The Free Weekend Weekend: Payday 2

As you can clearly see, we have entered The FREE WEEKEND WEEKEND. It’s time to play for free Thurs 10/16 – Sunday 10/19. This is great news! There is almost always one free game on Steam every weekend but now we get to choose from so many, it really is great. So bask in the glow of free gaming goodness, and try them all out.

Payday 2 has been on a few free weekends already so you may have had a chance to try it at some point. Unfortunately Payday 2 is one of those annoying games where you purchase it in the first place, for real life money, and then they shove a bunch of DLC down your throat. Like a shotgun. Why the hell should I have to pay for a shotgun with more money if I already bought the game? The world may never know. So we’re already off to a misstep. However let’s talk about the game itself.

If you didn’t know, Payday 2 is the official video game sequel of Point Break. Which is already a good thing, because Point Break is the best movie (excuse me, FILM) of all time. It stars the greatest actor of all time, Keanu Reeves, and he beats up a bunch of suit wearing bankrobbers donning matching rubber masks that look like ex-presidents. The FBI calls them The Ex-Presidents. Payday 2 puts you in the shoes of the bad guys instead of in the shoes of Keanu which would be way cooler but whatever.

Anyways, you should buy Point Break The Movie before you buy Payday 2 because that’s where the coincidences stop. First of all there is no surfing! How can you have a bank robbery team that doesn’t surf? They are supposed to be a real tight unit and nothing brings bros together like surfing. Also, Keanu Reeves is nowhere to be found, and neither is the ghost of Patrick Swayze (???). So let’s talk about gameplay. Basically this game is like Left 4 Dead 2. Well, actually it’s like Left 4 Dead 1 before Valve nerfed shiva stacking. You sit in a closet and just mow down wave after wave of idiotic police and SWAT officers. There’s supposed to be some kind of heist going on but the whole thing just feels silly and there’s not much strategy. There’s also not a ton of weapons of less you buy them.

Keanu Reeves is an FBI agent, sadly missing from Payday 2.

However, Payday 2 is currently on a free weekend and if you have 4 friends you can give it a shot and it might be fun if you try and dick each other over. It’s probably not worth the purchase though, even at 75% off. Verdict: Skip it.

Natural Selection 2

Maybe you played the original Natural Selection back at the day, possibly in some dank, smelly, cyber cafe, knocking back Dew after Dew in between spawns. But you probably wanted to play CS but nobody else wanted to play CS and instead everybody was playing some weird game about Darwinian theory. Or maybe that never happened at all and Natural Selection II is just another cool looking Source mod. Well it is pretty cool. Natural Selection II is one of those multiplayer FPS games that is more about strategy than it is about skill. But you still have to be skillful in your strategy. If that makes any sense.

The game pits players against each other as humans versus the zerg, or aliens from some other planet, who knows. In the beginning, the humans have an advantage over the zerg team, as they are weak and die quickly to gunfire. However, the alien players have an easier time ambushing people so they can take down unaware players pretty quickly when given the right opportunity. It’s all about taking advantage of the right situations in this game. If as a tiny, puny zergling you attempt a full frontal assault you will get destroyed. As you get kills you can evolve into more interesting, more deadly creatures, and the game gets more fun. If you stayed a zergling the whole time the game would not be as fun, but it gets pretty exciting as you move up the evolutionary chain. Imagine going on killstreaks in the Modern Warfare games except instead of calling down airstrikes you can morph into an Ultralisk and stomp people into the ground instead.

everyone starts as a vagina dentata

 Natural Selection II is pretty fun once you get going, but there is definitely a learning curve. If you can’t figure out how to kill people to move up the evolutionary chain then it can become more frustrating than anything else. Natural Selection II is currently on sale for 75% off at $6.24. I wish it was a little bit cheaper, but if you like team based multiplayer gameplay featuring aliens and lots of biting you can’t really go wrong here. Verdict: Buy it.

