Killing Floor 2 Gameplay: Guts are Awesome

killing floorDuring this year’s Steam summer sale, I surprisingly didn’t get a lot of games. Mostly because I have a long queue of games that I have still yet to play, and that this summer’s free time is significantly less than previous years. I did, however, get Killing Floor 2. And it’s awesome. Gory pics ahead.

If you’ve played the original Killing Floor, a lot of mechanics in 2 will be the same. They still use the arrow guidance system to get you to the trader (except now, the traders are no longer actual human NPCs), you still get to choose your class, and the perks that come with it. But now, it’s so much more satisfying to kill zeds. Be prepared for blood and guts everywhere.

232090_screenshots_2015-06-23_00002

It’s been pretty fun playing 2 player rounds, but playing in bigger groups is better in my opinion. With a bigger group, although it scales to be harder in terms of the monsters you get, you get more sides covered. Also, there’s these really annoying crawlers that forces you to look down at your feet instead of focusing your gun on your usual head level enemies. So every once in a while, you’re realize you’re losing health, and that you have to shoot at that thing at your feet. Really annoying. In a bigger team someone else almost always picks them off you so you don’t have to do that. It’s much easier for them to aim at your feet than for you to switch what you’re looking at to purposely look down.

And OH MY GOSH the stalkers are so annoying. Not even because they’re invisible, but because they feel the need to do crazy kung fu moves in front of you to show off, THEN proceed to bash you on your head.

232090_screenshots_2015-06-22_00001

I may be complaining about these zeds, but honestly I love the game. Don’t get me wrong there. Me hating them makes killing them that much better. Plus, the slow mo shots black and white moments are really cool (but sometimes dumb when it happens at inopportune times and you’re just reloading in slow mo).

This game is early access, but it feels very much complete in terms of gameplay. There’s a few bugs here and there (me, and a teammate from a random game both realized even though we pressed on the button to refill our ammo, our ammo didn’t actually get refilled, so we were screwed for the next wave).

232090_screenshots_2015-06-22_00004

Bad things? Currently, there’s only four campaigns. And one boss, which is that guy up there who’s surviving on pumping Mountain Dew directly into his veins.

– Karen

Don’t Starve Together – Perfect example of early access

Hello everyone,

The gaming community is constantly torn about early access, with more people complaining on forums and hubs rather than not. I suspect the population that doesn’t complain finds the system fine, and is willing to put up with paying for early access or understand the issues they would most likely run into. I am in between both, having games where I find early access unacceptable (*cough* Day-Z, the Stomping Land), and some that actually work well and I’m glad I’m in their early access program (7 Days to Die).

dstogether

Recently, my boyfriend got us Don’t Starve Together. Why am I saying this is a perfect example of early access? For those who have their original game Don’t Starve, the frontier (early access) pack was $5 for two copies of the game. That’s $2.50 each for the two of us! Plus, they’re sure that they’re selling to their fans since you have to had own the game to get it for this price. Gamers are more likely to be understanding of issues in gameplay during early access. The promo is now up, but was a great way to build up a community of early accessers. If you wanted Don’t Starve Together (Early Access), but don’t have the original game, it costs around $20 now on Steam.

We’ve logged about 30 hours together on the game within 2 weeks. If you’ve played Don’t Starve, it’s basically the same game with less features to make it work for multiplayer. You now work together to brave the environments of this dark and dreary world, making sure you have enough food and resources to keep your sanity, health and hunger bars up. There’s also an option to revive your friend with Telltale Hearts (you sacrifice a little bit of your health to bring your friend back to life), but you suffer permanent damage to your health. Each revive gives you less and less max health, making it easier to die.

Us in Don't Starve!

Us in Don’t Starve!

I’ve never played Don’t Starve, so when I first opened up the game I instantly fell in love with the art (it’s Tim Burton-esque). Although it is a survival game, it’s quite different from most of the other ones I’ve played. It’s slightly easier to obtain materials and stay alive at the beginning, but as your day count goes up, you are faced with more challenges. This makes it a lot better than the other permadeath games in that you actually get to play before something murders you on day 1 or something.

