26 June, 2008
Remember the first time you joined a Quake 2 server, and people were jumping around fighting with blasters cause they didn't know the weapon spawns yet, and you thought to yourself HOLY SHIT, IT'S JUST LIKE BEING IN STAR WARS, and for a long time it was. You found the weapons, and you got to know the maps so well you could tell which elevator someone had activated just from what it sounded like all the way across the map. You could make that one jump to the super health every time, and your enemies always died in the water.
Years later you went back for a taste of the old goodness, and you joined some server that was cycling through every map in the single player game. Once again, no one could find the weapons, and everyone was fighting with blasters, and it didn't feel like Star Wars at all.
Yesterday I tracked down a copy of Giants: Citizen Kabuto, knowing that if it ran in Vista at all my disappointment and shattered fond memories would be at least as severe as the example above or any other "hey, remember how great xyz was?" sort of experience. If it ran in Vista at all. I should also mention I was concerned the game might not run under Vista.
Giants: Citizen Kabuto still feels like fucking Star Wars. The game has aged so beautifully that to this day it boasts some of the most hair-raising, intense single player firefights in any game. Playing it today, I remembered why I long ago lost interest in single player action fare: As a rule, fighting robots sucks because they are carefully engineered to lose for your satisfaction. It's supposed to be something more, but it almost never is - especially now that players who want challenge and tough competition always rush straight into the multiplayer. The single player audience doesn't care about that, and today you regularly see glowing reviews that mention a game's single player campaign as though it were an afterthought.
PROS: Suspendisse diam est, rhoncus eu, pellentesque eu, luctus sed, nulla.
CONS: Weak single player campaign.
FINAL SCORE: 97% - A classic!
Giants takes vertical level designs, populates them with too many enemies, allows them the same situational awareness, mobility, and desire to cooperate with one another that you would want if you were in their position, and then provides them with relentlessness and firepower. I'm not sure I've ever been chases as far or fired upon from as great a distance, even in a multiplayer game. It gives you truly dangerous enemies who are actually worth fighting, it gives you ways to avoid them when necessary, and best of all it provides you with satisfying maneuverability and firepower. All of this with humor and excellent sound effects, and it still runs flawlessly. I haven't had this much fun in a while.
- ▼ 2008 (9)