DC Universe™ Online Free-To-Play. Your Way.®

DC Universe™ Online Free-To-Play. Your Way.® Uh oh. Usually that’s the sign of bad things to come…especially if it’s a free to play Steam Daily Deal that costs $2.49. So it’s a free to play MMO after a nominal fee? Upon closer inspection it is in fact free it’s just the DLC that costs money. The way it works is if you pay the $14.99 monthly fee you get all the DLC and unlimited money to buy yourself things like cans of soda that help heal you or whatever. You also get more inventory slots and more character slots. That’s pretty par for the course for a free MMO and it’s actually not too gamebreaking. It’s not like you just pay more money to become Superman, otherwise you have to be Jimmy Olsen. So that’s nice.

If you like DC comics than this is a good way to get your fix, after all it is free. But lets be honest, apart from Batman DC hasn’t aged quite as well in popular culture as Marvel has. Of course everyone has their alliances…but the Justice League is so much worse than the Avengers. Aquaman has been a running joke for years! he had a harpoon hand one time to make him look tougher. That’s ridiculous! Marvel has Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man, the X Team, The Punisher. They’re totally stacked. Green Lantern is afraid of the color yellow. What the hell kind of a weakness is that.

 On the bright side, you can create your own characters and you get to help out the heroes that you like. In other news, let’s take a moment to look at the worst written review for a comic book game ever, brought to us by Playstation Official Magazine UK:

Artistically it’s a bit gaudy. [Feb 2014, p.87]

 Is that some kind of joke? The reviewer found the artistic style of a COMIC BOOK VIDEO GAME a bit gaudy? What an insightful opinion from an official Playstation Magazine ®™ . And now that that’s over, the game is actually free to play so you might as well try it if you are a diehard fan of DC or decent F2P MMOs. If these aren’t your thing, skip it. Verdict: It’s free.

Steam Daily Deals Youtube Channel is Open

Sure, the first video might not be a Steam Daily Deal. And sure, the name of the site might be Steam Daily Deal, and that might also be the topic of every post. But technically TF2 is a daily deal every day because it’s free. So it’s all the more fitting. Anyways, more to come.

Stronghold Crusader HD

Stronghold Crusader HD + Stronghold Crusader Extreme is an RTS game like that movie starring Orlando Bloom that came out in the 2000s called Kingdom of Heaven. It was pretty good actually but it was released too late, it was an epic film in a time when the public was tired of epic films. Anyways I guess back in the day certain religions didn’t like each other and they didn’t like each other so much that they ended up fighting over it. The gist of these fights was basically something along the lines of “My religion is right and yours is wrong so I’m gonna kill you,” or something like that, it’s funny how silly people acted back in the day. Luckily we don’t have to deal with that kind of ass-backwards thinking anymore. Anyways Orlando Bloom and this ruler named Saladin really went at it.

If you’ve ever played a Civilization game with Saladin in it you’ll know that he is aggressive and does not enjoy letting anyone live peacefully. Seriously, Saladin is kind of a jerk, he is rivaled only by Tokugawa or Montezuma in his angry aggression. If you don’t enjoy getting destroyed by Saladin you probably shouldn’t play this game. On the bright side you can launch diseased cows over walls that make people sick. I’m not sure if that is historically accurate but it is definitely hysterically accurate, you know what I mean? I haven’t seen cows launched in this way since Earthworm Jim.

Speaking of which, the graphics in this game look about as dated as Earthworm Jim’s. They slapped an HD tag on the game because the game supports widescreen mode. There is HD resolution that does absolutely nothing for the textures of the game. It just kind of makes everything smaller. But at least there is widescreen, it makes it a lot easier to see. Ever play Starcraft in 640×480 on a 28 inch 1920×1200 monitor? Ouch. This game doesn’t have that problem but let’s be honest it definitely looks pretty bad. Funny bad at least, and tolerable.

This game is your basic “get an order from the king who got a message from God to kill all infidels so you have to do what he says because you are just a peasant who lives in his own filth and this is your only way out” simulator. What that means is as the king you will gather resources and then with those resources send wave after wave of men with pointy sticks to their death, all in name of proving you have the bigger wang or something.  

