But just think of how impressive a simple game could become with the current generation power behind it. This is what Painkiller was showing us;once you stop worrying about anything other than a horde on the end of a shotgun, you can elevate that basic concept to dizzying new heights. Painkiller instead devoted its energies to level and monster design and it came out fucking fantastic. That was five years ago. Just imagine what a monster-spam game could be like today.
Think of an entire futuristic city with enemies packed into every inch. Think of a city like the one in GTA4, brightened up a tad and with every vehicle and pedestrian replaced with a zombie biker. Think of you in the middle of it armed with weapons like a scaled-up version of the line gun from Dead Space. Picture the weapon as it delivers a twenty-foot-wide laser that sweeps through an oncoming crowd of bads, effortlessly separating their top halves from their bottom halves and sending them flying skywards like caps on graduation day. Think of climbing to the top of the highest building and seeing the streets swarming below you. Think of being armed with carpet bombs. Now think of my huge throbbing stiffy.
Actually, I'm given to understand that Earth Defense Force 2017 might be right up my street, but fuck is that a hard game to track down. And besides, insects? I can kill insects whenever I want to with a single kettle of boiling water, while cutting swathes through legions of red-blooded humanoids is a luxury that society denies me.
Since I've been reviewing so many indie games lately, I'll recommend another one, recently released on Steam, a game called AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (I hope I spelled that right) A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, which I've been having shameful amounts of fun with. It's a good example of elevating a simple concept: A series of heart-stopping base jumps through a huge variety of futuristic vertical cities, all wrapped up in a delightfully anarchic sense of humor that literally sticks two fingers up at detraction (seriously, that's a gameplay mechanic). Just a shame about the title. Sure, it'll be the first entry in anyone's Steam list (unless they bought 1701 AD), but it's a real bitch to Google.
"Erm...Tales of Monkey Island's design director is Dave Grossman, one of the "big three" to work on the first two MI games you apparently worship."
- SHODANFreeman, from last week's XP comments
And yet, Tales is an infinitely worse game. Funny, that. You'd almost think the original Monkey Islands were created by more than one dude.
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.