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PostSubject: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:37 pm

We all know everyone here will be picking up both Diablo III and Starcraft II the second they hit store shelves, but what about the other games you're looking forward to?

Mine is Fallout 3. It's a post apocalyptic RPG set in Washington DC. It's being made by Bethesda, the same folks who made Morrowind and Oblivion. I'm pretty much stoked. It's going to be a wide open, wrecked, Washington DC. The experience sounds more like Morrowinds but with Oblivion graphics which makes me really excited, (Morrowind had better atmosphere and cities in my opinion. It just came alive more). Anyways I'm stoked.

One can see a boat-load of info here.

http://pc.ign.com/objects/568/568806.html
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:21 am

Spore,
It looks amazing.

Maby a new FPS for XBox that is as good as call of duty and can be played by multiple people on the same Xbox
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:03 pm

Spore does look really unique and awesome. It seems kind of like an adventure game, an rpg, and a simulation all rolled into one. I'm not sure If I'll buy it but it looks prety revolutionary.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:13 pm

I just found out that fallout 3 is only for xbox and ps3.
IT looks cool and is banned in aussieland.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:34 pm

Fallout 3 is PC too.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:49 pm

Also Empire: Total War looks awesome. It's the next total war game due out late this year, and it looks pretty much amazing. It uses the usual Total War game play, which consists of a turn based strategic mode which is sort of like civilization but far more "war" oriented. The battles are all real time and as opposed to the dozens of units in games like starcraft or age empires you command numbers in the thousands. The new feature is the naval battles however. They are now real time where as in the past they just resolved instantly. I'm pretty stoked as it seems your crew can board their ships and fight hand to hand with the other crew.

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/empire-total-war/
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:53 pm

looks cool, i hope it comes out for xbox or the system reqs arnt too high for pc
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:35 pm

Spore is the only non blizzard game that I am looking forward to. Hopefully it holds my interest for more than a few weeks.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:34 am

So I bought Spore.... and after two hours I cannot wait to play more. I'm still in the second stage, but so far I think i've said "cool" or "hell yeah!" at least 30 times out loud. A couple of times, I've thought to myself "I'm getting my butt kicked, I need to evolve so that giant [adjective] shaped [noun] will stop eating me." Reviews say that the civ stages are pretty weak, and I am curious to see if they are right, or if they are just setting the bar a little high. Ed, are you still planning on getting it?
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:11 am

yea, i am but i would like to know what you think. Post back with what you think about the civ stages. the negative reviews of that have me concerned...
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:35 pm

It really seems like they've packed a lot in a game. Projects of that scope are bound to leave some parts weaker. The fact that the civ stage is just a fraction of the game, but there are other games that wholly revolve around that means they are going to be held to that standard....but hey, as long as it's fun...who cares!
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:21 am

I read more about it, scott how is the fourth and fifth phases? have you gotten to space yet?
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:44 am

I've made it to the final stage. The space stage is, well, massive in scope. I haven't had a chance to really explore it and judge it yet. The tribal and civ stages are nothing compared to the cell and creature stages. The tribal stage is cute and charming and all, but the gameplay is obviously designed so that a non-gamer doesn't get overwhelmed. There is only one resource, and it is plentiful enough, on medium difficulty, that there was never really a question of resource management. Due to a bug in the game, the peaceful route to victory wasn't available, so war was the only option. The enemy AI is obviously not comparable to any true rts out there, so simple tactics like focus fire and rushes make the player almost unbeatable. By the end of the tribal stage, I was counting down the minutes to move on.

The Civ stage is a little better. It isn't at all like Civilization, and doesn't try to be. It is just a more advanced RTS. There is still only one resource, though it is not nearly as plentiful. I battled over the resource nodes quite frequently, and at times had to worry about resource management. There still isn't a lot of depth. There are 3 total military unit types (1 land, 1 sea, and 1 air), and 4-5 different buildings. I attempted to do something besides just crush the opposition with superior numbers, but the enemies were unwilling to ally because of my previous behavior in earlier stages. So I just smacked them in the face. I never felt like my victory was in doubt, but I did lose a few minor skirmishes. I will probably run through these stages again pretty soon to see if the non-military routes are more substantial or difficult. If strategy is all you are looking for, then stay away from Spore.

The major strength of the civilization stage is the building and vehicle designer. Swift would have an absolute blast building planes, trains, and automobiles. I personally have no interest in designing vehicles, so I just used some of the automatically downloaded ones. If creativity is your bag, then I imagine that it would be pretty satisfying to launch an assault on the evil maroon empire with your carefully crafted instruments of doom.

