Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Deus Ex, and commentary on modern games

While the rest of you in the *modern* gaming world are Skyrimming yourselves into Oblivion, (HA! get it?!) I am working on my maiden playthrough of Deus Ex -yes, the first one.

Before I began, I was skeptical Deus Ex could live up to the devotion paid it by Reddit and my PC gaming friends. Nevertheless, it was clear I would be missing out if I did not play this game, and took the release of Human Revolution as a firm slap on the ass to get going.

[Ok, the rest of this post is me thanking FSM for this divine gift of gaming, and I'm sure many of you are like "Duh, Paige. Where WERE you in 2000?" I was quite busy in the late 90's and early 00's, pretending I cared about popular culture, going "clubbing," and dating vapid but pretty dudes.]

I am now 40 hours in to Deus Ex, and nearly at the end. You guys! THIS GAME! It is constantly blowing my mind with its depth and the sheer number of possibilities in gameplay. I am already salivating at the thought of my next playthough, and what I will try differently. Yes, dialogue is painful to watch since people are made from maybe 5 polygons. But hey, I don't care, because the story is so good. I have never agonized about my decisions like this. I have never been this wrapped up in a game.

"But Paige," You all interject, "What about Borderlands? Have you not logged over 500 hours into that game?"

This is true, but Borderlands is a fun, unwind after work, play after a few drinks and still succeed kind of game. Deus Ex definitely takes more attention of the brain-meats, at least for a first-timer. Much of what I have come to appreciate about Deus Ex is its age, actually. The fact that I have no marked way points or maps, and every interactable object is not garishly highlighted as soon as it comes into view.

It is clear that many modern games focus more on smooth realistic graphics than solid story and engaging play. The product itself becomes just an excuse to show off the latest and greatest in graphical advancement. Meanwhile, story and character development fall by the wayside. Hold my hand and babysit me from cutscene to cutscene. Yes, I get it. Your Graphics Dept. is amazing, and they deserve to jerk off and call it playable art. Vapid but pretty. I've grown up, Gaming Industry, and I desire more.

Deus Ex is such a great game because it becomes the kind of game you want it to be.

Stealth -Of course. There is always an alternate route and a sneaky way to bypass obstacles. (my personal motto has been "Hack all the things!")

Run and Gun -Yep. Upgrade your skills, augs, and weapons appropriately, and you won't have to crawl thru vents or memorize guard routes. Blow everything to gibs and stroll in.

Talk to everyone and find everything -You bet. Who you have on your side, and when, depends a lot on your actions. The game rewards exploration and creativity like a kindergarten teacher with gold stars. Gold stars of XP.

If you are like me, and *somehow* did not play this game when it was shiny and new, I recommend you do so now. Do you have a PC from 2001 or later? Do you have $10? Yeah, thought so.

Oh man, so many people are re-installing right now...


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Channeling my inner Siren, Borderlands style.

Recently I was made aware, through every possible channel, that Gearbox Software was holding an open casting call for a Live-Action Lilith in upcoming Borderlands 2. Hopefuls could either apply online, or attend the open call in Dallas, to be held Dec. 7th. I sent my online app last weekend, after literally 2 days worth of preparation. (Hey, 5 years worth of black hair dye isn't going to turn itself red...)  If nothing else, this was a good excuse to get updated headshots done.

 Now I wait. Constantly checking my email with bated breath.

Here's the thing: If they like me, they'll contact me to set up an in-depth screen test. Which means I have to get to Dallas on my own dime, and remain there for an indeterminate amount of time (at max, the first 3 weeks of December.) I have a feeling my place of employment will be less than thrilled, should I suddenly need to go on vacation. Right before Christmas. When another gal is about to go on maternity leave. Meh. Mutha-truckin' Lilith in Borderlands > 30 hour a week retail job. Still, not looking forward to the possible conversation with my manager.

I like to think I have a chance at this. Most of the avenues Gearbox used to advertise seemed to reach mainly male audiences. Of the females who've heard AND are interested, I figure many are simply unable to get to Dallas. Of those, I bet there are some who do not fit the demographic.

I was already highly eager about Borderlands 2, and have been ravenously seeking out all information released. I will be getting this game as soon as possible. But playing it and having *me* pop up in my HUD? It'd be weird. Good weird.

I figured now was an opportune time to start a blog, to keep a running update for those interested. That and I just want a place to talk at length about my maiden run-though of Deus Ex (yeah, the first one), the imminent building of my gaming PC, and the random stuff the Mister says.