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Welcome to the Rofling Officer Productions blog, where you will mainly find extremely cynical reviews by a British Stereotype (usually with my good friend, John Smith). These reviews will most often be of games and films, but also have a few little projects.

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Friday, 20 July 2012

Why Shooters Need to Change

In the past I've used lots of vulgar comments to show my distaste towards recent shooter tropes like a really limited number of weapons, health regeneration and cover mechanics, but now I'd like to be a little more mature and discuss why my problems are objectively bad for the shooter genre, not just my subjective opinion.

First of all: two weapon slots. OK this is a very bad idea; it tainted my enjoyment of stuff like Halo: CE. Why? Because you lose versatility. You find a new weapon! But... why take it when the two weapons you have now are best for taking out enemies at any range? Compare this to something like Serious Sam 3 when you can run through a group of enemies with your shotgun before switching out to your railgun for a few long ranged kills, then take out your rocket launcher to destroy the massive walking mech. With two weapon slots, it's very flow breaking to keep switching out to other weapons to take on the newest obstacle.

Another, more obvious reason is that it's simply more fun to run around with twelve weapons switching between them to your leisure than just using one, then switching to another as your backup.

Moving on; health regeneration. The reason this is a bad idea is that it's just pretty boring to sit down in cover waiting for you to wipe the food colouring out of your eyes. With health packs, its really tense as you dodge the bullets while crawling with coordinated blinking. Trying to reach a health pack can be really exciting (granted, sometimes it can be frustrating knowing that you've got 1 health and yo can't possibly survive), much more so than twiddling your thumbs and sighing as your health magically reappears. I don't even know why regenerating health is used, its not realistic at all, even though realistic shooters love it so much. Also, sitting in cover is really fucking boring. I want to shoot things in a shooter, not wait a couple of seconds or die.

Finally: cover mechanics. Now this can be a cool idea, especially for stealth games or games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (boy typing that title is very very annoying) where it fits the atmosphere, but cover based shooters are incredibly ubiquitous and as a result, boooooring. Plus in a first-person cover shooter you can't notice the bloody artwork that so many hours and neglected children were sunk into, except the guy who worked on the ceramic walls I guess. Like I said, cover can work. But in large doses? No. Back in 2007 when I first played Gears of War, I was faintly intrigued by cover based shooting. Then in 2011 beginning Gears of War 3, I was fucking sick of it.

So how should shooters change? Well, they should be more like shooters like Doom, Painkiller, Serious Sam etc. These are really fun games yes, but in the story department not so much. BUT games like that can have really excellent stories. Take my favourite game, Half-Life 2; no health regeneration or cover mechanics, and loads and loads of weapons, but also had a fantastic and dynamic story with a surprisingly well realised setting. So yeah, be more like that.

I just felt like writing something a little more serious today, but anyway. DEVELOPERS: HEED MY WORDS!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Video: Orcs Must DANCE!

Uh...

I dunno why this idea came into my mind, but it just seemed like something I had to do...

Well, enjoy I guess.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Video: The Dragon Hunter Part 1

Well, I made a new video (Jonith helped out with the planning), called "The Dragon Hunter" (teh dragg0n huntar). To give a basic rundown, it's a Skyrim machinima about an idiotic guy who wants to be a dragon hunter, despite the fact that none exist... or do they???? He's incredibly cowardly and foolish, so it's gonna be a sort of Hong-Kong Phooey or Scooby Doo style humour (not for kids though), until I near the end, when I plan to make it really ironic humour. The main inspiration is Freeman's Mind, which you've probably heard of. If not, it's a hilarious Half-Life machinima where the creator voices Gordon Freeman and makes him really neurotic.

Part 1 is here. Shouldn't take long to make part 2. This is the first of my ideas for Skyrim, the second will probably reach fruition when I get jaded with this series. Unfortunately I am extremely pessimistic about what I make; I hate every single thing I've ever made... it's rather depressing.

