Monday, 23 May 2011

Shadowgrounds Survivor: Game Review

Overall, I liked the original Shadowgrounds. It offered fun shooting and interesting weapons.

Shadowgrounds Survivor seemed to have fairly good reviews and being a sequel with additional classes, I thought it would be even more fun than the original. From a game design perspective, additional classes means being able to truly draft levels and gameplay to suit a variety of players and that means that you can experiment more with the gameplay and create even more interesting game modes and situations.

What I liked:
  • Overall still fun like Shadowgrounds Survivor
  • Weapons are balanced and feel right as do their new abilities.
  • RPG upgrade system balanced.
What I disliked:
  • Shallow plot which doesn't even explain anything to new players.
  • Grenades seem too slow for any tactical use
  • Characters only have 1 special move - The developers could have easily added even more moves.
  • Seems to lack any new enemies maybe even less than the original Shadowgrounds.
  • No boss battles which Shadowgrounds had.
  • Multiplayer needs better support - You can only play multiplayer on the same computer.
  • Really short and needs more interesting level design
  • Feels more like an expansion pack than a true sequel
  • Ending isn't very exciting, just you defending a computer room from four directions
I originally paid $15 for Shadowgrounds and then bought this on the humble indie bundle. Shadowgrounds and Survivor is probably worth around $5 - $10 as a bundle. I would recommend to go play the free Alien Swarm first however and that's pretty much what you'll get with both except longer.

Overall, a hugely wasted opportunity to something better, bigger and even more explosive. I understand Frozenbyte is a small independent company, but I'm sure they could have done way better with just a little more thought.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Deus Ex Invisible War: Troubleshooting

Like many others, I encountered the menu freeze bug with audio looping. The reason for this is Deus Ex: Invisible War not recognising multiple core CPUs. Alot of advice online says to set Dx2.exe to one CPU core. This didn't work for me when I just set Dx2.exe.

The Solution
What worked was to set both DX2.exe and Ion Launcher.exe to affinity 1 (use just one CPU core ) using a program called Set Affinity from Edgemeal Software here. The website looks a bit dodgy looking but the program works fine. Note you can't play the game and Control+Alt+Delete out. The game doesn't allow you to do that during the startup sequence so you'll need this program or a program which does it before the program starts.

Also if you have an nvidia card, set the Threading Optimisation to 'Off' as well for this particular program. Not sure if this helped but it can't hurt.