<< PART TWO
Final Doom is actually a lot more fun than the other Doom games I’ve tried, even though it is really ancient (1996). Maybe it’s just because I started to get a little bit more of a hang of how to play it, so I’m actually running around and killing my enemies before they get to me. Final Doom is basically two Doom II mods tacked together. I just had a little run around The Plutonia Experiment – the first bit – but it was enough to give me a feel for how the game plays. I may return to it at some point.
I’d already played a couple of hours of this “sequel” to the Ghostbusters movies, and it does very faithfully recreate the characters and situations of the popular films. All the main actors are present and correct, and today I got a kick out of seeing Venkman and Walter “Pencil Neck” Peck bickering again. The only thing wrong with the game at all is the actual gameplay, which just isn’t very interesting. Like Batman: Arkham Asylum, it seems overly interested in flashy effects like forcing you frequently into “detective mode” (this time using the PKE meter) which distracts you from being fully immersed in the story. It’s just a bit too fiddly and ultimately not very interesting, which is a shame because everything else has obviously been made with care.
I’ve started HL2 at least four times before – never finished it; eventually I gave up and watched the ending on YouTube, just to see what happened. Like Ghostbusters, it looks fantastic (for a 2004 game) and it’s incredibly detailed and well thought out, but I just don’t find the gameplay very engaging. This time I managed to get all the way to the bit where the teleportation experiment fails and you have to do the first bit on the run before realising that I’d failed to pick up my trusty crowbar! Goodness knows how that happened, but I didn’t worry too much about it since it was retreading familiar ground.
Couldn’t find a server to join so hopped around an empty room for five minutes, playing with the gravity gun.
Half-Life 2 Episode One
Surprisingly gripping follow-on to Half-Life 2. It is more immediate than the first one in that it launches you straight into the adventure, with a pretty terrifying sequence in which you are a passenger in a car that is thrown through the air at a great height and then falls down an elevator shaft. I could probably play more.
Half-Life: Episode Two
This one is the best-looking one of the bunch and is even more immediate in its appeal. Even though I’ve never finished HL2 and was only moderately interested in Ep One, I quite happily took this out for an hour or so.
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast
This is, of course, more of the same, but looks pretty spectacular. It doesn’t have any sort of preamble but just has your character – Gordon Freeman – waking up on a pretty Mediterranean-looking beach holding a pistol and then we’re immediately into some fights with the Combine soldiers chasing us through vertiginous cliffs and little beachside villages.
I think I’ll only return to this for completion’s sake if I finish the other two.
Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
This is another incredibly old dosbox game from 1994. It’s a first person shooter and apparently there’s a multiplayer mode, but I didn’t look at that. It’s a fantasy game, so you’re running around shooting blobby things and collecting vial-shaped things. It’s based on Doom, but isn’t nearly as engaging.
PART FOUR >>