Anyway, yeah go and watch that. I'm rather proud of my voice acting, even though it did my voice in near the end...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Diablo III Review


Well, after a long hiatus, it's time for another review. This time for the fastest selling PC game of all time, and the biggest controversy magnet since Michael Jackson molesting a child in a magnetic suit (or in another, more practical and less SICKENING way, Mass Effect 3's ending). To start off the review I'm gonna go through the controversy of the DRM with Diablo III, which does fit into my review.

Well, to put it as frank as possible without writing it on my cock and swinging it around, the Diablo III always-online DRM is fucking inexcusable. Gamer entitlement is a growing problem, and I got pissed when I saw people demanding Bioware change the ending to Mass Effect 3, but that is NOT the problem here. You pay £40 or $60 or whatever for Diablo III, and it turns out you can't fucking play the thing because the servers aren't working. There is no adequate reason Blizzard made it always online, there should have been a single-player mode.

In my first day of playing the game I was disconnected from the game twice, losing shit-loads of progress that was nothing to do with my internet (which is surprising; my internet speed is slower than a snail using bullet time). It was pretty rage inducing, and if you dismiss Diablo III and say you aren't going to get it on the terms of this ridiculous DRM, then I have no quarrel with you.

Moving on to the actual game now:

Graphics!


Blizzard continue to surpass most other developers in this area; Diablo III's cutscenes are gorgeous, some of the most wonderful I've seen in gaming. There are hardly any cutscenes however, and the graphics during gameplay are pretty mediocre. I don't give a shit about how good a game looks though, as long as it is entertaining.

Story!


There's an attempt at Dragon Age style conversations between party members, and after an hour or two I wanted to yank out my tongue and slap myself deaf. My barbarians responses were so generic, so one dimensional, so tacked-on, he might as well just wear a sandwich-board with "I Disapprove" on it. I actually quite enjoyed the company of the Scoundrel fellow, but the Barbarian just tells him how shit he is all the time. This amounts to a hugely unlikeable player character, which is an understatement. These conversations usually flesh out the story and world in a really forced way, but at least it's there.

Blizzard also suck galactic balls at writing dialogue too, whenever a big bad showed up 9/10 they'd say something like "Prepare to meet your DOOM!" and in the remaining 1/10 they'd just go "MWAHAHAHAHAHA!"

As for the plot itself, having not played Diablos I and II I can't really give the best opinion, but it's definitely interesting. It's well paced; the plot always felt like it was building and the stakes were raised ever higher. Unfortunately, the story is VERY clichéd, nearly every single element has been taken from another fantasy game, and most plot points are more predictable than a man with a fish-fetish and his dick out at an aquarium. I won't give too much away about the story, but, shockingly, it turns out YOU are the CHOSEN ONE. A story only used in nearly every fantasy story besides Rape-Lay.

Gameplay!

Ah now this, dear readers is where Diablo III excels. Combat is lovely visceral, an amazing example being the Barbarian's melee attacks that send enemies flying in all directions, which as an awesome spectacle is only just below watching an enormous praying mantis have a dogfight with Osama Bin Laden. The combat is nicely intuitive too. The interface is similar to WoW's, but it is so much easier to understand as there are only 4 buttons you use to attack. However, this gives a crucial flaw: you're severely limited by what you can equip as your attacks, which is a shame.

I'll quickly go through the classes -

Demon Hunter -



Christ, ignore what I said above, the only thing more boring than this class would be rolling a tax accountant who kills enemies by showing them slide shows of their holiday in the Canary Islands. Really, really, really, really, really, really repetitive (ironic humour is best humour). It gets better the more you play, but to be honest if you don't get the Templar with you to help out your pretty much doomed, unless you're the kind of Diablo player that you wire the game to your brain so you can play as you sleep.


Barbarian



Not really barbaric at all, he's actually really kind to anyone he meets, except law breakers. Like I said above, his bland, infuriating responses make him more difficult to play than a Neo-Nazi hobbit who attacks by coughing, but combat is amazing. My build is specifically designed to blast enemies in all directions, because there is nothing more cathartic than a zombie's head flying away in one direction and his body in five others. Every attack feels powerful, and pulling off a sweep attack so you kill 20 enemies in one attack never loses it's charm, and never fails to make me piss myself with excitement.