I was not used to the idea of not having a secure structure as a base. My boyfriend would instruct me to build a base near a herd of Beefalos (buffalo-like creatures) and by building a base, he meant making a fire pit. Soon, our “base” contained crock pots for cooking better recipes, a science machine (to discover more recipes), a bird cage, and farms. But there were no walls surrounding us and I always felt vulnerable. Nonetheless, we defended ourselves well and now that we’re on our 80th day or so, we can build walls if we choose to. But honestly, I’ve gotten used to the idea that we’ll be able to defend ourselves without them.

Don’t Starve Together will be free-to-play to all who has Don’t Starve next year (well, there was a cut off date)! At its current state, it’s more than playable! I’m excited to see what will be added in the future 🙂

– Karen

Dead Island: Epidemic— MOBA with a zombie twist

Hey guys,

_dead_island_hauptbild3

My friend got into the closed beta for Dead Island Epidemic and he had several keys he could pass on to friends! Thanks Riz for sending me one of them 🙂

I had no idea they were releasing a Dead Island MOBA so when my friend said that he got a key for it I thought it was another standalone game like its past titles. I had played Dead Island before but not its sequel. I really liked the original game mostly because I could play as a Chinese lady whose father was from Hong Kong. It’s a bit silly but I felt somehow connected to her.

Let’s move on to Epidemic. Thinking about it I’m surprised that a zombie MOBA hasn’t been created yet! Zombie games are all the rage. In Epidemic we get to choose from several survivors (right now there are five to choose from). They each have different attack ranges and take on roles much like other MOBA games. There’s a guy who is better at close range and can tank, a girl who acts as a healer, and the rest can dish out damage but must stay at a comfortable distance away from the zombie mobs.

The workbench from the franchise that lets players craft their own weapons!

The workbench from the franchise that lets players craft their own weapons!

My thoughts? I think that it has got many elements that are reminiscent of the Dead Island franchise. You still get to craft your own weapons from blueprints and the art is quite similar, but you now get a bird’s eye view of everything. It’s interesting to get to always have a choice between a melee weapon and a gun since other MOBAs don’t give you that. It’s also a little different from other MOBAs since it’s not all about destroying the enemy’s base. Instead your team has to work together to complete objectives and get supplies. To compare it with something, I’d have to say its like a dominion game in League of Legends where you have to capture points. However you also have to fill up your truck with supplies and such while doing so.

Boomer? Is that you?

Boomer? Is that you?

In terms of enemies, if you’re playing the “horde mode” you’re facing hordes of zombies with special infected here and there. The special infected took a page from those in Left 4 Dead. I’m pretty sure I saw a boomer, a hunter and a smoker (though no smoke and coughing, just a tongue monster I suppose). I thought horde mode gets repetitive and boring. “Scavenger mode” is where you work together with your team against two other teams. The dynamics of making the game a 3 team versus is quite interesting. I’m used to just playing against one other team. What ends up happening is that you may be fighting at a capture point and you may team up momentarily with a third team to fight against one team. Then once that team is all dead it’s down to the two of you. Also, you’ve got to pay attention to your capture points. If two teams constantly fight against one another, the third team will be free to roam around and capture points. I thought this was quite an interesting twist to the usual MOBA.

Dead Island: Epidemic will be free to play on Steam but has yet to announce a release date. Since it still has to go through open beta, I wonder how long that will take. If you opt to buy one of its packages on Steam you get to play it right away (in its beta form). Overall I think the game was a little bland but it’s not done yet. They definitely need to spice things up a bit and I hope in the future there’s a few changes to address that.

– Karen

 

The Elder Scrolls Online beta testing

Hey guys,

Did anyone else try out The Elder Scrolls Online? It’s still possible for you to snag a beta code somewhere and test it out! Their email reads:

“This is our final large-scale beta event before Early Access. Join us from Friday, March 14th at 12:00PM EDT until Sunday, March 16th at 11:59PM EDT”

Early Access means you pay the $60 now and get to play it a bit earlier than the rest. I have yet to preorder since I am still gauging whether I want to get into it. However, the beta is quite promising.

Proof that you're in beta

Proof that you’re in beta

I’ve been searching for a good MMORPG for a while, and I did want to move away from World of Warcraft. It seems like every time I want to get back into the MMO world, my only option is WoW. I’m hoping ESO will make the cut for a high quality, well developed, and player filled game. I guess I can’t exactly tell how the final version will feel, or how many people will ultimately pick up the game, but as of now, the game’s developer ZeniMax has announced that 5 million people signed up for beta. This does not translate to actual players when the game ultimately releases, but it is still encouraging.

