Whilst looking through my outlook notes at work, I’ve came across a note from April 2010 titled Games Wishlist. On it is a list of 5 games which I wanted at the time. I figured I’d look into them and see if I did get the games and my thoughts on them.
Number 1 – Elite IV
At the time my note says there was no scheduled release date. Looking back i had just found out that it was in development and seeing that the Elite games were some of my favorite games I was excited to see they were making a new one.
Elite IV as I had read about never actually got the funding and so development didn’t start. In 2012 David Braben the developer behind Elite started a kickstarter campaign to raise money for what was now called Elite: Dangerous and it was finally released on pc at the end of 2014 and consoles during 2015.
I went ahead and bought it as soon as it was released on pc. My initial impression was good, the graphics looked awesome and it had the familiar Elite feel and game play. It even had the difficult manual docking I grew used to in the earlier Elites before you had docking computers.
Unfortunately once I started playing the game there were too many game breaking bugs. First the wanted system punished you harshly, I was wanted for loitering around a docking platform due to a bug which resulted in the next station I went to blowing me up so I lost my ship and cargo. You also got punished if when shooting at an npc pirate attacking you and a player controlled ship flew in the way and got hit again resulting in being wanted and attacked by stations.
The main game play I liked in previous Elites was trading. I could look on the maps to find markets where items were cheap to buy and others where they sold for more. I could find trade routes to run slowly building up my money, investing in bigger ships to make more money. Once I was fairly rich I could focus on combat without worrying about money. The problem I had in this new Elite was you couldn’t see the market prices in other systems and the trade routes shown on the map were not correct. This meant I could not trade without going to systems, writing down prices then working out trade routes.
Overall I was disappointed in the game play and stopped playing it fairly quickly. I keep meaning to look into it again as the bugs should be fixed and the game play may be better now but I’m playing too many other games at the moment and keep forgetting about Elite. Maybe I’ll pick it up again one day.
Number 2 – World of Warcraft – Cataclysm
My note said it was due to be released late 2010. It was actually released in December 2010.
I was very excited about this being released as it made big changes to the world (of Warcraft) and at the time I was still actively raiding in Wrath of the Lich King in a close nit guild I’d been with for a few years.
When Cataclysm was released i took a week off work and quickly got leveled to the max and raid ready for the release of the first raid. This is where problems started as we had a small guild so we were limited to who could raid. We started off good and everyone was having fun but after progress slowed down some people stopped raiding, some stopped playing all together and personally I started to get burnt out on it and took a break. I did come back later in the expansion and completed all raids.
Overall I enjoyed the expansion and I’m still playing WOW looking forward to Legion. In my opinion Cataclysm was the last really good expansion, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King were better but since Cataclysm the expansions have got slightly worse. It could also be that I’m more of a casual player these days and have other priorities in life so I perceive the game differently. As long as I keep enjoying the game, even if I take several breaks I think I’ll be playing WOW until Blizzard decides to shut it down.
Number 3 – Crackdown 2
Having played and enjoyed the first Crackdown I had high hopes for Crackdown 2. My notes say it was due for release on 9th July 2010 which it was.
I enjoyed the gameplay to Crackdown and the environment it was in and Crackdown 2 continued this but also brought in a different element of the city changing at night where zombie/mutant type creatures came out which brought different problems to encounter.
I liked the way that the characters evolved by finding orbs, killing enemies or completing objectives like roof races and depending on the colour orb depended which skill went up so you could focus on different skills.
Overall Crackdown 2 was a game worth playing. Once completed it didn’t have much replayability so was quickly left to gather dust but I had fun completing the game.
I’ve also just read yesterday that Crackdown 3 is in development and is due to be released in 2017. It looks interesting as it is due to have a hybrid system which uses cloud computing to process things like building destruction but uses the console cpu for player control and animation. It means that there should be no latency in character movement and more cloud cpu power means better background animations like buildings collapsing in real time. It a game I will be looking out for being released.
Number 4 – Gears of War 3
This was due to be released in April 2011 but was delayed until September 2011.
I hadn’t played the first 2 Gears of War but a few of my work colleagues were raving about it and excited for Gears of War 3 being released so I decided to look into it.
I’m a big fan of shooter games and this looked like a game I’d enjoy. Also as there was a few people at work getting it I had people who I could group up with in multiplayer which is always good to have.
I got the game as soon as it was released and really enjoyed it. It’s one of the few games where I’ve actually completed the single player part of it as I usually just play multiplayer. The difference with this game was that I really got immersed in the story and wanted to see it through.
I also played the mulitplayer loads. I like how the games played where everyone starts with the same choice of weapons and the power weapons had to be fought over, similar to the Halo mulitplayer games. It also helped that I had a regular group of people to play with which meant we won most matches.
Overall I was really pleased with the game. It’s one of the few games I’ve played where there’s nothing negative to say about it. Gears of War 4 is due out soon so I may look into getting that. It will depend of what I’m currently playing as to whether I get it on release or not.
Number 5 – Starcraft II
My notes have no release date for this but it was released in July 2010. I never played Starcraft 1 but I did enjoy playing similar types of games so when Starcraft II was announced it looked like my type of game. I was a bit disappointed that they decided to split it down into 3 installments but that wasn’t going to stop me getting the game.
When the game was released, unfortunately I didn’t get it. I looked at the minimum specs needed and the computer I had was not good enough to run the game. It was an old pc I had and struggled in the past running some games. At one point I did upgrade the graphics card but even that was outdated at the time.
I did eventually get a new pc in 2014 after winning a few bets on Football accumulators I saved enough to buy a custom built pc able to play high spec games.
Starcraft II was still on my radar at this point due to the battle.net launcher showing the game and Blizzard had replaced the demo at some point with a starter edition which allowed part of the game to be played for 3. I downloaded the starter edition and played that. I really enjoyed the game and shortly after Blizzard had an offer on so I could buy both the original game and the Heart of the Swarm expansion for the price of one of them so I bought it while the offer was on.
I’ve still not completed all the campaign missions and I’ve not touched multiplayer as I’m not good enough to compete online.
Overall I’ve enjoyed Starcraft II but I’ve not put in as much time as I’d like and therefore not bought the latest expansion. I have been thinking about picking it up again but it will probably wait until I take a break from other games.