Wizard -


My second favourite class, all the spells feel fantastically powerful and satisfying to use. A particular favourite of mine is "Wave of Force", which usually annihilates clusters of weaker enemies than crowd around you like you're handing out free reach arounds. Playing a wizard feels like playing a fucking power station, and any enemy that approaches you will explode into electrified confetti. This leads to my complaint: it's way too easy. Even on my own bosses went down faster than me on your mum, and when the Templar joined me I was just breezing through all the obstacles dismissing entire groups with one wave of my arm.

Witch Doctor - 


Certainly the weirdest class, and the one I have the most trepidation about describing. I find the abilities quite amusing (getting the undead to rise from the ground to fight other undead is deliciously ironic), but none of them are really suitable to singleplayer. The Witch Doctor feels more like a support role in a group, I first got this feeling when I through a jar of spiders and they broke a barricade. The most racist class too, half of his dialogue just sounds like "Da spirits, mon." but I don't hate him. To be honest I'm quite baffled by this class, but I wouldn't ever use it in singleplayer, as it is extremely boring.

Monk - 

Fuck me, what a ponce. Rivals the Demon Hunter for worst class. The Demon Hunter at least looks pretty badass, as a monk you look like you've just woken up after a fucking stag party. Using his attacks made me feel like the brain damaged one who blinds himself with his own spit. I feel the most vitriol for this prick, because I don't like him at all. He gets pretty interesting with the better attacks he gets later on, but it's not worth the wait at all.

Summary!


I wouldn't say the game is "great" per se. Looting items is dramatically boringas you can just get one ten times better on the auction house, so lots of fights your only motivation is to advance the shitty clichéd story. A couple of the classes are boring as hell to play as, dialogue sucks balls too. Oh and don't get me started (again) on the bloody DRM... But all this is almost completely wiped out by the sheer fun of cleaving you're way through enough undead to repopulate Cairo.

So then...

Verdict - Awesome fun to be had spraying monster blood across your monitor, but is tainted by irritating and unforgivable DRM and a few stupid gameplay choices.

Recommendation - Yes.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Max Payne 3 Review

Over a decade has passed since max first sulkily dived sideways into a watercooler, and here in 2012, we have the third game. Creatively titled "Max Payne 3", the game documents Max's wonderful holiday in brazil as he finally forgets all about his family being murdered.

Actually, he's there to whine like he never has before. Max narrates throughout the bland, plodding plot (not even plodding; almost zero changes throughout all 12 hours) and surprisingly he becomes the main highlight. His narration never changes from being mournful and infuriatingly negative, and it gets to the point that is starts being morbidly amusing. However, Max is the ONLY interesting character. The rest are all one dimensional wankers universally, not a single character interested me.

On the other hand, the shooting is awesome. I've heard tales of bugs ruining the gameplay, but none affected me. Diving sideways with two sub machine-guns and shooting 6 Brazilian stereotypes in slow mo is always fun as hell and the occasional scripted slow mo section is badass as hell.

My main problem with the gameplay is that there isn't enough of it. At least 60% of the game is cutscenes (and that's being generous), which is unacceptable for a video GAME. Maybe this wouldn't be so obnoxious if the cutscenes were well done, but the filters are incredibly overdone and gave me a fucking migraine. Oh and the dialogue is fucking unbearable, especially when they bring the writer with tourettes in.

The multiplayer is also terrible, which explains why no one is bloody playing it. I had a hunch the multiplayer would be worse than taking a bath in HIV positive blood because how can you incorporate bullet time into multiplayer? PERHAPS they could pull it off though? Well no, they didn't, and it just ends up being a mediocre version of Gears of War multiplayer (which is funny as GoW is mediocre itself). The three game mods are standard stuff, deathmatch, TDM and gang war. They do give a little enjoyment at times, but it feels very unsatisfying 95% of the time.

Verdict:

A lifeless story that tramples on good gameplay, way too many awful cutscenes and poorly implemented multiplayer.

Rating: As bad as injecting yourself in the eye with expired morphine.

Recommendation: NO.