carlfoxmarten: (podium)
I've been playing The Saboteur for a few years now, but what's caught my interest up again recently is the fact that I now have an XBox 360 game controller for my PC, which makes certain aspects of play easier.

If you haven't heard of it before, a quick summary is that it's a third-person shooter with a good story, set in a very accurate depiction of France during World War II.
Parts of it are almost like Grand Theft Auto, but it's less frustrating, or so I understand.

Despite some glitches (mostly visual, some gameplay), I still find The Saboteur to be a very enjoyable game.
Collect cars (either found on the side of the road, or stolen from their rightful drivers) and earn additional perks to make your way through France more easily.

Probably the most surprising aspect of the game for me is the fact that it's been so faithfully recreated.
I've seen several movies now that have at least some parts of it set in France and I find myself saying things like "Yup, I've seen that," and "I think I know where that is."

A truly weird feeling, seeing as I've never been there...

The plot never changes, and is somewhat linear, but it's fun to come up with different ways to approach each mission and target.
That is the one reason I like this game above all the others, because it's essentially open-world, you're not tied down to a handful of ways to complete the missions.

Where the game controller comes in handy is for driving vehicles around.
The keyboard being purely digital makes it a little tricky to drive, especially during some of the races, without a fair amount of practice ahead of time.
(fortunately, or unfortunately, there's a lot of driving around to get to the various missions, targets, safe houses, and arms dealers, so you do get a lot of practice in)

Surprisingly, the XBox 360 controller's two triggers are actually analogue, which means that I can directly control the vehicle's speed, making it easier navigate the city streets to my next target.
Unfortunately, it's still difficult for me to tell which button does what when I'm wandering around on foot, in addition to the fact that my aim is far more accurate with a mouse, so I have a handy flat surface near my keyboard tray to drop the gamepad on when I step out of a car.
(the nice thing is, the getting-out/getting-in animations are long enough that I actually have a fair amount of time to fully switch from keyboard/mouse to gamepad and back, which means I have no issues getting out of a car to interrupt a firing squad)

Unfortunately, the one issue I've been having with it is the in-game map, which makes it a pretty major issue.
You use the in-game map to see where you're supposed to be heading for missions, or where to find the nearest arms dealer is and mark a waypoint, which lays down a line for you to follow when you're driving a car.
The problem is the fact that, for some strange reason, the layer the map is on is not the same layer that the targets, safe houses, etc, are on, and they don't move together!
(one of the layers moves faster, causing me problems when I'm trying to figure out where I'm going)
I haven't figured out what causes this, but it has to be something related to the screen resolution in some way.
Guess I need more research into this...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
It's rather anti-climatic, actually.

After finishing the story missions, I get the rolling credits and triumphant fanfare, but after finishing all the story missions and free-play targets, nada.

I've spent over a week playing this game, working through all the missions, and taking extreme pains to avoid triggering alarms, with nothing more to show for all that hard work.

Granted, the main point of the game was the story missions, so I can't fault them too much for that, but it would be nice to get some sort of reward for all that extra effort.

I have to say, though, that I'm seriously tempted to play through the whole thing again so I can get more of the perks earlier.
Some of them would be really handy to have for certain missions, especially the rocket launcher that holds seven rockets.

However, I now have two games that I haven't even opened yet, so I should probably wait a bit before jumping back into France.

The two games I haven't played yet are Dragon Age: Origins, Ultimate Edition (which includes all the expansion packs), and Dragon Age 2.
(I playtested EA's latest snow-boarding game recently, so DA2 was my reward for that)

I'm currently installing DA:O, but shouldn't try playing until I definitely have some free time, and not right before bed...
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
Apparently, I'm really enjoying The Saboteur.

According to the statistics it keeps, I'm 78% done the story missions, while only 39% done the free-play targets.

I guess that means I need to take out more free-play targets...

However, I do have some questions about the free-play targets, especially the ones that look like jumps or a pile of pipes.

I've tried bombing them and nothing happens, as well as (attempting) to drive a truck off one of them, and it stopped square on the jump, like it was parked there.
(I just checked a couple of forums and found out they're merely "trick jumps", so I'll have to try again when I have a vehicle)

Today I haven't played because I felt I've been playing too much, so I've spent most of the day working on projects and such.

Maybe later...

New games!

Aug. 18th, 2011 11:32 pm
carlfoxmarten: (Default)
I love playtesting games for Electronic Arts.
They pay you in games, you know...

Tuesday I had a long session (from 11am to 5pm, so around 6 hours) playtesting a game that is nowhere near ready for release.
(I am allowed to say that it was Need For Speed: The Run, but not much else, due to the Non-Disclosure Agreement I signed)

What worked was very fun, but what didn't work ranged from mildly annoying to downright frustrating.
I almost wanted to smash the controller twice, for the same mission!
(they wouldn't skip us ahead until a bug was keeping us back)

Because the session was so long, we each got two free games instead of the usual one.

Unfortunately, none of the games I'd put in my "wishlist" they had in stock, so I got a copy of Dragon Age: Origins and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit.
Since I had NFS: Hot Pursuit already, I was sent to the giftshop to find another game instead.
The PC game selection was kind of on the small side (supposedly because the PC isn't a very popular gaming platform, according to my host), but it was a tough decision, as there wasn't much information on the boxes.

I finally decided (mostly on a whim) to choose The Saboteur.
Boy am I glad I did!

It's a World War II era game that has some influence from the Grand Theft Auto series in that it's basically a full world in 1942-era France with missions and lots and lots and lots of free-play targets.

There are one or two things that are slightly odd, though.
If you commit an act of sabotage, a circle of suspicion will show up around the area, and if you're seen in it by Nazis, they will become suspicious to the point of blowing the whistle at you.

If there's an alarm of some kind, all you have to do is run/race/etc until you get a certain distance out of sight of them, then you can waltz right back in.
Very odd, but handy.

So far it's been rather fun (save for the missions you have to use lots of stealth for), though it really does use its Mature rating.
(the game starts out in a strip club, so be warned)

The really cool feature that I've never seen in any game is that areas where the will of the people has been broken by the Nazis, the entire area is in grayscale with some reds and oranges, while areas where the people have had their confidence restored and encouraged, the area becomes full of colour again.
Very cool effect. =^.^=

I haven't tried Dragon Age: Origins yet.
I thought it would be a good idea to only play one new game at a time.

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Carl Foxmarten

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