Thoughts On… Alien Breed 2: Assault

(This is originally a review from This Is My Joystick)

altTeam 17 are known today entirely for their incredibly popular Worms franchise, which has sold many millions and had many of us addicted to shooting each other’s worms with high powered weaponry. Some people who remember back to the days of the Amiga might also know them for Alien Breed, a tribute to the Aliens movies and a rather good game. Recently the game was resurrected as an episodic series, the first episode being released for both Xbox Live Arcade and PC. Unfortunately, it was eclipsed almost entirely on Steam by Valve’s free alien shooting gallery Alien Swarm. Can the second episode from those boys from Wakefield correct the balance?

How could this day get any worse?!
The plot line of this second episode follows on with from the story of the first. After a brief cartoon recap of the events from the first episode (a requirement I think in any episodic game) your character, Chief Engineer Conrad, now has to fight his way through this ghost ship in order to prevent it crashing through the atmosphere. It’s not the best written tale as it primarily seems to consist of you going from place to place in order to fix nearly every system on the ship, like the entire ship was a DIY botch job made by someone who was bored one afternoon. Writing for dialogue seems to be rather standard, but strangely there is absolutely no spoken dialogue for your advisor.

Literally a corridor shooter
Like that other game I mentioned, Alien Breed is an isometric shooter that takes you through the corridors of an abandoned ship as you run around shooting aliens, solving puzzles and repeatedly pressing the use key to fix things in order to advance. The camera angle is pulled way down so it’s very hard to see far in front which is designed to increase the tension but it actually quite annoying as the angle has been done better in other games.

Obligatory Turret Section is included

Obligatory Turret Section is included

The other issue is that the game has only a few weapons and none of them are actually any fun to use. It becomes a slog to go through door after door. You also have a set of additional equipment such as grenades and health kits. Unfortunately, the grenades require a throwing time which is exactly the last thing you want when your fight big groups of aliens. It was maybe a design decision but it’s really annoying. The main issue with both sets of equipment is how little of each you will find and how expensive they are to buy from the save terminals. This means 90% of the time you are running around with less ammo than you actually need.

The game’s enemies are quite limited in variety but they have a nasty habit of swarming you when the opportunity presents itself. There are also several boss encounters that seem to be pretty simplistic and based around hitting specific points at specific times.

Those Aliens are unreal!
Alien Breed uses the Unreal 3 engine and it does get quite a lot of work out of it. The actual action does look rather good, with gunfire reflecting off the surfaces of the ship as you fight your way through. I’m not a fan of the art direction though; the main character looks exceedingly generic and he seems to lack any animations for anything even in the cut-scenes. The aliens also look like rip offs of HR Geiger’s creatures but nowhere near as visually interesting.

Whooo! Spooky Sounds!
In terms of sounds, Alien Breed’s effects do the job. They present an adventure through a ghost ship with some nice ambient sounds and ones for gunfire. I’m less happy with the backing music as it is entirely forgettable. If you’re playing Alien Breed, it isn’t for its audio.

Killing in Co-Op

Killing in Co-Op

Breeding with a friend…
Alien Breed also has a co-op mode. You can either play one of three special co-op mission chambers or play the survival mode, which is also playable in single player. These modes add a little bit of extra play time and can be quite fun. I do recommend voice chatting through it to prevent any wasting of ammo and gear.

Is this a fine (Alien) Breed?
Alien Breed 2: Assault is a competent third person shooter, however, it is still overshadowed by Valve’s Alien Swarm, which is not only a better and more replayable game, but also free for any Steam user. That said, when a Steam sale pops up, keep an eye on Alien Breed 2 as it is provides a good few hours enjoyment, especially if you can get a co-op game running.

Thoughts On… The Silver Lining Episode 2: Two Households

(This is originally a review from This Is My Joystick)

altBefore I start I have a confession; I have never played a King’s Quest game. I’ve done a little bit of research before playing this latest game but I have never picked up one of the classic games and unfortunately, this new episode isn’t that good.

For those of you that don’t know, A Silver Lining is an unofficial fan made sequel to the King’s Quest series of games made by Sierra back in olden times. After a tumultuous development (which has seen two separate cease and desist orders from the varying copyright holders), it’s finally being released in five episodes.