Overall, the cell and creature stages have been worth my price of admission, which was only $25 since I'm sharing my copy with John. I have a blast making creature after creature and running around eating fruit all day. Again, I have hardly touched the space segment, which is supposed to provide the most depth. If there is interest, I'll report back with my findings after I've experimented a little bit more.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:17 pm

nice little review. It pretty much makes sense. A game of such scope can't possible do everything well but it still sounds like a blast to play. Your post has given me inspiration though. What about making a thread that is basically a review when we get a new game and know others are interested. I'd rather read your opinion that IGN's. Plus...it could be kinda fun writing a review...
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:01 am

I'm game. I had a blast writing that up. I got halfway done before I had to go to class, and thinking about finishing it helped get me through my umpteenth iteration of the scientific method.

For the record, I'm now a couple hours into the space stage and it is pretty amazing. I'm still witholding my final judgement for a bit, but so far I like what I see.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:15 pm

Yeah, so a couple of weeks ago I broke down and bought supreme commander. You know that game I've been drooling over for two-plus years now. It's pretty much kick-ass although the single player is barely playable. The online play is where it's at though. I may do a little write up on it later. I haven't decided yet. Tell some more about spore though. I'm curious to see how the single player is shaping.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Spore is eating up more of my freetime than I care to admit. Its one of those games that I have to be careful when I start, because the next time I look at the clock 2-4 hours have dissapeared.

I went back through the game again from the beginning, hoping to get a feel for the replayability of each stage. The cell and creature stages keep bringing me back; I've played through each 4 or 5 times now. They just are not getting old. My second time through tribal and civilization were much more fun than the first time. In tribal, I went the peaceful buddy buddy route. I danced and sung my way to alliances with a few other tribes. The later tribes, however, wanted nothing to do with my Broadway moves, and forced me into aggro mode. I tore one to shreds, but the last one standing was fully developed and was quite difficult for me to dispose of. My usual strategy, sending in everybody and just sort of winning, wasn't working well. I noticed, in the distance, a GIANT creature that towered over the treetops. It was roaming around killing anything it ran across. I sent one brave soul to poke it with a stick, and ran like hell towards the enemy village. The creature followed me, ate my sacrificial lamb, then proceeded to demolish my rival! Once the beast left their camp, I waltzed in and finished the job. That sequence has been one of the highlights of my video game life, and has me looking forward to doing tribal again soon.

The Civilization stage was also more enjoyable the second time through. This time, I went the economic route instead of the military route. This was actually easier than my first time through, but much more fun. I took the time to design my own vehicles and my own buildings, and I admit that it added quite a bit to the experience. My attitude going in was also a factor in enjoying it more. I took my own advice and stopped playing it like a strategy game. I goofed around more, explored everywhere I could, and generally took a more relaxed viewpoint of my army of economic glory. That being said, in the end I was excited for the civ stage to end. I would not miss it at all if it was simply not in the game.

One review I read said that Spore is not a deep game, it is a broad game. That is a fantastic description of the space stage. There is a crap ton of stuff to do. The first thing I did was zoom out as far as I could. My little empire and everything I could reach composed a tiny fraction of one arm of an immense galaxy, presumably filled with friends and foes. One could play for eons and probably not reach everything. From what little I've seen so far (little meaning 8 or so hours worth divided over two games), I consider the gameplay to still be pretty simplistic, but fun nonetheless. The economics of the game are easy to figure out: buy low, sell high. The completist in me dies a little each time I play, because there is just so much that I have to ignore. I ran missions for random aliens for awhile, but once I realized that they were repeating I stopped and just sort of did my own thing. Now I'm setting up spice colonies all over the place to pay for my addiction to terraforming random planets. I am yet to set up a 'zoo' planet, but its on my ginormous list of things to do.

So far, Spore's replayability has really impressed me, which is important because you can get to the space stage in under 5 hours of play. You also don't need the CD to play once its installed, so if you guys end up getting it you can easily split the price. Another review I saw said that Spore is for the people that, in GTA, would rather run around getting into their own trouble than do the missions and storyline. That's pretty true (even though I am totally a mission type of guy). I think that Zach will like it more than Ed will, because I picture Zach as getting attached to his little biped and enjoying the creation and custimization of the game. Ed, I picture you, and everybody else ever, enjoying the first two stages, then becoming disenchanted with the final three. I would, however, recommend giving it a shot, because it really is unlike anything I have ever played before. Plus, it's one of those games that lends itself to 'storytime' really easily. Lots of random stuff happens that makes you go "Cool!" and run to find the nearest geek to share your experience with.

