Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid is an “Early Access Game.” It is a zombie sandbox survival game. You probably surmised this from both the title and the backpack wearing heartthrob in the title picture. I’ve played through my fair share of zombie survival games and watched hundreds of hours of zombie movies at this point. They’ve become pretty ubiquitous in our culture. This leads to everyone thinking they could survive for longer than everyone else. Luckily now we have the chance to prove it. Unfortunately not in the main Steam release though because multiplayer isn’t included yet. There’s apparently a separate, official multiplayer beta that works but I haven’t tried it.

Anyways let’s break this down by pros and cons based on whether it’s better than real life or not.

  • Sandbox zombie survival game.
    • Pro
  • Vast and growing map (loosely based on a real world location)
    • Allegedly Muldraugh, Kentucky. I’ve never been to Kentucky but I can assume that where I live in California is better. Con.
  • You can even build zombie proof forts by chopping trees, sawing wood and scavenging supplies.  
    • Pro. I like building.
  • Deal with depression, boredom, hunger, thirst and illness while trying to survive.  
    • Con. This is my life. The thirst cannot be quenched.
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.  
    • Pro
  • Proper zombies that don’t run. (Unless you tell them to in the sandbox menu).  
    • Points off for being zombie pretentious

You can also reclaim the wilderness. Because that’s the first thing I’m gonna do in a zombie apocalypse. Save the trees! Screw that. I’m driving a stolen Ferrari down the highway throwing Molotov cocktails out the window. I’m not in the business of wilderness reclaiming.

Project Zomboid is currently 33% off and $10.04. This is a little steep for me for a game still in development. The crew seems to know what they are doing and it is definitely going to get better, but I’m going to wait for fully integrated multiplayer. The zombie apocalypse isn’t as fun alone. Verdict: Skip it.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut

In Deus Ex: Human Revolution you play a security guard named Jax. You have been entered into a tournament with the best fighters in the world, a tournament in which you must fight to the death. This tournament is called Mortal Kombat. Your background is as follows:

After failing to convince his superiors of the coming outworld menace, Jax begins to covertly prepare for future battle with Kahn’s minions. He outfits both arms with indestructible bionic implants. This is a war Jax is prepared to win.

Sounds pretty badass, right? WRONG. Well, kind of. Admittedly I came in to this game thinking I was going to be sprinting around punching peoples’ faces off. In actuality I was forced to use guns (!) even though I had metal arms. In fact the game encouraged me to sneak. Sneak. “Stealth is sometimes the best option,” the game says. I would rather just rip off someone else’s non-mechanical, fleshy arms and then beat them with it. Now that is a stat I would like to invest experience points in. At least you can still punch the ground to be a nuisance to people. Unfortunately you have to jump off a building to do it.

I’ve got to get to that noodle shop. Quietly.

The Director’s Cut of Deus Ex Human Revolution apparently changes some things for the better. For some people. One of these changes is that the boss fights have been “reworked.” You can now have an easier time defeating bosses using stealth and hacking. I’m sorry, but I thought I was roleplaying as someone with metal hands that would simply crush a computer terminal if I attempted to type on it. So that change doesn’t really benefit me. It also includes the DLC which has become a part of the story.

Human Revolution – The Director’s Cut is currently 75% off and $4.99. It’s not the game for me but it might be for you. Verdict: Skip it.

Shadow Warrior

On sale today/this week is the Shadow Warrior remake. It’s brought to us from the fine studios that made Hard Reset. So at least we know they know how to make a wild and crazy FPS with an interesting color palette. This game, however, has blood by the buckets. As soon as your katana touches an enemy they explode into approximately 50 parts. Seriously, you might as well be using a Slap Chop. You are dicing people up so good you could fit them in the trunk of a Fiat.  The guns, however, turn them into more of a fine mist. Those are your two options.

Anyways, Shadow Warrior was always kind of like a more technically advanced ninja Nukem. You play Lo Wang (ha). The tagline for the original was “Who wants some Wang?” (haHA!).  I think that really still applies here, and you really have to look at yourself and ask that question before you can decide on buying this or not. Look I don’t know much about Asian cuisine. Is this a noodle joke? Is this a phallus joke? Is it both? Can you enlighten me?

Let me get that for you.

 Look, the game is fun. Real fun. But it’s also $9.99 even at 75% off. Sure, sure, you could be supporting a good developer and all that and you probably should. BUT, a Duke 3D Megaton Edition and original Shadow Warrior bundle is also on sale for $3.74! You can blow people away in the Build engine! It’s a tough call. You should buy Shadow Warrior 2013 at some point… but it will be there, waiting, and will be cheaper. Verdict: Skip it.

Fable – The Lost Chapters

Fable – The Lost Chapters is the latest by the man who brought us that crazy cube game, Peter Molyneux. Latest probably isn’t the right word. This game is as old as a fable itself. Am I right? No, I suppose not. Anyways, this game came out in 2005. And that’s pretty old. I remember really wanting to play the original release of Fable but I didn’t have an Xbox. Well now I can and you can too, nine years later.

Chances are, at some point, you have heard of this game or one of its sequels. And if you haven’t played any of them apparently this is the place to start. Some people like Fable 3 better and nobody likes Fable 2. It should probably be subject to personal taste, but this being the Interwebs, if you make the wrong choice you will be labeled a “poseur.” And really, nobody wants that. So why not start at the beginning?

