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GAEMS

19 June 2010

As Dutch politics continue to be steeped in troublesome coalition-forming difficulties, I’ve been playing a few cool games in the last weeks.

Currently I’m finishing up the original Gears of War from 2006. I already knew I liked the multiplayer, as many were the evenings that I’d team up with three others for incredibly exciting deathmatches. Gears of War distinguishes itself from other shooters with a brutal lethality to the gameplay. A single mistake can mean a quick death and there’s no respawning. That means that once you get chainsawed to pieces, you’ll have to sit out the round, watching your teammate getting slowly flanked (or miraculously taking out the two opposing warriors. This inherent deadliness makes deathmatch very intense. Sneaking about to get a quick kill is a thrill.

I never knew the singleplayer campaign though and assumed it was a burly, shootey affair with monotone grey environments. How wrong I was! To my delight, the gameplay is surprisingly versatile with many interesting set pieces and constantly evolving gameplay. The five acts each have their own strong identity. I wasn’t expecting this and I like it all the more for it. There are some unbalanced bits where the game spikes in difficulty, but nothing truly devastating.

I’ve also played Dementium 2 for the Nintendo DS. I don’t want to say too much about it already since I’m writing the review on it, but it’s been a unique experience and a blast. It’s surprising to see such a well-defined first-person shooter on the system, running at a smooth 60 frames per second. The horror elements were well defined, though I wish the game had been twice as long.

What’s going to be up after I finish Gears? Well, I still have that huge pile of untouched games behind the sofa... I’m sure I’ll find something!

Roderick