A plot about a plot?
The story of the second episode starts up at exactly the end of the first. Graham, the jaunty hat wearing main character, has set out to find out how to break a spell that was cast on his children in the first episode. You start the second with a list of things to find and some vague clues about where to go. The story is a major part of the game so I won’t spoil it for you but it isn’t exactly the best ever. Some of the writing is especially lacklustre for a game that revolves around telling a story, with a load of cringe worthy dialogue lines even before the voice actor touches them. It’s pretty hard to take a tenuous story seriously when almost every line feels like it was written by someone who doesn’t quite get how to write stories. It also fails to introduce you to any important concepts or world information from either the previous episode or from the world in general.

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Erm, what?

Ah, good time for some gameplay
Of course, this is actually a game so you can’t spend the entire thing sat back watching video. The first episode has about twenty minutes of gameplay to an hour or so of narration and cut-scenes. I really disliked this as it was really, really boring due in part to the terrible writing. The second episode has actually improved the ratio to something more closely resembling a game. It plays as a standard adventure game, based around finding items and then using them in the correct place. There isn’t any combining of items to make new and bizarre items like in The Secret of Monkey island and there are only three verbs you can use (look, interact and talk). It makes it simple but the problem is that it eventually turns into a simple case of pickup everything and try it on every puzzle. This is the style that Lucasarts games kicked the shit out of when they were released and under no circumstances should we go back to it. The game is pretty cool in that it has responses for using the wrong item which could potentially be funny but as mentioned before, the writing really lets it down. The game also has an issue in telling you what to do, unlike other games, it tells you your overall goal and that’s it, with very few clues about where to go and what to look for.

Visual silver? Nope
The game gets worse. The graphics have to be some of the worst I have seen in the past few years. It looks almost exactly like the late ‘90’s 3D graphics of the last actual King’s Quest game, which for 2010 is not very good. Textures look flat, there’s a lack of effects and faces just look wrong. Compared with many other adventure games, you aren’t coming here for the visuals.

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Seriously, what is going on in this picture?

Audio silver? Nope again
Silver Lining’s audio is slightly better due mainly to its haunting music. All of the music tracks are beautiful and well worth a listen. It sounds like they got a very talented composer to work on it. Unfortunately, the voice acting is far less impressive. It sounds a little like amateur hour, which is understandable for a fan project. What is less understandable is just how annoying some of the actors are. The genie’s voice feels like nails on chalkboard while the narrator is nothing but annoying throughout; her little self plug is rather irritating.

Every cloud…
Overall, I cannot recommend this game to anyone except possibly insanely die hard King’s Quest fans. The only “silver lining” I could find in the game is the music, the rest is just a simple “find items to solve puzzles” adventure done in subpar graphics, voice acting and writing. Even for free, don’t play it.

Thoughts On… Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

(This is originally a review from This Is My Joystick)

altMovie tie in games are normally not that good. Ok, that’s an understatement; 99% of games which are related to movies are just plain bad. Luckily, the game based on Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is not among this very bad group. It does have one or two issues, but overall it has to be one of the best beat-em-ups to come out in the last few years. It is truly a KO.

In the Mysterious Land of Toronto…
If you haven’t picked up the plot line from the barrage of the film’s marketing, Scott Pilgrim is a twenty something slacker/bass player living in Canada. He meets, quite literally, the girl of his dreams in Ramona Flowers, American roller skating Amazon delivery girl. However, in order to date her he must battle her seven evil exes. Unfortunately, this is effectively all the story the game gives you and most of that comes from the attract screen at the start. It is quite evident from this point alone that the game is designed for people who have gained their knowledge of Scott Pilgrim from other sources and are playing the games as an accompaniment.

Punch, Punch, Kick, Kick, The guy hogging the baseball bat is still a…
The game plays just like nearly every other brawler. You, and up to four of your friends fight your way through screen after screen of enemies in order to progress to the boss battles that finish every chapter. There are seven chapters in total and each has several areas within. To fight, you have the usual block, jump, light and heavy attacks. Each character also has their own special move as well as a striker which calls in Scott’s stalker Knives Chau and whose effect varies depending on the character. These special attacks drain “Guts Points” which also allow players to stand back up after running out of HP. The levels you fight through are all themed around the associated evil-ex and so rapidly change from one level to another. They are jam packed with items to use, shops to buy accessories and food from and waves of bad guys. It also has a levelling system, much like the game River City Ransom, so as you fight you unlock several extra moves up until the level cap at sixteen. This levelling system in some way accounts for the tough as nails difficulty; make no mistake, this game is designed for co-op. It is still do-able in single player but expect lots of shouting and screaming at your TV.

