Saturday, January 13, 2007

From Guild Wars to Prey

Its been a fairly busy gaming week for me. Last Sunday I played the last two missions of Guild Wars Prophecies. I have defeated the Lich Lord and have saved Ascalon. The last mission was tough enough with horrible Titan's everywhere. It took me two attempts and the successful attempt would have ended in a total wipe except that I went ME/Mo and brought a rebirth skill. This handy ressurect skill allows henchmen to be resurrected and pulled to your current location - great for rescuing corpses from the middle of a bunch of mobs. I went with all henchies as usual despite getting a couple of offers for guildies to join. The trouble is I go very slowly with numerous breaks and I doubt if anyone else would put up with me. My Mesmer was packing an energy denial / damage loadout with Power Drain, Empathy, Spirit Shackles, Energy surge, Energy burn, Mindwrack and Wastrel' s worry . Quite a successful skill set out and fun to play. Empathy and Spirit shackles reduce an enemies health and energy respectively every time they attack. Energy Surge and Energy burn also remove energy and do a nice chunk of damage with it. The real fun happens when the mob finally hits zero energy - triggering Mindwrack for yet more damage and allowing me to use wastrels worry to punish them for not using a skill (which they can't because they have no energy!!!). I have to admit though tha tcareful control of my henchmen was far more important to my success than my own personal skill set. Titans are tricky because killing the wrong one can actually spawn two new enemies so you need to be very selective with your targets and kill them in the correct order. For reference my strong advice is to kill titans one at a time in the following order: First every Spark of the Titans, then any Hand or Fist of the Titans, then any Burning Titans and finally any Risen Ashen Hulk. Killing a Hulk gives you a new hand and fist which together are more dangerous than the original hulk so only kill hulks when everything else is dead and only one at a time.

I have plenty more GW to play, the recently purchased Nightfall chapter is waiting for me, but I promised myself a break from GW when I got this far so I have been playing the first person shooter Prey. Prey is an interesting title that took about 10 years with various false starts to finally get out the door. It is actually quite a good FPS but it feels a bit dated. Running around shooting things inside a spaceship is very old hat at this stage. Prey does have quite a few unique features - it plays very weird tricks with gravity - allowing you to walk up walls in certain places. A couple of very clever levels have you walking around a mini- moon type structure. It also uses portals to instantly go from one spot to another. A third novel feature is the use of a spirit mode. Sadly none of these innovations manage to drag the game play into the 21st century. I wonder if this is just a symptom of the impending death of the traditional First Person Shooter? FPS titles don't seem to grab the same headlines they used to. I wonder will they go the way of the Point and Click adventure?

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