So yeah. I'm excited to hear that Supreme Commander actually exists. I am very interested in a write up. Specifically, what went wrong with the single player? Is it the AI? Too easy? How does it compare to Starcraft and Age of Empires?
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:36 am

thanks alot for the write-up scott.

I'll probably buy spore pretty soon. I have to buy an external hard drive first. (my computer has issues and i have to re-format)

Go chiefs, Beat the Raiders!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:52 am

I don't know if I'll be able to pick up spore anytime soon, as I've got limited funds and my heart has been set on Fallout 3 (which comes out next month) for what we all know has been almost a year now. I do really like your description of spore, and the fact that you were able to lure that beast into your rivals village speaks very highly to me about the attention to detail the game developers really put into the game. So I'll probably give it a whirl once the price goes down and the copy protection gets loosened, as it inevitable does when publishers try to treat their customers like criminals.

Anyways...moving on to the long time object of my strategy game affections...Supreme Commander...

Yes Scott...it does exist...and let me reiterate...it is a strategy game.

What I mean by this is that individual unit tactics are at a minimum. There is no zealot dancing, no Warcraft hero units, and while the various tech level vaguely resemble the ages from Age of Empires you'll see no bow and arrows here. On the contrary, if you actually put the units into perspective, the smallest unit, a light assault mech, is about a head taller than the games tallest tree. Units in SupCom don't come at you with a battering ram, they come swinging at you with a Great Sequoia.

The original game has three factions, and the expansion (which is a must have, more on that later) adds another.

The original are the United Earth Federation (UEF), Cybran Nation, and Aeon Illuminate. The expansion race is the alien Seraphim.

The UEF is my personal favorite. Story wise their goal is to unify the galaxy as Earth was once the dominant governing body. While at first glance the factions are mirror images with different unit models that's not entirely accurate. You'll notice subtle differences that in the hands of a competent player turn into huge ones.
The UEF thing is knocking the door down...and they have tanks...tanks...and biggers tanks to accomplish this feat. Better yet however they have the means to get those tanks into position as they have the most effective air transport in the game. With the UEF if you're traveling across the map on foot then something is seriously wrong and you're going to lose.

Experimental units are the guys you go "well piss" when you see them. At first glance they are gimmicks, but each has it's role. What they are really meant to be is the tip of the spear when assaulting a heavily fortified base. The UEF has a mobile factory with long range cannons, an orbital weapons satellite, an aircraft carrier submarine (it can hold like...200 planes...) and a long range artillery piece. The mobile factory, called a Fatboy has cemented itself as my favorite unit. As it can pound a base from afar while pumping out any land unit you choose.

The Cybrans in the game are people implanted with cybernetic components seeking freedom. (I'm really dumbing down race descriptions here...) They forgo most of the heavy weaponry in favor of versatility and speed. Their tier one assault bot maybe the best tier one unit in the game. It is a fast four legged walker that deals decent damage. It can outrun any non-scout tier one unit...plus it can repair and help build. The options are limitless....
Their experiments break their persona a little bit...They Cybrans have not one but two giant walkers of doom...both are meant to knock down the front door...at the front door...and survive the ensuing chaos. The lighter one (and I use lighter loosely) is an incredibly unit. Imagine a six legged monstrosity that can fire a steady beam of death...plus has laser turrets and flak guns....much death ensues.



]\
This is the Cybran Monkeylord...and it's not monkeying around...

The other experiments include the megalith...which is pretty much a variation of the UEF fatboy with a different build mechanic and a morepowerful albiet shorter range offensive capability. they also have rapid fire long range artillery which isn't quite as good as it sounds.

The Aeon are the religious zealots...seeking to spread their views across the galaxy...so they want to kill everybody...I haven't played a whole lot with the Aeon...as they are not my cup of tea. I like the versatility of the cybrans the depth of the UEF. They Aeon have an arsenal full of niche units that can excel when put in the right situation but can get trashed under the wrong circumstance.

They have and giant walking...thing...as an experimental. A submersible battleship, and giant disk like flying aircraft carrier, and a device that basically gives you unlimited resources as their experimentals.

The seraphim quite honestly are vastly inferior to the other races. I've run into one seraphim player online and I smashed him without a second thought. They possess some powerful units but know subtlety. They know they are coming in the front door with a pile, but you know it to. They are a one trick pony and while they are exceptional at that one trick it's simply not enough in this game.

