Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At … Uncharted Dragon Warfare

November 19, 2009

Welcome to the latest edition of Currently Hurling, our semi-regular look at what the Splash Damage guys and girls are playing. The holiday onslaught continues, with both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Dragon Age: Origins being among the latest wallet-draining reinforcements. Left 4 Dead 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii and Assassin’s Creed 2 are all set to join the retail fray this week, which will slowly bring to a close the year’s most frantic season of new game releases.

Hidden somewhat in this installment are dragons, high powered assault rifles, likable thieves, several waves of zombies, a copious amount of rock, and at least one art director wielding a turntable. Enter at your own risk.

Olivier ‘Nosebone’ Leonardi (Art Director):
Despite all the shock-boycott-outrage-noise happening around its release, Modern Warfare 2 is a fantastic game! The 3 modes offer very different experiences: You’ve got truly epic moments in the single player campaign, spec-ops is really fun and multiplayer is fast-paced action. Stop talking about it, play it!

DJ Hero has made me stay awake till 3am for several nights. This game’s just fun, the setlist is good (waiting for more DLC though) and the expert mode is insanely tricky when you hit the last songs. And it’s got some of the big names of turntablism, like Shadow, Z trip, and Cut Chemist – all very good stuff. If you’re into electronic music, hip hop and disco mixes, you’ve got to play it.

Philip ‘pipster’ Barnell (Production Tester):
Me and my trigger-happy girlfriend have been ploughing our way through House of the Dead: Overkill this last week. You almost feel sorry for the zombies after a while; we must have maimed, mutilated and mortally wounded several thousand of their poor, misunderstood species. But on a less sympathetic note, killing zombies is gooood, and HOTDO (nearly hotdog!) is a very amusing, gruesome and satisfying game.

Richard ‘Rahdo’ Ham (Creative Director):
Modern Warfare 2 is quite nice, but the big surprise recently for me is how awesome Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is! I found the act of building and tweaking vehicles for all the various challenges in the game to be really addicting. Highly recommended!

Neil ‘Exedore’ Alphonso (Lead Level Designer):
Still a lot of Borderlands; we’re well through our second playthrough and looking forward to the Zombie Island DLC being released next week. Gots to hit level 50 by then!

I played through Call of Duty 4 again in the last week, to get prepped for some newer one that all the cool kids have been talking about. I did start playing the SP campaign for that one, and it’s as polished and exciting an experience as one could hope. I’m trying to draw it out and not play it all at once, so I still have Act 3 to look forward to.

Guns and helicopters aplenty in Modern Warfare 2

Ed ‘BongoBoy’ Stern (Lead Writer):
I’m trying to play both Borderlands and Dragon Age and failing badly. Lunchtime co-op Borderlands has been several different kinds of fun – I just love the look of the world.

Meanwhile, Dragon Age is pretty amazing. So far it’s the best written RPG I’ve ever played, and all the more impressive for being assembled from what initially appears the most well-worn post-Tolkien fantasy tropes possible: humans, elves, dwarves, ork-things, mages yadda yadda. They do such dark and surprising things with them, though. Haven’t enjoyed an RPG’s main quest-line as much since…OK, I guess Fallout 3 wasn’t that long ago. I can’t wait to Age Dragons some more AND to try out a new character with a different background so I can learn a bit more about its world. It’s soooo schwete.

Arne Olav ‘ao’ Hallingstad (Programmer):
Having looked forward to it for years, I’ve been playing Dragon Age for the past week. It’s a great RPG with a lot of resemblance to the Baldur’s Gate series, plus it’s positively huge game with 60+ hours; there’ll be enough to keep me playing for a long time. I also got the 400 page Dragon Age Game Guide to make sure I don’t miss anything. So far it’s been a fun game, with a lot of backstory you don’t find in most other games.

Paul ‘Locki’ Wedgwood (CEO / Game Director):
I completed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves this past week, and frankly, I’m left feeling a little inadequate as a game developer! When you work in game design, you often find yourself developing a great sense of respect for a team that pulls off something cool (Batman: Arkham Asylum springs to mind), but in the case of Uncharted 2, I think I’m actually feeling more than a little envy for single-platform action adventure game development. It still takes an incredible commitment to even believe that some of the things they’ve achieved are possible, yet this giant, almost generative, evolution of their franchise appears to have been achieved as just a natural progression of the first game.

We’re lucky enough (being a shooter developer) to never face that challenge of avoiding quick-time events, but if we did need a solution, I’d look to Uncharted 2 as a flag-bearer for player interaction that demonstrates incredible elegance. If you don’t already own a PS3, then this is the game that justifies buying one.

Dragon Age: Made for RPG connoisseurs.

Ronald ‘Conine’ Koppers (Senior PS3 Programmer):
As somebody who greatly appreciates the various forms of the soothing and calming music style called metal, Brütal Legend is a treat for the music alone. I really enjoyed the RTS elements, which were much along the lines of Shiny’s Sacrifice – one of my all-time favourite games. The whole package is completed with just the right amount of Jack Black, fantastic voice work, some hilarious inside jokes and truly brutal music.

After finishing Brütal Legend, it was straight onto Uncharted 2 and it looks amazing. I’m not usually one to go all nuts over graphics, but this game looks stunning all the way through and had me stopping regularly just have a closer look and soak in the scenery. It’s all held together by a great story, while the varied gameplay keeps things fresh and multiplayer has you coming back for more.

Jared ‘jRAD’ Hefty (Lead Tools Programmer):
I recently finished playing through Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction and A Crack in Time. I always have had a soft spot for platformers, and the Ratchet and Clank series always delivers great fun, ridiculous weapons and a fairly charming and humorous story. The puzzles are inventive and build nicely as the games progress. ‘Tools has some interesting Sixaxis puzzles and sequences which ‘Time eschews in favour of some brain-stretching time manipulation puzzles. ‘Time also adds semi-free-form exploration of space and planetoids that contain puzzles and obstacle courses. These are both great games to play when you want to wind down and Blow Stuff Up Good™.

Richard ‘Fluffy_gIMp’ Jolly (Media Director):
I’ve been playing Earthworm Jim on the iPhone which is still amazingly fun; a great trip down memory lane that still holds up to today’s games. Greatly looking forward to the New Super Mario Bros Wii release tomorrow, it has 4 players on one screen!

Finally, I have just finished my Steam download of Left for Dead 2; I need to get some practice in before I join the regular’s for the lunch time game 🙂

What have you been playing and what are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!