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There is something familiar about this screenshot…

Scott Pilgrim is packed full of funny references to some classic games. From the Mario style map screen to the copies of “Never-ending Fantasy” and “Spikey the Porcupine” in one of the in game shops, it buzzes with an old school feel. It also harks back to the gaming days of old in other ways, the game is brimming with reasons to play back over and over again. There are no collectables but many achievements require several playthroughs in order to unlock. There is an additional character that requires the game to be played through once with each character and an unlockable striker that will require some perseverance just to get into the fight to unlock it. The game also has a boss rush mode and a survival zombie mode, both of which are unlocked by cheat codes input at the start menu.

Them Pixels look fine
My favourite thing about the game has to be the 8-bit esque graphics by Paul Robertson. They capture the comic’s art style perfectly and are a much better fit to the source material than any poorly rendered model of Michael Cera. Every tiny animation is packed full of detail and character, from Scott’s victory celebration to the look of glee on Kim’s face when you attack an enemy with a baseball bat. It’s a delight to see in motion and with four players and a screen full of bad guys it’s a visual feast. The backgrounds are also beautiful pixel art while some animated interludes really help to convey the game’s link back to the comic. It has inherited some of the weirdness from Robertson’s other work but doesn’t really suffer as this is a world where pretty much everyone seems to be a champion fighter.

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Ah those blocks. Bring back memories…

You’ve never heard a Gameboy rock out quite as hard before
I’m also in love with the soundtrack. It’s all written and performed by the chip tune band Anamanaguchi. It’s a great rocking soundtrack that combines screaming guitar with 8-bit sound effects to create a sound like the game’s Scott Pilgrim is inspired by while also adding a modern twist to it. However, chip tune music can be a little abrasive so if you aren’t a fan you might have to play with the music turned off. The rest of the sound effects sound like improved versions of sounds from other games which is another tribute the game throws out.

Got four friends? Time to fight!
I mentioned before about this game featuring co-op. It supports four players who choose one of the four characters to play as. Unfortunately, this co-op is only on a single console. The lack of online seems a rather weird decision; I don’t know whether this was a design decision or simply a lack of time. I have heard people saying it will be patched in but I wouldn’t get your hopes up. However, I think it’s great as a co-op game apart from the levelling system. Just like in Castle Crashers there will be situations where the players are all at different levels which can lead to frustration. Get past that and it’s a joy to play. It’s among the most fun four people can have in one room with their clothes on.

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This image sums up the game

WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB!
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game is one of the best games made to tie in with a film’s release. It captures the spirit of both the comic and book, takes the references from both and moulds it into a game as fun as other modern brawlers such as Castle Crashers. The lack of online co-op is a major issue for a modern release but the rest of the gameplay, as well as the replay value means this is a great package. Add to that its cheap price (800 points on XBLA and £6.99 on PSN) and it’s a truly great game. Buy it now and start collecting some loose change.

Thoughts On… Men of War

(Old review – from the original HNTDAAB)

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Publisher: 1C
Developer: Best Way/Digitalmindsoft
Year of Release: 2009
Platforms: PC

Russian games are special. Being from a primarily PC gaming orientated country means devs can make some completely off the wall games or use ideas that western developers would run away screaming from crying for their mothers. We have seen overly ambitions games with real character (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.), traditional games with some truly entertaining plotlines (King’s Bounty) and now we see what would have happened if COH crashed into Sudden Strike at high speed.

Men of War is the latest in a long line of detailed RTS games from the developer Best Way. If you’ve never played Soldiers of World War 2 or Faces of War, the best way to think about MoW is that is a much more detailed version of Company of Heroes, with no base building and most of the “Americanisms” of Relic’s game pulled out. Some of these “Americanisms” include well designed UI and gradual learning curve.

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These points sound incredibly negative and that’s because they are. Parts of the game do feel really rough especially the voice acting and UI. The voice actors are atrocious and they get worse in the German and US campaigns. Most annoying though is the briefing guy, whose monotone strikes fear into the heart of even those who knew the Miller of Benton. The UI is also clunky, with some decisions making absolutely no sense. I mean come on, left click controls? They are terrible. To the casual person who spends 5 minutes with the game, they will think it’s terrible.

