Ante-Retro

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So recently I’ve been playing some older games, not so old that they classify as properly retro which I personally define as at least two console generations behind and furthe. Rather, games that are only a few years old that have since been glossed over by all the shiny new games that have come out recently. I have decided to dub this Ante-Retro, (before retro) in a sense that these games are not retro quite yet.  So what games did I personally miss out on and only recently spent some quality time with?

Firstly, Borderlands. I missed Borderlands when it first came out in 2009. I don’t think I was as into RPGs as much as I am now but it’s not really like Borderlands is a massively in-depth game. The most RPG it gets is comparing weapon statistics and class perks, something that is pretty commonplace in modern shooting games with the advent of levelling systems in multiplayer. The game is set on the world Pandora and as one of four ‘Vault Hunters’, it is your mission to find a mysterious alien vault and claim the loot inside. Pretty standard RPG fare.

Currently, I am twenty hours into the game and I’m having great fun. The game manages to meet both my RPG and FPS needs all with a good story and distinct art style. What makes the game so enjoyable however is the random loot system and the very tongue-in-cheek game design. If you haven’t played it yet you really ought to try it out.

Saints Row 2

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Next up is a not so glowing recommendation, Saints Row 2. As a game, Saints Row 2 is fantastic, it blends the style of Grand Theft Auto with an air of total absurdity that stops it from ever feeling tired and linear. What is really bad about this game, however, is the PC port. I picked it up on Steam ages ago in a sale for around £2 and being rather bored of Skyrim recently (don’t worry it’s only a phase), I decided to finally install it.

As some of you may know, it is infamous for being a terrible port. It is everything that a port should not be, and with good reason. Firstly, the game wouldn’t even load, which I eventually learnt was because of a non-existent settings file. Yup, the game comes without a crucial file. No big deal, I managed to find the file online and it booted up fine.

Next, the first time you load the game it sets everything to low. I know graphics have come on by leaps and bounds since 2008 but seriously, it looks like a Playstation 2 game and a bad one at that.

The final nail in the coffin, however, is the absolutely god awful controls. Trying to drive any vehicle is like a Tron lightcycle because the turning is that sensitive. Still, I have thirteen hours clocked on it and I personally think that is a solid return on a £2 investment.

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Finally, another game I have been playing quite a bit of with fellow staff member Alice; Guild Wars. We have been working through the campaigns in preparation of the sequel that still has no release date (which pains me). Technically, I have owned Guild Wars Prophecies and Factions since release but I never really played them. I was only 15 when Prophecies came out, an age where I was playing much more Counter-Strike than anyone should, ever.

I received Nightfall and Eye of the North for Christmas just recently so I’ve been really getting into those. The games still look fantastic and play well. There is also still a decent number of players milling around in the cities and outposts, which is damn respectable for a game of its age.

ArenaNet are also running the Hall of Monuments, which allows you to accrue points to unlock bonuses in Guild Wars 2. So if you used to play but have since stopped and you’re thinking of grabbing the sequel then it would definitely be in your interest to come back for a bit. I should point out that this requires Eye of the North though, so if you have that and like free loot, come on in.

Unless you don’t like free loot, in which case, what sort of a monster are you?