I’ve really only spent about 2 hours in the game so far to get a feel of the world and its mechanics. What was interesting was that this is a lot more skillshot-based than WoW, but that also means that getting to dodge attacks were quite fun. The inventory system is quite simple, but I have heard that as the game progresses, customizing your character’s skills and such get quite complicated? What was annoying to me was the lack of a mini map. I found it disorienting and I kept losing my sense of direction. Apparently, they’re using the compass system that they originally used in Skyrim. Not having played Skyrim, I’m used to having a mini map to guide me (I mean, this was there way back in Runescape days!). Do. Not. Like. However, their justification is that this will encourage players to explore ares.

Character creation was quite fun. There’s a lot of customizable features– easily double that of WoW. I got to change everything from my gut size to how high I want my cheekbones. However, I must say that their characters are not as…aesthetically pleasing as some games. I think that a lot of work can be done on how the characters can look more polished. Reminds me a lot of Rockstar’s GTA 5 problem where it was nearly impossible to create an attractive female character. I suppose in the end I was satisfied with my elf.

Screenshot 2014-03-14 22.25.48

 

Anyways, as I said, it is a promising game. I’m really hoping that this will evolve to be something that can compete with WoW. I’m not too sure about its pricing scheme: $60 for the game itself, than a subscription fee of $15 each month. Basically the exact same as WoW. But think of it this way: you’re thinking of launching a new game in a market with an undisputed leader. I honestly think that they should sell the game at a one time cost, with future expansions costing an extra amount. Thoughts?

-Karen

Steam Early Access: Paying to be an alpha tester?

Hey everyone,

I’m pretty new to Steam– I used to get my PC games at Gamestop/EB Games or directly on the game’s official site. Anyway, Steam came out with their Early Access games last year, allowing game developers to release their games in their alpha stages so players can get in on the action early. Sometimes, these games are free. Players do have to deal with a lot of bugs or unfinished aspects of the game. At the same time, the developers are very conscious of the feedback provided by these early alpha testers, and will constantly release new updates that improve gameplay.

Why am I so interested in all this? Well recently, I’ve been intrigued by a game called DayZ. It was a mod for ARMA 2 (no idea what that is), but is now being released as a standalone game. DayZ opened itself up to Early Access on Steam last month and the developers were really hoping to get a quarter of a million in sales ($250,000/ $30= 8,333 copies sold)– if they achieved this, they would have considered it a success. Little did they know that they would sell a million copies of the game within the first month of Early Access.

Image

What is DayZ? It’s a survival multiplayer game in an open world. As a character in game, you must loot houses and defend yourself against zombies. What’s special about this game is how real it is. And I don’t mean graphics wise (though they are not at all lacking in that department), but in gameplay. You must keep yourself fed and quenched amongst other things. If you die, you basically die. You do not have extra lives. You must restart as a new character in the world of DayZ, losing all your inventory and stats.

This leads to an interesting twist in the game. As a player, you are more conscious of what death means, and will try harder to preserve yourself. You may find yourself killing another player simply for a can of beans. At the same time, you may want to save your health and supplies and calmly tell the other player to drop all their things and leave if they don’t want to die. Some people say that running into other humans (players) is scarier than running into zombies. There’s a psychological aspect to the game.

At the beginning of the game, you start with very little. But as you progress, you may find yourself being able to restore an abandoned car and drive off with it. Of course, I imagine that will alert all the nearby zombies, but you know– you get a snazzy car. Another realistic aspect of this game it that its day and night cycles follows real time. If it’s night in Vancouver where I am, and I’m in a server in my region, the game will be pitch black when you log in. There is no electricity in the post-apocalyptic world, so your screen is simply black. However, this problem can be fixed with flares and a flashlight. There are advantages to playing in the dark.

Some reviews of DayZ in its alpha stage on Steam

I’m intrigued by this game and I really want to buy it, but at the same time, in its alpha phase, I will have to deal with a lot of issues in game. Apparently, as of now, the spawn rate for food and supplies are almost nil– they only respawn when the server gets reset. There are other issues of course since its in development. As a game, there are also problems with how easy it is to grief other players. Do I want to pay $30 for a game that hasn’t even reached its beta phase yet? Or do I want to wait till it passes testing, but will then have to probably pay around $60 for the full game?

-Karen