But spend more than 5 minutes with Men of War, and you start noticing things. Things like every soldier has an individual name, individual inventory and are actually reasonably intelligent. They will switch to grenades, dive for cover and pick up helmets after they have been pinged off. Tanks will rumble along, switching rounds from AP to HE depending on whether it fighting squishies or other metallic boxes. Similarly, the moment you notice artillery ripping the buildings apart or a tank crushing its way through a small French church will have you giggling like a small child who’s just been told they have the keys to the world’s biggest toy box. And you do, as the unit list looks like the devs were using Jane’s WW2 stuff book as a design doc. additionally all the units look exquisite, with details really standing out in all fields. Tiger tanks look menacing and sound like the rumbling of thunder. They look even better when a British tank has blown the turret off igniting the ammo and setting the trees around it on fire. On the topic of looks, I make mention of the requirements. I’ve tried it on my laptop on it runs it perfectly at high settings. The Russians didn’t fully polish the game off but they optimised the engine so you’d be hard pressed to find a modern pc that couldn’t run this game.

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When it comes to content though, the game does slightly slip up. There are three campaigns (Russian, German and American) alongside a set of bonus missions. The missions are all interesting and will take a long time to finish, but after that there are no skirmish modes. The online is good fun, but at time of writing, the version numbers of Russian, European and America all are different meaning player counts are very limited. Hopefully the first full patch will fix this.

Men of War is a brilliant game, but only if you are willing to learn the games little intricacies and get used to having to replay missions every once in a while. The engine is great, producing a realistic world in both looks and physics but sound and UI slightly let it down.

Thoughts On… IL2: 1946

(Old review – from the original HNTDAAB)

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Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: 1C
Year of Release: 2006
Platforms: PC

Lets take a trip back in time to 2004. I had just started high school, and had just had my first birthday party with my new friends from Benton. John, in his wisdom bought me a game that would almost ruin my first year of KS3 education. That game was IL2 Sturmovik.

Instead of the American leaning of Combat Flight Sim, IL2 was Russian made and focused entirely on the Russian Front. For once people used to P51s and Spitfires had to learn the ways around Russian made aircraft. This change in design meant many people had to relearn their way of flying. But for me, IL2 was crashing sim, trying to wreck aircraft in high speed diving crashes.

5 years later, and I now have a copy of IL2 1946 sat on my steam account. Even loading it up brings back a flood of memories. But enough reminiscing, onto a review.

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First of all, the engine IL2:1946 is based on is old. It looks old and doesn’t support widescreen. Also the humans look crap. But the actual aircraft themselves look excellent, with every rivet showing on the side of a B29. Also of note is the water. Not quite as good as Crysis, but as a sim really good.

The main selling point of IL2 1946 is actually the number of aircraft. In total there are over 300 aircraft in total (including some experimental jets) to shoot down, blow up, crash or fly under bridges. With around 72 aircraft flyable (along with various different models) a pilot is spoiled for choice when picking his kite. Also spoilt for choice is armaments. Most aircraft have a vast array of different weapons ranging from bombs to experimental guided missiles.

There are some slight downsides though to the entire pack. The singleplayer campaigns are tres terrible. They just aren’t fun in any way at all, despite the promise of a dynamic ground war complete with you messing up convoys and bridges. Similarly, multiplayer is a bit patchy, with frequent drop outs and terrible lag. Additionally, for anyone who has never played a sim before, even easy is a bit of a struggle to play. Even for a pro, the AI is unforgiving and AAA guns are truly your worst nightmare.

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But, that said IL2 1946 has some brilliant moments. When you wrestle a IL2 back from a strafing run with half a wing missing and no landing gear to land successfully or the time when you crash a jet that explodes causing a whole line of bombers to crash. These moments are among the best gaming can offer

There is one more point to make: the price. On steam now, IL2 1946 is available for £10. Thats £10 for 300 aircraft and 30 maps. Its only 4gb to download and can probably run on a netbook. Seriously at this price you would have to hate yourself to not buy it. Or be really poor.

I love IL2 games and 1946 is the version to buy. Get it, install the mods to unlock all aircraft and you probably have nearly all the combat aircraft flown in WW2. But unfortunately its old engine holds it back from being sublime.

Thoughts On… Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway

(Old review – from the original HNTDAAB)

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Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Gearbox
Year of Release: 2008
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

WW2 is a bit overdone by now. So many games playing the same few moments over and over again. By now I think that D-Day has been repeated 50 million times.  But Brothers In Arms does something different. It actually has a decent story and a brilliant gameplay. Similarly,  the setting and graphics put it aside onto a pile of brilliant games.

