Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Darkness

I'd seen several trailers for The Darkness a while back and it was never something I found interesting. Mobsters with demon powers? Meh. But then I saw some gameplay footage on Monday that showed something we're thinking about doing for a game at, so I ran out and picked it up the next day to see how they handled it.

I haven't finished it yet, so this isn't a formal review or anything, but this game is badass. The opening car chase scene was incredibly grabbing and did some amazing immersive things that as a writer had me literally on the edge of my couch. The realism to many of the conversations is great; in the car chase scene the two mafiosos in the front seat carry on full conversations that you really can't hear for all the shooting and crashing, but that's what so cool about it. They're not saying these things just for your benefit, which is a great step towards realistic characters and situations.

Later I watched in writerly glee as Jackie (the protagonist) visited his girlfriend. You could actually sit on the couch and watch TV with her (which earns you the Romantic Achievement) until she falls asleep on you. There is such common ground there, such human sympathy, that I actually felt guilty for finally getting up and leaving.

Even subway train riders have their own personality. You can see them walking around, throwing away trash, picking their noses...all ways in which they're in their own world, not simply existing for you to talk to them. Unfortunately that illusion is broken if you try to talk to most of them, when they say some inexplicable variation of "Are we good?" but it's impressive nonetheless.

Add to that two badass demon eels coming out of your back that do your bidding and I found the game incredibly satisfying.

It's not perfect and there are some clear holes (like why Jackie isn't the least bit surprised to find that he has demonic eels growing out of his back.) but all in all this is one of the best surprise plays of the year for me. I'm sitting here at work just wishing I was home playing it, which doesn't happen to me all that often.

Now if only the multiplayer weren't so damn laggy.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A $24.95 Value!

I got this email the other day. It was to let me know that I, as a BellSouth customer, am very important to BellSouth. They appreciate my business. And in light of said appreciation they, BellSouth, would like to offer me, valued customer and all-around great guy, a free gift! Amazing! Since I am such the aforementioned great guy and swell customer they're prepared to give me a free personality test! A $24.95 value!

Wait, what?

Since when is a personality test a twenty five dollar value? Since when are they not, Did I miss some sort of revolution in internet personality quizzes? The next time I want to know what kind of Power Ranger I am, am I going to need to pony up five bucks? Whenever I desperately need to know what Firefly character I'm most like am I going to need to swipe my card for a buck fifty? A type personalities get charged ten bucks but B types get charged more cause you know they'll do whatever you want them to?

Clearly I'm now out of my depth on the internet. Next, I'll be getting Flickr galleries of LOLcats as a reward for using Verizon. A $30 value.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Xbox Live Account Restored!

My faith in huge multinational corporations has been restored! My Gamertag has been returned to me!

Also, thanks to my wife, who spent a day bitching the huge multinational corporation out. ;)