Our Week in Games – Week 50
It is a bit late in the day for this, but here we are once again for Our Week in Games. We are getting ever closer to Week 52 when we will have some special words to share about the past years worth of Our Week in Games. For now, Kevin is talking about his Steam backlog, Nick has ever more great Kerbal Space Program goodness and Jon has some choice words about spiders. All this, and more trucking in the 50th edition of Our Week in Games.
So it’s August and I’ve decided to officially name this month as Steam gaming month (well as officially as I can, which to be fair is just within my flat… the fiance will just have to put up with it!). Having yet again fallen prey to the Steam summer sale it’s good to find some time to actually play these games, some of which I bought months ago. Max Payne 2 was my first port of call and if you’ve been following my “One Man and His Steam Backlog” articles you will know I’ve found it a little monotonous. Having stuck at it I’m happy to say that there have certainly been improvements in other departments since the first game and I’ve now finished it making Max Payne 2 my first completion of the month.
Choosing my next game was not easy and after some indecision I eventually resorted to the good old method of closing my eyes and pointing at the computer screen. My finger landed on Monkey Island 2, which was a relief as I had a blast playing the first game. Not far into this one yet but I’ve already discovered some cracking characters and found myself in some odd situations. More on this soon.
I’ve also been busy writing a preview for Memoria, Daedalic Entertainment’s latest epic quest of pointing and clicking. Read about it here.
I’ve done it.
After around 60 hours of poking, prodding and in some cases just screaming at the monitor, I have finally achieved what I once thought impossible.
For many people, the picture above represents nothing more than a ramshackle spacecraft orbiting a dull, lifeless red rock , but for me it represents the culmination of months of hard work. In so many games, the simple act of flying from one planet to the next is nothing more complicated than just selecting a destination and activating the autopilot, but in Kerbal Space Program, the very thought of interplanetary travel requires the three p’s of preparation, planning and mild panic. Even getting that ship into orbit required dozens of attempts, refinements and redesigns until finally up it stayed, endlessly circling the planet Kerbal, rather inconveniently completely out of gas.
Before I could set out for Duna I had to refuel the ship. That meant one thing -an orbital rendezvous and docking, something I had never successfully accomplished previously. So it was back to the drawing board, where I had to build a tanker completely from scratch, drag it into orbit and then somehow, somehow, find my mothership in space.
I did it. I’m still not exactly sure how I did it, but as the two monstrous ships touched for the first time, I felt something no number of ‘achievements’ had ever made me feel. I felt glorious. As the fuel flowed from the tanker into the mothership, I took a celebratory swig of beer and began to plan my expedition into space.
Soon enough, after a long time planning, not to mention several visits to the KSP forums with questions and searches for help, finally I pointed my ship into the void, hit the gas, and then rather anti-climatically went to make a cup of tea – In space travel, some things can take a long time, and an interplanetary burn is one of them – but sure enough, ten minutes later with a tea in hand, I turned off the engines, sat back and watched Kerbal vanish into the distance behind me.
Lots of it.
Like seriously, a ridiculous amount.
But then finally, I saw it, a small red speck in the distance, slowly, but gradually growing into a circle, which then became a sphere.
Almost with regret I broke up the mothership, separating the lander from the enormous fuel tanks and engines that had faithfully carried it across the stars. And then downwards, downwards to the surface of Duna, hoping that the parachutes I’d packed and the lander’s engines were enough to slow the descent, knowing that if they weren’t, there’d be nothing I could do to stop it slamming into the surface and wasting hours of hard work, not to mention three innocent Kerbal lives.
Spiders; I HATE spiders. Well, I do now. In Metro:2033 the existence of animals and terrors below the metro, further into the depths of the earth, were always alluded to. Monsters in the deep that had always been there- legends from the time of the Metro’s initial construction, partially glimpsed, missing men, distant noises. Now, legend says: They sense man’s end is about to come and so are rising from the depths to reclaim their lost tunnels, and to feed…..
Yeah, so I was suitably primed, or so i thought. They’re big, these spiders, very big. Worse; guns only work on their soft-underbelly and the only way to get them to flip over is by burning them with the light of your torch. Fine if there’s only one spider, but when have you ever known there to be only one spider.
I hate spiders.
A quiet week for me this past week, and I’m not entirely sure why. You might remember that last week I found myself in a precarious position with my truck in Euro Truck Sim 2. Well, I managed to get off the wall, but ended up stuck on the other side of the road against a fence. I drove forward and back a bit trying to get the trailer moving away from a bloomin great lamppost to no avail. I took the decision to unhook from the trailer and try and grab it and extricate it from where it was from the other side. Of course a heap of traffic had built up and I had no way to get back to my trailer. I called for a service for the first time in my trucking life.
My woes didn’t end here, I thought that I would have had a sleep when being magically taken to the nearest town, so I set off towards my destination without thinking. It was a big mistake as I soon hit the limit of my tiredness whereby the game limited me to 20mph. Another service call was put in before I decided to take myself off to bed.
Lessons learned – don’t get your truck stuck on concrete wall and expect to survive and keep an eye on how sleepy you are.
One thought on “Our Week in Games – Week 50”
I really enjoyed the spiders in Metro: Last Light. In fact, I think they’re my favourite addition to the game. And this is despite being somewhat arachnophobic, and finding giant spiders anywhere from horridly repulsive (Limbo) to reducing me to a useless, quivering blob (Thief).
But in Last Light, the spiders were the only enemy that introduced a dynamic tension to the fight beyond that of health/ammo/gas mask integrity. Having to keep turning the light onto them to keep them off meant that while moving through the spider-infested areas I was could only ever glance at where I was going.
The spiders retreating from my light tended to lead me further into the nest, into less safety. I had to learn to let them retreat, and only move forward when I was ready—or I ended up surrounded by them in a dark room.
The spiders also made me appreciate the occasional lantern or pool of light as a haven in a way that no other element in the game did. Finding these small islands of safety was always a tremendous relief.
After a couple of playthroughs, I’ve found success in assaulting the spiders directly, in playing the avoidance game, and even in running past them. They really allow for quite a variety of situations, and in my opinion Last Light uses them far more sparingly than it might.