First is the setting. This time the action is shifted from D-Day to what some consider to be one of the worst waste of life of the late war, Operation Market Garden. This change to Holland has different buildings and details, but also brings a sense of sadness to the story. Anyone who looks at the history knows that the mission will be a failure. At many points in the game I was sat there and I knew that everything thing they had fought for will go down the drain.

Second up is the story. Unlike generico COD 2 story lines, BiA:HH actually got me emotional at some points. Your following a single squad through 10 days, and the game reveals the little personality quirks of each member of the squad. You start to smile when one of them survives an encounter, feel upset when one of them gets clipped leaving cover. However, none of this soften the blow when they actually die in the main game. It’s never just a 4 second “oh cripes he’s dead”. Its a full on crying over a fallen comrade. There is one particular death, and the circumstances that lead up to it, that had me actually choking back a tear. But the story isn’t just about death or about lots of Yanks shouting Hoorah! Its about how war actually f**** people up. The weight of all the people who died under the main character, Sgt. Baker, actually starts messing with his mind. And it isn’t some overacted parody; If the plot line from this was made into a two part drama, I would rank it alongside Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers as a brilliant portrayal of war.

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The gameplay is another defining feature of BiA. If you run off COD style, you will die quickly. You need to think about cover, about the squads you command about whether its worth reloading the clip or saving it,just in case. The cover system, although not as good as the one in Gears, is serviceable but is a brilliant addition. The command system is also pretty slick, allowing you to create awesome set pieces in a matter of seconds. And also in most cases, the battles won’t repeat. There are so many ways of getting through an area and all of them will end with you either swearing at the keyboard or pumping your fists in the air. The game is so much fun. But at the same time, the realism keeps it grounded. The guys at Gearbox know their history, and it really shows. Try to use your squads like a 20th century fire team and they will die within seconds. You need to know how to use each unit best or you will fail. Some sections have you by yourself, and these are ok. Apart from the last one, in a burning hospital, they add nothing to the game or story, though they can be a change of pace from the complex squad command. Finally, there are the tank sections which are a bit too easy but a blast to play as you mince your way through most of the German army it seems.

The graphics for BiA:HH were surprising. In all the screenshots, the graphics looked to be rather generic. But way you play you suddenly realise that the graphics are not only to a high standard, but are also used to set the mood. As the missions go on, the lighting gets darker and darker as Matt’s mental state worsens. Additionally, the sheer level of detail on the models is outstanding. Every rivet on a BAR is visible and troopers have little details on their persons, like a pack of cards or a cigarettes,

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There are however some problems. The game really doesn’t like anyone using SLi and so will glitch up the graphics. On top of this, it also seems to be quite stressful when the settings are boasted right up, so just be careful. Gameplay-wise, the game could do better without the tank sections. Also the multiplayer is terrible. Finally for the list of bugbears is some of the voices. What is up with Dawson, the British guy? His accent is terrible AND he repeats the same line around three times per second. Which also links into another problem. British troops don’t need subtitling. They speak English just like the Americans. It really annoys me when developers feel they have to add subtitles to anyone who speaks English with an accent.

As you can probably guess from the review, I really enjoyed Brothers In Arms. It felt an almost perfect game, that was actually emotional by the end. Gearbox did this game as a memorial to those who died in World War 2 and this objective is achieved.

Thoughts On… The Zombie Island of Dr Ned (Borderlands DLC)

(Old review – from the original HNTDAAB)

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Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox
Year of Release: 2009
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

You know what people like? Zombies! Everyone loves them and their brain eating ways. All the shambling around also makes them pretty good target practise for first person shooters and the sight of a crowd of them exploding? Poetry in motion. Borderlands, the FPS/RPG from Gearbox which I loved on its release, has just had its first piece of DLC released onto XBL and PSN and its rather good.

The Zombie Island of Dr Ned takes you to an island that is, as the name suggests, infested with zombies. You arrive as one of your character from the main game (the island unlocks from level 10 upwards via the fast travel system) to clean up and remove the undead menace with the assistance of “totally not the same guy as the doc in the main game except with a moustache” Dr Ned who may or may not be responsible for this outbreak of the living impaired. The story is pretty funny as well as featuring a new intro and outro from the bus man, who is accompanied this time by an adopted child who throw in questions and ridicule a couple of times.

