by dying! I guess its time for me to read the manual.

mbp said...

Hm...well I figured out how to use RTS mode (and how to build a service station which replenishes ammo) but once I up the difficulty from easy to normal I get totally whooped. Once those walker creatures turn up I am toast.

Melf_Himself said...

Service stations are fantastic, and as you've found are the only non-fatal way of reloading.

Don't feel bad about not being able to beat it solo on Medium difficulty. I've done it, but it really took longer than it was worth. It wasn't challenging so much as a pain in the ass - every time you run off to go search for the captain, the useless bots will get slaughtered and lose home base. The game isn't remotely balanced for single player.

Try multi-player out though... don't worry about sucking, every extra person in a game is honestly a help (it feels similar to Diablo 2 in that way... the 'monsters' become harder, but it's still easier group than solo).

Tip: sort games by number of players.

Melf_Himself said...

Oh and a pro tip: When you see enemy with rockets or flamethrowers, find a civilian to stand next to. Your death will be well worth the reward that the whole team gets whenever the enemy kills a civilian.

(You can't kill it yourself, or you lose points)

It feels quite weird running around looking for civilians to use as hostages, but is very effective... It feels like cheating, but the game is so hard on the tougher difficulties that I feel it's justified!