Their experimentals embody this ideal. They have a giant bomber...another two legged walker that might be the hardest thing to actually bring down in the game, and giant nuclear missile launcher of doom, plus a giant laser that fill much the same role.


The races however are not what make this game. It's the strategy and the interface and what it allows you to do. You can control five hundred individual units in 1/3 the clicks it takes to command a group of twenty zealots in starcraft.

Does this make SupCom an easier game?
Hell no...

One has to manage their complex economy and the battle simultaneously for the duration of the game. Even against an AI that's not entirely helpless (Just mostly).

Speaking of the economy...it works like this.
There are two resources. Energy and mass. As opposed to the flat collection of...every other RTS ever SupCom uses a steady stream of income-per-second. So one tier one metal extractor will net you 2.0 mass per second. balancing is made easy as expenditures are listed is both a flat cost, and the amound of mass per second needed to create. All that was said above goes for energy except one does not have to fine specific spots to harvest energy. Power generators can be built virtually anywhere, and while at first glance the resource system seems simplistic it's really far from. Things get hectic when managing the resources to forty-five factoris. The loss of one mass deposit can throw your economy into a tailspin if you're not paying attention.

The battle are fast and furious. The rock paper scissors mechanics found in most RTS games are nowhere to be found. Rather supcom relies and common sense and numbers. What I mean by this is that there is no unit that inexplicably is going to knock down eighty five of an opposing unit at roughly the same tier (zealot vs zergling here) And while I'm not knocking either game for their method it's kind of a breath of fresh air to be free of those shackles.

Maco is the name of the game in supcom. you can automate everything from having premade building templates available to looping build ques indefinitly. You could have a build que of 5 light tank, 2 artiller, 1 anti air, press the loop button and they will produce continually in that order. If you want that produced in all your factories. Just select them all, click the assist command, and then on the catory with the initial quee and those factories will automatically construct whatever the first factory is. An entire infrastructure and war machine can be set up in 10-15 clicks.

Air transports aren't even a hassle. With the ferry command the is a load icon on the ground and then a destination. Tell a unit to go to the load icon and they automatically board and depart. Better yet, set your factory's waypoint to the laod icon, then you'll have a steady stream of toops where need then, and fast.( air transports can also carry dozens of units at a time).

Air combat is aided by a realistic physics system. Dogfights are spectacular to watch and the inexplicable hovering of most game is nowhere to be found unless you've built an aircraft specifically designed to hover and pelt ground targets from above.

As far as the inner working goes I know that the game is split into planes. There is an underwater plane, a surface plane...and at least five seperate planes in the air that aircraft can freely traverse. I know that spy planes travel higher making them harder for AA to shoot down.

Visually the game is stunning. and the sharp looking units benefit from a wonderful set of landscapes that really immerse you in the local and make it feel like more than just a game board.


Graphics are good...and it's a pic of my favorite unit

Sound is also fantastic...and my house has shaken from my commander exploding before...which was cool...but probably not a good thing at the time.

Unfortunately in a game where scope and scale are everything there has to be problems.
The game is a resource hog. My machine, a dual core 3 ghz processor with 4 GB of ram and a 256 mb graphics card cries when too much is happening at once. This isn't helped by a memory leak with the AI that the developer has inexplicably left untouched for two years now. The online community isn't' that extensive and doesn't seem all that welcoming to newcomers from what I've seen but there are plenty of games online to be played as that is where it really shines.

Where both the main game and the expansion fail however is in the single player. In short...it's just awful. The set-up in each mission has an objective, and when you meet it the map expands, then a new objective, rinse and repeat for two hour missions. What results is that the player never really gets rewarded for accomplishing an objective, it's more of a grind then fun at that point. Plus the objective always turns into what would amount to a normal skirmish anyways. The story is okay, but GPG (the developer) really dropped the ball with three races that really had the depth to have an interesting storyline. If they cared half as much as the people over at blizzard did they'd have a compelling story to go along with their wonder war simulation.

Because in the end that's what it is. A war simulation on the grandest scale a fully real time game can achieve. The only comparable game is SupCom's spiritualy predecessor Total Annihilation but even it cannot match SupCom sheer scale. Commanding 250 units is the tip of the iceberg in SupCom where it is the unit limit in TA.

All in all...SupCom from a sheer game play standpoint is all I could want in an RTS. It reward though and planning more than a quick mouse and has the scale to allow epic battles that games like warcraft III could not possibly have hoped to achieve.

