Well Played podcast: the Gerard-sounds-like-a-robot edition

It’s Sunday, traditionally the day of rest for many, but for me it’s the day that I take part in the recording of the Well Played podcast  with fellow gaming writers Julie Grey (@GamecultureNZ), Siobhan Keogh (@SiobhanKeoghNZ), Aylon Herbet (@Aylon133) and Chris Leggett (@Leggetron). This week, though, Siobhan was having a weekend-off. Cleaning her apartment apparently. Ah, huh, Siobhan, we believe that!

In today’s episode, which was the unlucky for some number 13, topics we discussed included Deus Ex Human Revolution (a game I’m enjoying more and more as I progress), Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Battlefield Bad Company 2 multiplayer, XBLA game Toy Soldiers: Cold War, the Rezurrection DLC for Call of Duty Black Ops and the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines demo.

It feels like I talked a hell of a lot about Deus Ex Human Revolution but I really do like this game. Here’s the skinny on what it’s about (you probably know, but just humour me):  it’s 2027 Detroit, you play Adam Jensen, the chief security officer with Sarif Industries, a company that researches augments – cybernetic enhancement for humans. Long story short, Jensen comes close to death after the research facility his scientist girlfriend works at and is implanted with numerous augments to enhance his abilities as he hunts down those responsible for an attack.

As you progress you can spend experience-type points on increasing the abilities of your augments: be it cranium implants, torso, legs, eyes, arms, whatever. What is impressing the hell out of me is that you can play the game as a brutal killer, killing everyone that gets in your way (either using projectile weapons or some nifty blades embedded in Jensen’s arm implants), or stealthily, creeping around bad-guy infested complexes and buildings, hiding among the shadows and silently incapacitating enemies by knocking them out.

I also found that there are multiple routes to reach an objective and often the direct path isn’t the best – or safest – as the AI of military personal and soldiers is pretty damned good. How good? At one point I dropped a crate that I had picked up so I could crawl through a gap – and a guard around the corner heard it and came investigating. It didn’t end good for me, I can tell you.

One other thing: there’s a delightful reference to the movie Robocop in a conversation between two cops in a police station that I was skulking around – through air vents so they wouldn’t spot me. I’ve heard there are several movie references in the game.

Look, if you get the chance to play it, Deus Ex Human Revolution, do. I’d say it’s a strong contender for game of the year.

Chris and I had a good discussion about Toy Soldiers: Cold War which is a tower defence game at its core but with turrets that you can take over. Turrets range from artillery, machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns, and when you’ve killed a certain number of attacking enemy forces, you get the chance to control a Rambo-esque character that takes on the invading foes. You also get to control battery powered helicopters – useful against enemy helicopters – but they only last so long until you have to take them back to their base station for recharging.

It’s good fun.

Apparently from the half way point of the podcast,  I start sounding a little robotic – I’ve only listed for a few minutes and it sounds OK but my only excuse is that my voice synthesis augmentation (shades of Deus Ex Human Revolution there) was playing up and causing problems. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

UPDATE ON THAT: Apparently the robotic sound has been fixed by Julie in the editing process. Yay, Julie.

Let me know what you think.

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