I’m honestly not sure if this screen is from Stronghold or Sim Ant

Anyways Stronghold Crusader HD is 66% off and $3.39. That’s not bad but this game came out in 2002! I feel like it could be at least 75% off. It’s fun and there’s multiplayer but you might not be able to find anyone to play the game with you. Anyways, the orig Stronghold HD is only $1.99 right now, you might be better off with that one if you’re curious. Verdict: Skip it.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

Aliens: Colonial Marines is the highly anticipated and then of course much maligned game from Gearbox that was in development since kind of 2001 but then got canceled and then had been kind of in development since 2006. Of course everyone was all excited about it because of the multiplayer of that one AvP game that everyone used to play, and of course everyone hated it when it came out. Poor Gearbox. They keep trying to revive these games from the dead (see: Duke Nukem Forever) that have all these pieces thrown into place and then they get all hyped up and end up like some kind of Frankenstein’s monster of a game. I don’t know what they expect to happen when they try and play god. Half Life: Opposing Force was still awesome though.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is no exception to the rule. The first thing people got all uppity about is that the “actual gameplay” footage shown a couple years ago was nothing like the actual game. Well maybe saying nothing is a little bit strong but the ACTUAL game looks a hell of a lot different. This happens all the time with devs using prerendered footage that looks like gameplay but in general it doesn’t seem to work out so well in the long run. It’s not just the graphics that suck, though. And they’re not that bad, everything just looks sort of dark and bland and vaguely electrical in a Doom 3 kind of way. But everything else is pretty bland. The gunplay isn’t so good and the AI is awful. Here is a helpful review from Steam user starshipwaters:

The most rewarding part of this game is that sometimes the Xenos use Marine animations and take cover. It’s hilarious.

The whole game is kind of like that, and besides everyone knows Aliens and Predators for that matter too don’t stand a chance against a real carnivore like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Hey Steve, you gotta check this out. Uh, Steve?

 The saving grace for this game is that multiplayer is OK and there is even a Left 4 Dead-style game mode. But honestly it is not nearly as good as either L4D or Natural Selection 2. You are better off spending your money on Natural Selection 2 to get your humans versus aliens/ Darwinism fix. Aliens: Colonial Marines is currently on sale for $4.99 at 75% off. If you are a die hard Aliens fan maybe you will like it but probably not. Verdict: Skip it.

Trials Fusion™ Trademark™

Trials Fusion Trademark is a game that should be boycotted by mothers everywhere. Stand up and let your voice be heard, people. This “computer game” as they call it is a bad influence on our children. The wild, physics-based, 2D racing isn’t the draw here. It’s the reckless abandon with which these “stunt x-men” fling their motorcycles and their bodies off of jumps. It’s a slippery slope. First our kids get the ideas in their heads that anything is possible- that they are indestructible. That they can simply just hit the “reset button” after they get a “game over” and they can just try it again. Too bad the game doesn’t teach that a “reset button” doesn’t exist in real life

He’s not gonna make it.
This is how it starts. The kids have fun and these “moto x crossers” become their heroes. Kids should be looking up to real heroes. Working professionals, like firemen and politicians. Instead they want to emulate the tricks that they see on the TV. This is what happened to little Billy last week. Little Billy built himself a ramp off the edge of his roof. And why wouldn’t he? The computer game never taught him otherwise. Well he put his feet on the pedals of his bike and he went off that ramp just as fast as he could. When he hit the ground the rest of the neighborhood kids scattered, terrified. His mother came home and what she saw in the middle of the street wasn’t little Billy anymore, it was a pile of blood, guts, and twisted metal. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.

This game is kind of like if you set up the most elaborate Hot Wheels obstacle course/track ever, only you don’t set it up so much as just drive the bike. Also there are physics involved. Lots of physics and lots of tricks. This is where most of the comedy comes from. You try and do tricks because you are supposed to and it ends up just destroying you. It’s definitely fun and pretty addicting, but the price is steep so we’re going to have to look at the pros and cons. The cons are: it’s only 25% off, there is a season pass with 6 DLCs, you have to use Uplay (or UPRAY it works as it’s known in the Steam reviews). Pros are: it’s pretty damn fun.

Trials Fusion Trademarkis currently on sale for $14.99. This is a little bit too expensive, but when it eventually goes on sale again for less money it will be worth checking out. Verdict: Skip it.