Up-And-Comig ArmA 3 Mod: Dynamic Recon Ops

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Operation Swampforce had me leading a team of three AI recon soldiers into a lumber mill just north of the town of Berezino to assassinate an officer, blow up a storehouse, and grab some intel. Overall the mission went off without anything too disastrous happening, but I did have to call some audibles which put the team into some pretty serious gunfights. This all came out of an ArmA 3 mod based on random generation.

A lot of ArmA 3 mods rely on randomly throwing a bunch of factors together, often with mixed results. This game is the kind of simulator with a bunch of systems that react to each other so dynamically that just tossing them all together in a bunch of random ways: enemy placement, objective generation, Bohemia Interactive’s large and dense maps, can create some legitimately cool situations. The recently released “Dynamic Recon Ops” from mbrdmn is the most successful attempt at this I’ve seen yet, and it’s because it seems to take a more measured approach to random generation. Continue reading

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Sonic Mania And Sonic Fan Cynicism

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For the 25th anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog SEGA at Comic-Con announced its latest attempt to revive its mascot franchise. While recognizing that we Sonic fans are going through the Sonic Cycle again, we also have to admit that Sonic Mania is probably the company’s most earnest and promising attempt yet. We want to be excited, but hate ourselves for getting wrapped up in this mess again. Continue reading

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ArmA 3 Apex Impressions Part Two

arma3_2016_07_22_19_44_29_687So I’ve finished the main campaign that came with the ArmA 3 expansion, Apex, after putting down some quick words about it. Other than a pretty good write-up from Kotaku, I don’t see much critique of the expansion coming from major websites. Continue reading

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New Backlog Rules

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I think most people who deliberately dedicate any significant income to video games at this point has a backlog, whether it’s just a dozen PlayStation games or 2000 games on Steam. We’ve probably all got our strategies for dealing with it or just trying to ignore it as it grows behind our backs. I think I’ve started to develop some new rules for attacking the backlog which will hopefully speed things up while making sure I still get enjoyment out of games. Continue reading

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How DOOM Makes The Shooter Feel Like A Game Again

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All I can really talk about right now that I’ve been playing is DOOM, which I’m most of the way through as of this writing. I’m not sure I can say anything about it that reviews didn’t already cover though.

The most succinct thing I can say about id Software’s 2016 DOOM is that it makes the first person shooter feel like a game again. Followers of this blog may have seen my previous posts about older FPSs, and I certainly think this one fits right in with the qualities of those games, but still concedes to modernity in its own way. Continue reading

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Mods And The Potential Of Bohemia Interactive’s Map Design

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Right before ArmA 3’s Apex expansion came out I decided to finally start up a popular mod scenario called Pilgrimage. It is an odd, sort of slapped-together attempt at unlocking a lot of the potential of Bohemia Interactive’s toy chest of a game. I think it touches on one possible reason DayZ is such a success as well.

The second-place singleplayer winner of Bohemia’s mod contest,  Pilgrimage is sort of an attempt to mold ArmA 3’s components into a more traditional open-world action adventure game. It sets you on the edge of the map and tells you to track down the remains of the player character’s brother. You get information from people, hunt down leads, loot resources, and deal with groups of hostiles peppered across the map. In my experience the result accomplishes just enough in the right places to do things Far Cry or Fallout haven’t quite accomplished, despite its limitations as a mod. Continue reading

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ArmA 3 Apex Quick First Impressions

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It doesn’t look like the big websites are going to review the new Apex expansion for ArmA 3— most of them except the PC-focused sites haven’t even really covered how drastically ArmA 3 has changed since its initial launch in 2013. I’m definitely not the most hardcore ArmA player despite my over 200 hours on the game, but I thought I’d at least lay down some quick impressions after a couple missions, one official and one from a mod. Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Rise of the Triad

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I’ve actually been playing the original Rise of the Triad on and off for weeks but never really got around to writing about it until now. Of all the old school first person shooters I’ve tried on this journey through the genre, this has got to be the goofiest. Continue reading

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How Often Are Games Actually Lost To DRM?

Since the last time I talked about DRM here we’ve had more time to see the effects of Denuvo. Instead of going through all the usual DRM talking points like sales or quality of services for paying customers versus pirates, I’m gonna focus on one thing: the perceived affect of DRM on the future preservation of games. The whole thing begs the question: do important games actually often become “lost to time” because of DRM making them inaccessible? Continue reading

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Late To The Party: Survival Games (The Long Dark)

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I’ve never played survival games before: the ones that sort of took over Steam Early Access and got popular with streamers like Rust, DayZ7 Days To DieArk: Survival Evolved, or The Forest. I’ve never even played Minecraft for any significant amount of time. Right before the recent Steam Summer sale ran out I saw The Long Dark for $7 and decided to give that a shot since it seems to be the most highly praised one.

After a few hours and a couple lengthy attempts to survive in its sandbox, what I see here is a pretty well-formulated simulation game, even if it isn’t entirely my kind of thing. Though I am now wondering if other survival games might have a flow that is more my kind of thing. Continue reading

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