Scott, I think that you could like this game. I know you've disliked most RTS games in the past but this one is different somehow. When you build that giant assault bot, or completed that tenth battleship to complete your naval armada you know that it's going to last a bit and it's not going to get whacked by six scourge. So us yeah people give it a go...I'd really like to some people to play online with...


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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:04 am

I'm going to have to build a new comp to play sup comander. No pixel shader Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:25 pm

Excellent write up, Z. Sup Com definately sounds like your kind of game. What I find most interesting is the contrast between RPS style gameplay and Sup Com's style. RPS is certainly less realistic, but one of its strengths, in my opinion, is how it can allow a player to come from behind when they are behind in unit production. In a pure numbers game, the player that gets the best start, and has the best production, should win every time (admittedly my kind of game). What has Sup Com done to balance this a little bit?

Another interesting factoid is the resource system. It sounds almost exactly like another RTS game I played briefly: Rise of Nations. One of RoN's goals was for the player to be able to set up an economy, and forget about it for most of the game and focus on other things. I can see the appeal of that sort of system, but one of the most fun aspects of starcraft for me is attempting to gain resource advantage by being more efficient than my opponent. RoN made this difficult by making it easy on everyone to set up a good economy. Another similarity between RoN and Sup Com is the easy transport system. RoN did it in much the same way. RoN , as an overall game, wasn't nearly as well done as Sup Com sounds, though.

Bummer about the single player sucking. To my ignorant mind, single player seems like it would be easier to make fun and balanced than multiplayer. I suppose we see where the companies priorities lie.

If indeed I do decide I need a non-Starcraft RTS in my life, Supreme Commander sounds like it would be my pick. Your point out that it is a breath of fresh air, and maybe that is all I need to get into RTS. For the near future, however, I have a rather large collection of games I am playing, and don't think I'll be adding another for awhile.

What other games are you guys playing? Zach, do you have a baseball franchise in the works?
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:24 pm

I bought ncaa football 07 for xbox 360 it cost $6. I also play a little halo 3. On the plus side i think i fixed my computer.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:25 pm

The resource system isn't quite that static. You spend much of the game battling over territory for crucial mas deposits. A well executed strike can really bring someone's economy to it's knees by just taking a few mass deposits.

As far as other games though, I'm not getting to play much of anything right now, but I'm going to start a madden franchise. I've already unloaded Larry Johnson to the browns for a package that included Brady Quinn. Damon Huard also went in the deal to free up some salary.

That leaves me with Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles at running back which really isn't as bad as it sounds. The offensive line however is a work in progress...although I think Albert will progres nicely. I image Niswenger will be supplanted asap and I want to ship Adrian Jones out of town but I have no where to send him. McIntosh at RT is a piller...even in Madden players just run right on around him.

But yeah...I'm going to go ahead and see about saturday night. If you want to come hang out I'll let you check out sup com and see what you think.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:02 pm

I just found out what looks like an awesome game. Dead Space. I plan on buying it tomorrow and plan on posting a review after I complete the game.
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:24 pm

Ok, Here is the official Dead Space Review. I will do my best not to spoil too much of the plot.

The game is amazing. It is the best survival/horror game to come out in a long time. The game plays out like a movie and is pretty linear, however the story is very good. The voice acting is great and the graphics are awe inspiring (note: HDTV only).The interface is designed to help fully immerse yourself into the game. The cross-hairs are laser sights and the ammo counter is an led number on the gun itself. there are not bars to indicate anything. EVERYTHING IN THE GAME IS REAL TIME. This is important as you can be attacked at any time during the game. The turning in the game is slow and clunky, but it is designed that way to heighten the fear in the game. There are no cheap scares. The music is masterfully done and heightens the mood at all times. Suprizingly the game holds pretty true to the laws of physics and is pretty believable with few leaps of faith.

The plot:
The story is really well written and is masterfully executed. You are an engineer for a big mining company sent to help repair/ figure out what is wrong with the USG Isamora. The ship is designed to crack open chunks of planets. That is how big the Isamora is. It is a deep-space mining vessel. You play as isaac clark and you're girlfriend is a medical specialist on the isamora so you have motives other than to just repair the ship. You volunteered for this mission.

That is all I feel safe to say without spoiling any of the plot. I have to say my expectations for this game were sky high and in every facet the game has exceeded expectations. I would fully recommend buying Dead Space. Yes, even though it is an EA game. Yea it's that good...
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PostSubject: Re: Which non-blizzard games are you stoked about?   

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