It’s no big secret that I love sandbox games. I wish it was a secret, because to a hardcore gamer such as myself, adoring such games is tantamount to treason, indicating a commonality with those casual gamers and 13-year-olds who are just so beneath me and my more refined tastes. What’s next, enjoying a NASCAR game? This patrician view of gaming tiers really doesn’t mean anything, though, so I admit it; I absolutely love sandbox games. Good ones, like San Andreas and Saints Row. Note that GTAIV isn’t in that list. Reviews be dammed, the game really isn’t that good. As I’m sure I’ve said before, the game world seems incredible to a non-player, but once you actually jump in and play it, it gets kind of tedious having to drive for 30 minutes, in real-time, every time you fail a mission, which happens a lot, because the cars in the game control like the tires are made of banana peels coated in Astroglide. That said, the multiplayer was absolutely amazing. Even in Free Ride mode, where there are no real objectives, it never gets boring.
This is why I’m excited about APB; it looks like it’s pretty much a massive version of the GTAIV multiplayer. Developed by my heroes at Realtime Worlds (responsible for the original GTA series, Lemmings, and Crackdown, which I have espoused the joys of before), APB looks like it will be the MMO that finally gets me hooked. Assuming, of course, that I can play it; the game is currently slated for release on the PC and the Xbox 360, but only the PC version has an actual release date. Perhaps this would be a good time to ask you folks to buy me a video card. And throw in some RAM, while you’re at it.
Additionally, there are beta signups available on the APB website. Someone sign up and tell me how it is. Then invite me to your house and let me play it.
Ok guys, I know this is kind of late, but I’ve decided to review Crackdown. Mostly because I exist in a dimension outside of time and space, where a man can play years-old video games for the first time, genuinely enjoy Styx’s 1972 Crystal Ball album without a touch of irony, and not know what a “Hannah Montana” is, despite being under the age of 40.
As I’ve said, the shooter aspect of Crackdown really isn’t that great on its own. All the guns are either grossly inaccurate or extremely underpowered, and you basically just press the auto-lock-on button and hold the fire button until they’re dead, which even at the top possible firearms rating takes about 15 seconds unless you’re immediately next to the minority you’re shooting. When you’re surrounded by 30 people pumping ammo into you, this is not helpful.
That said, everything else is a blast. Even running from one objective to another can be fun, since you get to jump from building to building to get there. I tend to get distracted, because I’m incredibly spiteful to NPCs (in every game, but especially here). For example, say I’m running to kill a gang boss, and I decide to run against heavy traffic on the interstate. Cars are speeding towards me at 100 miles per hour. One has the audacity to hit me. Do I accept that as my punishment from playing on the interstate? Of course not! I pull the driver out of his car, kick him in the face, and throw his car into the river, and leave him to try and shamble his shattered body across the still-busy interstate, which usually doesn’t work out successfully. And if my police allies see me do it and try to bring me down? I murder wave after wave of them, killing many citizens in the process. It’s even fun with non-innocents. Case in point: One time a huge semi full of Russian immigrants was speeding towards me, presumably planning to hit me, then shoot me to death. What was my solution? I stepped slightly out of the way, and kicked the truck into the river as they sped by. They all drowned. I think there were children on board. God, I love this game.
Except Halo Wars. If I could somehow find a hole in the trailers for that game, I would have sex with it.