Computer gaming has long held the hand of nerdy pursuits both subtle and gross from Manic Miner to Lara’s Crotch… oops Freudian slip! Lara Croft.
Now, Dom tells me he suffers form an affliction that makes his eyes hurt and induces nausea when he plays computer games for too long. Pfah! I say. He's obviously not hardcore like me. If I suffered from this affliction I would undergo laser eye surgery and simply sit at my computer desk with a bucket between my legs, intermittently vomiting into my spittoon as I played.
Verily do gamers part before me as I enter their servers, like a virtual, Red Sea. Multiplayer FPSs are where I excel. Silverback my nom de Guerre; like a seasoned, gnarled veteran, unshaven and cigar between teeth, a la Nick Fury, my gun spits death like a possessed, mechanical Basilisk, the searing hot lead opening up faceless uniforms and my shrapnel tearing fist sized holes through the hapless hordes. Yes folks, this is my alter-ego. The Mighty Silverback! DoD, DoD source, CoD2, CoD4 and currently available on CoD WAW, come watch me or stand against me and die…
Sorry. Big ego trip for me. Now that’s over with on with the rant.
I have to admit (and I'm sure Dom will too), that as a self-proclaimed geek he is missing much that would enrich his geekiverse. Granted, most superhero/comichero games within the last decade have been movie licence pieces of crap. (As if the Marvel Movies hadn’t made us suffer enough, merchandising then pisses in the already tainted cup.)
So will all this computer jiggery pokery ever replace the old fashioned role-playing experience?
Aaah my poor nostalgic nerds…To even ponder such a question…
It already has.
The technology is here and programmers are finally beginning to realise that the co-operative experience is where its at. Even the aforementioned CoD WAW (Call of Duty World at War) has a co-operative campaign mode, and a fantastically addictive rabid, zombie nazis mini game. That’s right Dom you heard me… RABID NAZI ZOMBIES!
1000s of them, red eyed and hungry for flesh.
Just an aside, but does anyone remember the name of that fantastically shit Nazi Zombie film where they come out of the lake to terrorise a small Italian village? The classic moment has to be a zombie vs zombie shambling, fisticuffs battle in slow motion. One zombie has tried to eat another zombie’s still living daughter and so a match to determine who is zombie commandant ensues. In slow fucking motion. The choreography is pure fucking genius. The fight takes all of 20 minutes. Ah got it!
This new breed of co-operative game could well crush the last vestige of traditional role players beneath its hob-nailey boot heel. Okay there will always be small pockets of resistance that survive; The Undead who run Orcs Nest and that small, dingy and deserted corner of Forbidden Planet.
And from Nazis to Zombies, Left 4 Dead is a 4 player co-operative zombie apocalypse game with its own in-game chat system, and a beautiful blend of FPS and roleplay style action. You can hear yourself blurting Zombie Movie clichés as literally 100s (yes 100s)
of on screen zombies swarm towards you and your band of stalwarts as you back into the subway/hospital/safehouse, fingers pumping and expletives running off your tongue faster than the bullets from your Uzi. (Dom, this wouldn’t take up much of your time as a campaign lasts little more than 2 hours!) Doing this with mates you know and love is divine.
Now all this said and done I didn’t quite piss myself like many others did at its release. Its far from perfect and they could have done so much more with this type of game. But it is a great fucking game if you have mates.
For my money, at present, the MMORPG crown has to rest on Conan’s knitted brow. It just seems so much more of an adult affair than the other fantasy MMORPGs. No silly little fuckers running around calling you noob. No fucking, shitty, cartoony looking, caricatures, or understated animation. Not an Orc or an Elf in sight, Oh No! and frankly I don’t miss them. A breath of visceral fresh air, I think, is Conan’s appeal. R.E. Howard’s world is beautifully rendered and convincingly realised; adult themed with fatalities that have you graphically severing arteries, heads and limbs and sadistically twisting your blade in the guts of your antagonist before ending his/her death spasms by curtly stepping up and snapping his/her neck with your bare hands. Then if the mood takes you, you can parade through the nearest settlement covered in their gore.
No Greenskins. No poncey Elves. No Hirsute Corbetts with attitude.
Savage Picts, Barbaric Vanir, 10ft Albino Apes, Elder Gods & Demons…. Pure Howard.
As a solo experience, fucking great, but again, add friends into the mix and its priceless.
All I can say is thank fuck Marvel doesn’t hold the licence to Conan. It would have been another piece of shit like every other marvel computer game endeavour. Fancy trying to sue City of
Well Marvel dropped the ball on that one, but it looks like DC have picked it up and ran. They are tagged to release their own superhero MMORPG in late 2009. Well… We’ll see. I aint gonna hold my breath, but a little digital bird told me you will be able to create your very own superhero from scratch and all of the DC heroes & villains will be in-game NPCs there to either help or hinder you against the obvious backdrop of the DC universe.
Reason being, I suppose, 2,000 Batmen on one server isn’t going to work.
Hmm… Could be good."
God I love Dave!