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The game is set in a totally new area that shares very few objects with the deserts of the main game. Instead we have a Bayou swamp, with ramshackle towns and forbidding gothic mansions. In fact it is a little bit reminiscent of both Left 4 Dead 2 and the Point Lookout DLC from Fallout 3, which are two brilliant things to take inspiration from. The new enemies are also pretty good – all of the normal zombies if you look carefully are actually based of the models of the civilians from the rest of the game, including the drinks holder guys you can see hanging around New Haven. As well as the normal, there are also a couple of specials such as the boomer-esque defiler or the suicidal explosive carrying zombies. More importantly – Zombie Midgets.

One of the main things that got me was the humour of this downloadable content. The main game was quite funny, with it character intros and subtle, but the new pack is brimming with it. From the moment you set foot on the island, you bombarded with references or little silly details. The tannoys are giving advice from Jacobs (a gun maker who owns the island) not to deal with the zombies including hugging, kissing or embracing. The intros mentioned before return for all the main characters, including one whose description is simply “Holy S###!” or words to that effect. And our favourite claptraps return, as does another favourite one legged character that may bring a ray of joy back to players who weren’t happy with his demise. Though he does bring a really annoying fetch quest which is linked into an achievement into the game.

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This DLC also brings 125 point of extra gamerscore on 360. 4 out of the 5 achievements are simply story ones you’ll collect along the way, but the fetch quest achievement is a little hard to find. It does make the DLC last a little longer, but its pretty good anyway.

I really enjoyed the couple of hours I had on Dr Zed’s Ned’s Island killing the living impaired. If you enjoyed Borderlands and want some more, than this DLC is a must buy. However, if you didn’t enjoy the main game, this won’t bring you round. But then, you obviously have no soul. Therefore, you’re a zombie.

Thoughts On… Killing Floor

(Old review – from the original HNTDAAB)

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Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Year of Release: 2009
Platforms: PC

I don’t know what it is, but I like zombies as enemies. There something slightly cool, yet also slightly scary about a horde of shambling undead coming towards you though the dark, uncaring about the slugs ripping through them. They are one of the archetypal enemies of our hobby. Left 4 Dead is one of the best showings of zombie killing. But imagine if it was more… British? And mixed with the Nazi Zombies mode.

Well, you’d get something similar to Killing Floor, an updated version of an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod that has been picked up by a team at Tripwire Games, the people behind another UT2004 mod, Red Orchestra. Killing Floor itself is a bit similar to Left 4 Dead but less on going forward, more on staying alive. This time a British Biotech company is to blame for the “hell on earth” scenario, due to their research into the perfect cloned slave being run by a complete maniac. So as you effect, the clones escape the facility and overrun Britain. The government forms special forces teams to go in to clean areas of these escaped specimens. These areas range the whole British horror movie cliche locations from West London to a Biotech lab to an abandoned manor and my personal favourite, an abandoned farm, and they are all filled with plenty of character, like red phone boxes and black taxis in the London map. They certainly look the part. The player characters are either British Army troops or Special Branch Riot Police and also fit right in the surroundings as well as looking pretty cool.

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The enemies are a lot more varied than in the other co-op zombie shooter. There are basic zombies that simply rush you, but in later waves more outlandish creatures start appearing such as a skittering floor level one or another which has a chainsaw. Eventually, in the last wave, the Primarch, a chaingun and rocket launcher totting creature that can go invisible AND call other zombies in, appears to wipe out the British troops. They aren’t quite as realistic as the creatures of L4D, but they are slightly more interesting to fight especially the fleshpound, a creature that moves slowly until its starts taking damage whereupon it moves with unnatural speed. Or the Stalkers, the good old invisible menace.

The key flaw in Killing Floor is that it isn’t that polished. It still feels like a mod especially the voice acting (the traders lines are particularly cringe worthy) and the tech behind the game is very last gen. Some of the models and animations look really dated. Additionally, there are no tutorials so you have to learn all the mechanisms of the game actually in game alongside more experienced players

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Tripwire, after release, have released two extra packs of maps for the game for free. However, I think that the character DLC, which does have to be paid for, is effectively pay for them. The DLC packs are simply character skins

If Left 4 Dead had not been released, then Killing Floor would be one of the best co-op experience available on PC. But, although different, Left 4 Dead is a much better way to spend an evening of co-op. Which is a shame, because Killing Floor is great fun. If your looking for an alternative, its brilliant. So I say wait until a Steam weekend deal before you buy, unless you are desperate for zombie killing.