Hitman Absolution Review

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Hitman absolution was released in 2012 and was produced by IO Interactive, and published by Square Enix.Hitman is a franchise about, exactly that, a hitman. Hitman, also called Agent 47, is part of a secret organization known as “The Agency”. People from the Agency call Agent 47 for hits on people. He is always on demand because of his flawless record. He is not a normal person, mind you, he is a clone, of which there are more, that is why he has a barcode on the back of his head.

Unlike a popular webkinz game, the plot of this game starts just after Hitman: Blood Money. (SPOILER ALERT for those who din’t play, and want to play that game) Diana Burnwood, who was Agent 47’s handler, turns rogue, this makes her a liability for the agency, so the first mission starts by you controlling Agent 47, just outside Diana’s safe-house. Now the handler of the agency is Benjamin Travis, who asks you to kill Diana, and retrieve a teenage girl who she took away from the agency.

SPOILER ALERT As the title says (Absolution), you must control Agent 47, as he takes on a journey to exonerate himself from his past hits for the evil Agency. In the game you must act with stealth to complete the objective in each mission, although you could just act like a loose gun and shoot your way through the levels, however this generally gives you negative points in each level.

A great addition to the game is the ability to create your own mission, choosing which people you kill, with what, and wearing what. You do this by playing, proving that it is actually doable. You can then submit these contracts, and play ones made by others. Also, to keep you entertained the campaign has challenges in each mission, giving you ideas of ways to complete the level. This game has changed from previous games, some have criticized these changes, but as I was not an avid fan of older Hitman games, I didn’t take the differences as important.

A big criticism is how the game manages how you remain unseen (when wearing a disguise), by using a power bar, which makes it as likely to be spotted with a disguise as without it. However I see this management as much more intelligent, as you can’t hide indefinitely, which is unreal. Another problem is that there is no ability to close some doors which would help hide body’s, like doors in the bathroom. Also, I would have added the ability to hide bodies in different ways, not just through bins, of which there seems to be too many, this would make the game more real, and give the player much more creativity. Furthermore, when you use one of the many checkpoints placed around the game, after you die, or choose in the menu to return to the last checkpoint, the guards are placed as they were before you entered the game, and any alert by guards disappears. This is a big flaw in the game, which sometimes helps players, but sometimes makes it more difficult to proceed.

A problem I spotted is that when you have a lethal item equipped (such as knife, scissors, etc.), and throw it at an enemy’s head, if the enemy moved behind a wall or an object, the object passes through the wall. It would have been better if they added the ability to hit the wall, and if you are able to miss the head, it would be better too. Another very funny error appeared in a cutscene, where instead of Agent 47 having a gun in his hand, he had his fiber wire, pointing it a the enemy, even though this was an error, it was incredibly funny, and would have been funnier if he shot.


The New Era of Computer Games and Controversy

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The rise of 3D gaming in general has caused a revolution in gaming technology, especially on the computer. Hardware developers have been pushing the limits of current technology since the outbreak of 3D graphics in the early to mid 1990’s. It has sparked the development of different 3D graphics libraries such as OpenGL and DirectX that regulated the graphics in computer games and led to more efficient game play that can be seen in games like Unreal and Unreal Tournament. You don’t need it for online games like Webkinz or FarmVille. Developments in hardware also allowed computer game developers to push the limits.
nVidia and ATI have been constantly improving the power of their video cards, along with the development of more advance RAM and processors, to allow computer game developers to increase realism. A side effect of the increase in realism is the use of physics engines within computer games. Physics engines simply emulate the physics of natural life such as velocity, mass and friction. This has sparked debate through the computer gaming community as to whether it is beneficial as many physics engines require great processing capabilities leaving developers unable to provide consistent experience to gamers.

Emulation has been another debated part of recent computer games action. Emulation provides computer users the chance to play vintage games, such as those for the Nintendo Entertainment system or the Sega Genesis through the use of ROMS, or recreated games. The question of emulation is one of copyrights. Many feel that by recreating the game and playing it for free on a computer is breaking the copyright held by Nintendo or Sega, while others feel the games are so outdated that it should not be a problem. Whatever the answer to this moral debate, the emulation of older console games has become extremely popular all over the world.
Recent monster computer games like F.E.A.R and Half Life 2 have pushed the limits of current hardware while showing gamers just how realistic games are becoming. The innovations will keep occurring, especially in the computer games industry which has been ahead of the console market for some time now regarding technology. With the amazing graphics and physics engines of these two games it seems that actual virtual reality may be the next step to computers games, and a step that could be seen soon.

The popularity of computers games can be traced back to a few poor decisions made by console developers in the early 1980’s. Thanks to those poor decisions, gamers have been blessed with such titles as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Half Life, Diablo, Starcraft, Counterstrike and the invention of services like Battle.net. Computer games have been pushing the development of hardware and technology in both computers and consoles since the beginning of the 1980’s. While consoles have recently expanded in popularity and overtaken computer games, it is safe to say that many of the innovations in the gaming world would not have occurred without them.



Shepherd Slaughter Review

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Shepherd Slaughter is an indie randomly generated roguelike from Blindhack games. You begin the game as a traveler that has just landed on your totally unique and procedurally generated island.  You can pick from a set of predetermined classes that will impact your starting skills and gear, and your ultimate goals is to generate tons of friggin points by finding artifact pieces scattered in underground dungeons.

I was surprised to see how many different skills and classes were available.  I started my first playthrough as a knight.  I equipped my trusty sword donned my armor and wandered through some cool screens looking for stuff to stab.  Every time you see a new creature you and notified with a text popup.  You see a crab for the first time.  The game has simple but undeniably charming graphics.  Snakes look like snakes, butterflies dot the landscape, and 25 blocky orcs (or are they dwarves?  bandits?) are always waiting in the next screen to explode into colorful piles of loot and gold.

I broke about 3 swords trying to kill this guy. The combat strays from the typical roguelike formula.  It is not turn based and there aren’t a lot of calculations or determinations to make.  You don’t use any items nor do you cast spells.  Instead combat is all real time and is effected by weapon speed and your reflexes.  This is fun but can occasionally become repetitive.  At one point I maneuvered a T-Rex between some bushes and he got stuck.  I had to whack on him for a good minute or two before he finally died.

If you play a lot of roguelike games you’d consider these graphics awesome. My other gripe with the system is that weapons break way too much.  Its especially annoying to break your warhammer on some cave denizen when you realize you can’t progress further through the rocks because well, you broke your damn hammer.

As I continued exploring the island I had amassed an obscene amount of gold and killed approximately 1 million orcs.  I found a few NPCs that I could buy from and trade with.  I bought every single damn weapon I could find and I made my way into the first of many dungeons the game had to offer.  The dungeons reward you with multiple levels filled with loot, monsters, and if you go far enough, an artifact piece.

You either love this type of game or you hate it.  I am a big fan of roguelike games and I really appreciate the innovations Blindhack tried to make to the genre.  Whether or not you like everything that they did you can’t deny that its a very ambitious game from a small studio and for only 3 dollars it costs less than your morning coffee.