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Will We Ever Play These Old Games?

We all have that shameful
backlog somewhere in our house; a stack of old games that we bought on
impulse years ago, but never got around to playing despite the fact that we
just had to own the thing.  Then
there’s all of those games we started playing and kept meaning to finish off,
but were constantly distracted by the latest installment of Call of Duty.  Well, Player Affinity’s PC crew pried
open our chest of neglected classics and had another go at them to see whether
or not we’ll ever play these old games.

Mark Quinlan-  Planescape: Torment
When I started up Planescape:
Torment
for the latest attempt at
getting through the text-heavy game, I did a great deal of research on the lore
and background of the plot and setting. I’ve tried to complete this game many
times, but mainly due to the multiple CDs required for its use and slow pace of
story development, I’ve put off completing the game and often leave it
altogether. Now that it’s available (and admittedly been so for some time) as a
single DVD, I decided to start it up one more time, to finish it once and for
all.

I have to say, Planescape has aged well for the antiquated engine and
graphics. Rather than relying on blocky 3d that was more popular at the time,
Planescape uses a heavily upgraded version of the Infinity engine that powered Baldur’s
Gate
, also a classic D&D title.
Gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds, well animated and more detailed character
sprites as well as a great soundtrack add to the visual experience, which
sometimes can be a problem when you’re playing “find the pixel” to open a
container hidden in the art the makes up your environment. Load times are fast,
no CD-change requests are welcome, and the game is enjoyable compared to more
recent offerings.

Of course, the most impressive
parts of the game are the sheer amount of background lore and information that
went into the creation of the title. Pretty much every character has something
to say that’s unique, and even the generic NPCs are a wealth of knowledge and
can catapult you into a quest of some type. Of course, it helps to have a
handle on the plot to understand the setting that you are experiencing.
Planescape is a D&D setting that allows the planes of existence to casually
coexist and interact with each other personally, as well as through portals
that are anywhere and everywhere in Sigil, the City of Doors (the hub of all
the planes).

Your character wakes up in a
mortuary, devoid of memories and horribly mutilated; eventually you find that
your character, the Nameless One, is an immortal of sorts and is cursed to lose
his memories each time his physical form is struck down. This time, however, is
different: you are able to recall your previous lives from the start of the
game and must seek to find out why you are an immortal and then decide whether
to remain so or venture onwards to the True Death. Don’t let this get you down
though, as there is a great deal of humorous content in the game and tries to
lighten the mood often.

Armor and weapons are
unusual to say the least, with only three swords available and no traditional
armor for you to use. Instead, you must utilize axes, clubs, hammers, tattoos,
jewelry and magic fetishes to equip yourself with, as in Planescape often
usefulness is relegated to the imagination, allowing for all sorts of
possibilities and insanity.

I’m well on my way to
finally completing this monolith of a game, and so far it has impressed me at
every turn. It does have some inventory issues with stacks of things, and some
other minor problems that annoyed me a bit, but it’s really been a fun
ride.  Try it out!

Will I Play It?  YES

Fergus Halliday- Unreal
Tournament 2004

Many PC Gamers started off
by getting hooked on classic FPS games like DOOM or Quake. I was a big RTS
Gamer for the longest time and as such, a little late to the FPS
Party. The game that got me into first person shooters was
Unreal
Tournament 2004
and I remember
playing the hell out of it.

I was eager to see how the
game had aged so I reinstalled it and started out with a round of Mutant and
kicked the 20 AI players into Masterful difficulty.  
This proved to be less than
the ideal way to return to Unreal and I promptly got my ass kicked by the
AI.  So I setup another game. This time I chose Last Man Standing with
fewer and easier AIs.  I did much
better this time round. Within a few more rounds I was back into the swing of
things.

Readjusting to the fast
paced twitch gameplay of Unreal was easier than I thought it would be, although
getting used to not reloading my gun was a bit weird. I had also forgotten how
great the soundtrack to Unreal is. 
After the last few years of
playing Call of Duty and Team Fortress 2 it was nice to have sci-fi weapons in
my first person shooters again. In fact all the weapons in Unreal are great, they
all have pros and cons and all feel unique and fun to shoot stuff with.

I even hopped online for a
round. It’s really surprising that the multiplayer community is still going
strong after seven years. Although the game’s ever popular invasion mode is fun
its pretty one-sided most of the time. 
Yep, Unreal Tournament 2004
definitely holds up as the game I remember it to be.

Will I Play It? I’d certainly
like to
. Although Bulletstorm and Dragon Age 2 may interfere with that idea.

Check out the second half of this feature to see what Charles Battersby and Ari Runanin Telle thought of Baldur’s Gate II and X-Com.

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