“…Atom Zombie Smasher is painless… it brings on many changes…”
Here at Embalmit we do many things, one of those things (and the least requested of them) is to review games that we think are relatively meaningful to what we are doing. One of those meaningful games is Atom Zombie Smasher. A fantastic take on three of the past decade’s fads (now probably dying fads): Zombies, Casual Games and Indie flare. And boy does AZM (for shorts) goes to town with all of these.
Recently the developers of the videogame War Z marketed their game on Steam with a bunch of false attributes that the game just plain doesn’t have. Among these claims there’s the boasting that the games areas are around 100 to 400 square kms (areas?, plural?, there is only 1 map that is only 72 square kms), that their servers allowed for a larger amount of people than it did at launch and that the game included gameplay mechanics that never existed in the game. Including a hardcore mode and having skill purchasing mechanics, both of these exist in many other games, just not War Z.
Before Victoria was complete she used to be just “Victoria: Empire Under the Sun“. The Complete part is just that game and the expansion pack (Revolutions). This is part of the many, many Paradox Grand Strategy game titles. This one takes place within the years 1836 to 1920, and allows you to take control of any of the countries of the era and go though all of the main events of the time. The micromanagement intensive gameplay, though hard to learn, becomes very addictive in no time.
Dawn of War 2, fuck yeah, amirite?. I mean we all loved the first Dawn of War and by extension this one has to be ten times better. I mean more Dawnier and Warrier than ever. I mean look at that cover: it’s that Terran Space marine, probably killing Zergs (no wait, got the wrong franchise). It’s that Starship Trooper, probably killing them Bugs (well, close enough).
But upon closer inspection we witness a small detail, imperceptible to the eyes, I’ll give a hint of what is this horror…
This past August 22th, Gettysburg Armored Warfare creator Dan Green announced that Gettysburg’s servers were going to be shut down into oblivion:
“Hey guys, they are taking the servers down at the end of the month I believe … The game just needed a lot more dev time then was in the cards will def learn from this. Also as I mentioned before the budget/resources necessary to finish the editor and mod tools was canceled for obvious reasons.”
But never the less, developer Dan Green has at least “def learn” from the ordeal that was once Gettysburg: Armored Warfare.
I haven’t played a bad game in a while, so no “bring me some pizza” levels of badness this week. However I did get to play Orcs Must Die. As the title suggest, this a serious thriller about the work of Elf Bureaucrat John Elfenstein, who must investigate the grim situation in the Orc ghettos in the land of Wintermarch. The Elvish goverment is systematically eliminating Orcs one by one by one sparking outrage in the kingdom and John Elfenstein is ordered to investigate and suppress any further information leaks. In his investigation, John Elfenstein discovers the pain and suffering of the Orcs, who are beyond the brutish caricatures that they are usually portrayed as. John feels identified with the orcs and decides to take a stand with them. Although his attempts to bring the Orc holocaust to light are briefly successful, the elvish government suppresses and trial him. John defiantly demands to be tried as an Orc to show the disproportionately unfairness against Orcs. But to set an example out of him, John is sent to die with the other Orcs on the lava chambers, striped of his elvish name and banning any Elf from ever mentioning his name again. Thus ending one of the most emotional and enduring tales of intolerance and hope in videogame history.
Nah, I’m just fucking with you guys, it’s like a tower defense game or some bullshit (pew pew pew, die Orcs!).
On news relatively related to our development of Cairn (ok, not related at all): Starvoid, a newly released RTS, is kind of tanking. Gamespy, which is usually kind on the indies, was not kind to the game at all on their review: “It’s possible that Starvoid is a refreshingly accessible and direct entry into the MOBA sphere. It’s also conceivable that it’s too unbalanced to play for long, or that a fast-playing sport-style RTS is a bad idea. With so few players, I can’t be sure. Blame for this state of affairs has to go to whoever decided on a $10 price in a free-to-play realm; on the developers who didn’t include a single-player mode or bots for low-population games; and on the marketers who wrote that it’s an RTS/FPS hybrid when there’s nothing first-person about it.“
If there’s one thing I take from the review was that the developers of Starvoid panicked and rushed to make a MOBA, probably because it seemed fancier at the time. I don’t blame the players who choose the vastly superior DOTA Free To Play clones over the 10 dollars indie effort.
(actual fun being had in the picture may not be accurate)
Recently I took advantage of the daily indie packages sold at the steam summer sale, which basically sold 5 indie games for 10 dollars every day, with an average price tag of 2 dollars per game. The good part was that there were some real gems with the bundles (Bit Trip Runner, Braid, Splice, Audiosurf, Cavestory, etc), the bad part is that they also bundled some lousy games as well. All in all I purchased 55 games at a price tag that makes me wonder why I never checked indie bundles instead (since that would had been way cheaper). In any case, playing indie games really got me pumped up for work during the last few fairly depressing development weeks (that Indie movie documentary is right, making indie games is depressing!).