Self Portrait

It’s an action RPG in which your moral choices are reflected on the visage of your player character. Much like real life, in which years of heavy drinking are probably reflected on my liver and my kidneys. At least I can’t see them!

The game is short, and that is one of the biggest problems people had. However, in this, the day of the daily deal, that is probably a good thing. Because we can get in and get out. Play it and leave. Hit it and quit it? Anyways, it will not stay on the backlog for long. Fable – The Lost Chapters is currently on sale for $1.49, and if you haven’t played any of the games yet it’s probably worth it. Verdict: Buy it.

Galactic Civilizations II

Galactic Civlizations II is a 4X game. Which is a term coined in the 90s when everyone was obsessed with changing words starting with the prefix ex- to just X. Xtreme, for instance. X games. That video game virtual reality movie that you’ve never heard of but should totally watch called eXistenZ. Well 4X is apparently a both a tasty Australian beer. And also it describes strategy games like these in which you “Xplore, Xpand, Xploit, and Xterminate.” Which really kind of explains a lot of different types of games but you have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. And it’s apt.

Did you play Civilization IV and find yourself wondering what this game would be like if Ghandi had a space jetpack? No? Do you wonder if Stalin and Montezuma would still try and screw you over even in another galaxy? No? Me neither. But somebody wondered that, and then they made this game. Only they changed Stalin and Montezuma to some strange horsefaced tentacle man. I don’t know what civ that is but I know I don’t want to be a part of it.

If you have never played a turn based strategy game before, I don’t know if this is the right place to start. It might be a little daunting. And it is. It isn’t confusing so much as there is just a lot of information and a lot of micromanaging. But that’s what makes this type of game fun. If you like 4x games, however, you will probably enjoy this one, and it’s one you could get hundreds of hours out of. There is no multiplayer, however, which is kind of a bummer.

Galactic Civilizations II is currently on sale 75% off for $4.99. So let’s decide based on whether you should purchase this game, or a Subway sandwich. I am currently looking at what the featured five dollar footlong is…and it is a Meatball Marinara. Which I simply cannot recommend. In that case, Galactic Civilizations II it is. Verdict: Buy it.

Racing Manager 2014

The picture above is the most action you will see in Racing Manager 2014. By far. But for many people that’s a good thing. Why go through the hassle- and let’s be honest, it’s a hassle- of playing a game where you race cars, thereby forcing you to do the racing yourself, when you can just as easily play a game where you manage them? It’s much less stressful. At least it would be if I knew what the hell any of the buttons did.

Manager games are all the rage these days, and you should probably hop on board if you want to stay hip. Is Racing Manager 2014 the game for you? Probably not. This game is about the same excitement level of NASCAR. Which is to say, the same excitement level of watching cars drive fast and turn left, while hoping something interesting happens. Only it never does. Ever. Towtruck Simulator 2015 is a better choice than this game. TOWTRUCK SIMULATOR. You know what sucks? Getting your car towed. It is terrible, it means you are probably stranded and you are about to spend lots of money on your unreliable car. Nobody likes getting their car towed. But this is better.

I would rather play a simulation of my own life in which I go to my actual job and actual customers hassle me and then I come home and sit immobile at my desk for several hours drinking Rolling Rock while hot dogs defrost in the sink. That sounds less painful than this game. There is no racing!!!! You are better off just playing The Sims and watching your sim play a racing game on their computer. Seriously, that is more interesting.

Racing Manager 2014 is currently 50% and $9.99 on Steam. Verdict: Skip it.

Men of War: Assault Squad

Men of War: Assault Squad is a World War II RTS. This is a good thing, because you know right off the bat if this is something you would be interested in. These aren’t your fancy-pants space “marines,” I’ll tell you that much. These are MEN. Of WAR. And while we’re at it we can further classify these men as members of some type of Aggression Team. No, you won’t find any stimpacks here- just unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes to keep you going. That and old, icy coffee you’re drinking out of your buddy Pvt. Johnny’s tin cup which he no longer needs because he doesn’t have the hands to hold it anymore.

But this is war, and you don’t need hands. You need stones. Metaphorical stones, of course, symbolic of the will to dominate the enemy. Do you have them? You can blow up a tank with nothing but some kind armor-exploding rifle. I didn’t even know that existed. And then take refuge in the whole in the ground it just created. No seriously you can do that it’s pretty cool. Everything can explode in this game. Including your heart when you find out your sweetheart back home got tired of waiting and married your best friend. Why would you do it Joe? Why???

With nothing left to lose, you lead your assault squad with reckless abandon using the WASD keys (!!!). Oh yes, you can control units individually. Why settle for the convenience of clicking to order units around when you can get get waste deep in the muck yourself? I’ll tell you why, because you wouldn’t. Because you’re a Men of War.

Really what this comes down to is do you like to play tactical WWII RTS games. If you do then you should probably buy this game. It is currently 75% off and $3.74. You will get many hours for the money. But you’ll also take home some things you didn’t pay for. Like memories that just won’t go away. Or VD from that weekend in Paris. Anyways, if you don’t like these games this one ain’t gonna change your mind. Verdict: Buy it.